Before the 2015 campaign began, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy stressed -- more often and vociferously than usual -- the important of starting this season fast.
Coming off a devastating loss in the NFC Championship Game the year before and with an MVP quarterback and Super Bowl ambitions, McCarthy, despite a challenging first month on the schedule, wanted to avoid the slow starts that plagued his team the previous three seasons. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, the Packers opened 1-2 and failed to reach their lofty annual goal.
This year, after beating Chicago and Seattle, Green Bay is 2-0 and has the 1-1 Kansas City Chiefs coming to town this week for a Monday Night Football matchup at Lambeau Field.
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If the Packers win that game, it will be just the sixth time since 1993 -- when Brett Favre first led the franchise back to the playoffs -- that they've started a season 3-0.
What happened in those other five years?
In 1996, Green Bay won its first three games, eventually went 13-3 and won the Super Bowl for the first time since the Lombardi days. Two years later, in 1998, Favre brought the Packers to a 3-0 start and an 11-5 record, before they flamed out in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. In 2001, Green Bay won their opening trifecta, went 12-4 on the season and lost in the Divisional Round. In Favre's last year with the team, 2007, the Packers won their first three, finished 13-3 and lost in the NFC Championship Game.
The only time an Aaron Rodgers-led team started out 3-0 was in 2011, the year after the Super Bowl season. Those Packers raced out to win their first 13 games and finished 15-1, but then lost in the Divisional Round of the postseason to the Giants.
Since then, it's been 1-2 times three for McCarthy, Rodgers and Co.
But if the Packers beat the Chiefs on Monday, they'll be a pretty safe bet for 12 wins. Four of the previous five times Green Bay started 3-0 they won at least a dozen games, and its average number of victories in such a season was 12.8.
Here is a chart showing the Packers records after three games and for the full season, as well as how they finished, going back to 1993:
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