Clay Matthews is one of the few Packers who brought his "A" game against the 49ers
Although the Green Bay Packers are disappointed in the way they opened the 2012 NFL season, with their schedule, there is no time to rest as the Chicago Bears soldier into Lambeau Field looking to deal a devastating blow to the defending NFC North Champions.
It may be too early to call Thursday night's showdown with their windy city rivals a must win, but if the Packers are not careful, their promising season could be in jeopardy much sooner than expected.
If Sunday's 30-22 loss to the 49ers taught us anything, it's that the Packers cannot just show up and be an elite team. They are vulnerable and right now they lack the toughness and balance of a championship football team.
The Niners won that football game because they were better, they were tougher and they wanted it more. They played with fire, urgency and emotion. The Packers on the other hand, appeared to simply be going through the motions.
It would have been foolish to expect the 2012 season to go as smoothly as 2011, when the Packers cruised to a 15-1 record. But few would have thought a team with Super Bowl aspirations would be so thoroughly outplayed on their home field in the season opener.
However, the best team in the NFL is not decided in the regular season, it is decided in the playoffs. And despite the thrill of chasing an unbeaten season after a 13-0 start, things may have come too easy for the Packers, leaving them ill-prepared for the battles they'd face come playoff time.
After all, in 2010, the team faced all kinds of adversity and they were able to overcome it. In 2011, the adversity was almost non-existent, until of course the Giants came in and wrecked the hopes of back-to-back Super Bowl championships.
Maybe it is time for the Packers to ignore their press clippings and get back to being the team that plays with a chip on its shoulder, with urgency, with a purpose.
When that teams shows up, the Packers are almost impossible to beat but when they play with the complacency that they did this past Sunday, they proved no match for the NFL's toughest team.
One thing is clear: After getting embarrassed in back-to-back games at Lambeau Field by tougher, more motivated teams, the Packers have lost their championship mettle and desperately need to get it back before it's too late.