GREEN BAY -- Still the NFL king of the passer rating, Aaron Rodgers will play his first game at Lambeau Field in nearly nine months Sunday looking to eradicate an unbecoming streak.
Rodgers hasn't compiled a pass-efficiency mark of 100 or better in the Green Bay Packers' last 14 games, including the playoffs. Because of that, his career passer rating has slipped to 103.8, still superior to second-ranked Russell Wilson's 100.9.
Getting the Detroit Lions for Green Bay's belated home opener this weekend just might be what Rodgers and its misfiring offense need to get well again in the matchup of NFC North rivals with 1-1 records.
Rodgers has owned the Lions, winning 11 of 14 games, and dominated their defense by throwing 26 touchdowns with only six interceptions in racking up a passer rating of 105.9. He has attained the century mark for passer rating in nine of those games with Detroit, including five at Lambeau Field.
Plus, don't forget last time out against the Lions, a defiant Rodgers atoned for Detroit's snapping its notorious 24-game losing streak to the Packers in Wisconsin by throwing a 61-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers to lift Green Bay to an improbable win in Michigan last December.
Fewer than 72 hours after one of the worst performances in Rodgers' stellar career, head coach Mike McCarthy gave his indispensable quarterback an endorsement Wednesday.
"I have great confidence in Aaron," McCarthy said. "I've never trusted a quarterback or an individual as a player more than I trust Aaron Rodgers. His work ethic is at the top of his career, the time he spends in the facility with his coaches and teammates."
Yet, Packers fans are understandably wondering whether the 32-year-old Rodgers will ever get back to being at the top of his game.
They have endured watching a stunning slide unfold going as far back as the crushing overtime loss at the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC title game Jan. 18, 2015, when Rodgers completed only 19 of 34 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions for a dismal passer rating of 55.8.
After opening the 2015 season with three superb outings that featured 10 touchdowns with no interceptions and a passer rating no lower than 116.9, Rodgers has reached the 100 mark for efficiency only once in the last 17 games.
Neither Rodgers nor McCarthy is flinching, however, in the face of almost a full calendar year of turbulence. Especially in the wake of Rodgers' rash of miscues (three fumbles, one interception, several erratic throws) in the 17-14 loss at the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night, when his passer rating was a mediocre 70.7.
Rodgers told anyone who was listening after Sunday's game: "We're not going to overreact," with regard to the feeble state of Green Bay's offense after two games.
The Packers have averaged only 278.5 yards per game and rank second from the bottom in the 32-team league with a clip of only 189.5 passing yards.
"We're going to have to find a rhythm here as we (play at) home and have our opener, and hopefully we can take care of business at home," Rodgers said, noting the Packers play their next four games at Lambeau with their bye week thrown in after Sunday's contest.
"There's always a lot of work to be done. I think we're close at times. We just need to figure out what that identity is, and that's created throughout the season."
And, McCarthy isn't losing any sleep -- or patience -- with his one-of-a-kind leader behind center.
"It's a process," McCarthy said. "We'll all stick to the process, and from that, we'll all have success."
SERIES HISTORY: 172nd regular-season meeting. Packers lead series, 96-68-7. Green Bay won 24 straight games at home against the Lions since 1992 until its longtime rival snapped the streak with an 18-16 victory at Lambeau Field last Nov. 15. The teams have split their annual two-game series each of the last three seasons. This is the earliest in the season the Packers have hosted Detroit since they routed the Lions 31-6 on Sept. 14, 2003.
--For the first time in the modern era of the NFL dating to 1970, the Packers are playing their first home game in Week 3 of the season.
The only other season in Green Bay's 98-year history of playing football in which started the season with two road games was 1924. The Packers lost 6-3 to the Duluth Kelleys and 3-0 to the Chicago Cardinals that season before winning their first home game 16-0 against the Kansas City Blues.
Green Bay enters Sunday's game against the Lions with three straight victories in home openers. The Packers have won eight of their last nine openers at Lambeau Field -- the lone defeat was 30-22 to the San Francisco 49ers in 2012.
--Since 1941, the Packers are 4-5-1 when they have played Detroit in their home opener.
Green Bay has won the last two openers at Lambeau with the Lions as the opponent by a combined score of 66-25, stretching back to 1998.
NOTES: OLB Clay Matthews didn't practice Wednesday. Matthews aggravated an ankle injury in the 17-14 loss at the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night. He also is dealing with a hamstring injury. Matthews underwent further treatment Wednesday as the veteran standout tries to get ready for the Packers' home opener against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. ... CB Sam Shields still hasn't been cleared to return to the field. The veteran starter has been sidelined since he suffered a concussion toward the end of the season-opening win at the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 11. The Packers had to make do with the young trio of Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter in the Sunday night loss at Minnesota. ... SS Morgan Burnett was held out of practice Wednesday. The veteran starter sustained a hamstring injury in the second half of the loss at Minnesota on Sunday night, but he's listed on the injury report this week with a groin injury. Should Burnett not recover in time for Sunday's game against the Lions, the Packers have a capable backup in Micah Hyde. They also worked undrafted rookie Kentrell Brice into the mix against the Vikings. ... NT Letroy Guion is expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks as he recovers from a sprained MCL he sustained in the second quarter of the loss at Minnesota on Sunday night. Without the veteran presence of Guion in the defensive-line rotation, the Packers will count on top rookie Kenny Clark for the home opener against the Lions on Sunday. ... OLB/DE Datone Jones didn't practice on Wednesday because of a knee injury. Jones has contributed a great deal in a situational role the first two games, playing a total of 74 snaps. His status for the home opener Sunday against Detroit won't be known until later in the week. ... S Chris Banjo practiced Wednesday after missing the first two games because of a hamstring injury. Banjo has been a key contributor on special teams in previous seasons with a team-high 21 tackles in 2015. ... OLB Jayrone Elliott also practiced Wednesday after a hamstring injury kept him from playing the first two games. The third-year pro was a situational contributor on defense last season and ranked third on the team with 11 special-teams tackles.