LANDOVER, Md. – It's difficult to stay upbeat when tough times extend over multiple weeks, and no praise was being tossed around simply for the positivity after Sunday's loss.
But Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been in this spot before, and he's going to keep grinding, just as he expects the entire team to.
As bleak as everything looks right now, Rodgers absolutely believes the Packers can right the ship – "You're goddamn right" – and he set the tone after the 23-21 defeat at Washington for what looks like an insurmountable task in seven days.
"I'm not worried about this squad," he said. "In fact this might be the best thing for us, this week. Nobody's going to give us a chance, going to Buffalo, Sunday Night Football, with a chance to get exposed."
For any believers in serendipity, it was six years ago leaving FedExField after the Packers' fourth straight loss in November when Rodgers had an inkling Green Bay could turn things around.
The famous "run the table" proclamation was uttered a few days later, a Monday night win at Philadelphia followed, and the rest is history.
"That kind of got things going again," he said. "Hope for the same juju this week."
The 2022 Buffalo Bills are not the '16 Eagles of course, and the "goddamn" line was as far as Rodgers went with a quippy declaration immediately after this game. He's done it before and has a ton of past experience to draw from, but admittedly to an observer, in the here and now it's hard to see where and how he has the belief he's expressed.
Maybe it's knowing the newly configured offensive line will settle in soon, or his banged-up thumb will get better, or the simple plays getting botched won't continue because that's not how it looks in practice.
He seems to suggest that if the offense starts playing better, the defense will, too, because that unit has fought competitively during the losing streak until the on-field minutes have accumulated in the second halves.
Whatever the case, Rodgers as a team leader was calling for that belief from his teammates, "unless they don't think they're the right person for the job."
He's probably counting on that line to sink in a bit.
Because the biggest sign of frustration in his postgame remarks came when he talked about Washington's defense playing about as vanilla as it gets, and shutting down the Packers for a solid 2½ quarters or more.
See scenes from the Sunday afternoon matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Washington Commanders at FedExField on Oct. 23, 2022.
"They did nothing," he said of schematics or blitzes to decipher. "Man coverage one or two times, it was all two-high (safeties), some match, occasional drop-down safety. They didn't really do a whole lot."
In other words, the Commanders with their stout defensive front played straight up and the Packers couldn't beat it. Rodgers referenced throws that were off, wrong routes, drops, penalties, mental errors … everything that made it easy on the opposing defense.
He also repeated something he said earlier this season, that the Packers just don't have the margin for error to overcome mistakes that pile up and still be able to win.
"It has to be something inside, the accountability for performance," he said. "We have talent on our team for sure, but it has to consistently show up."
If the message last week, from Head Coach Matt LaFleur, was to get back to having fun, the one this week from Rodgers might be to listen – listen to everyone mark down the Packers at 3-5 already with a loss at Buffalo. But don't talk about it, and just get back to work.
"Shoot, this might be the best thing for us," he said.