GREEN BAY, Wis. -- When Jamaal Charles prepares for Monday night's game against the Green Bay Packers, the Kansas City Chiefs running back will see exactly what NBC broadcaster Cris Collinsworth did during his film study last week: B.J. Raji causing havoc.
Collinsworth made that point during the Packers' 27-17 win over the Seahawks on Sunday night shortly after Raji stuffed Marshawn Lynch for a 2-yard loss in the first quarter.
"I barely recognized B.J. Raji when I was watching him on tape," Collinsworth said on the broadcast. "This looked like the guy that first came into the league, the guy that got six sacks or whatever it was [actually 6.5 in 2010]. He got a lot of pressure last week [against the Bears]. He's lighter. He's motivated because he sat out last year. If he's back to form, he will be a huge asset."
Two games into his return from a torn biceps tendon that wiped out his 2014 season, Raji looks exactly as Collinsworth described.
Raji added a second tackle for loss on Lynch, who rushed for just 41 yards on 15 carries on Sunday, a week after he posted his first sack -- one that he shared with Julius Peppers -- since Nov. 24, 2011.
It was a much-needed performance for a Packers' run defense that allowed Matt Forte to rush for 141 yards (and the Bears to gain 189 yards on the ground) in the season opener.
"It's one of his best or was his best football game as a Green Bay Packer, in my opinion," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of Raji.
That's saying something considering among Raji's best career games is the 2010 NFC Championship Game, when he returned an interception for a touchdown at Chicago to help the Packers reach the Super Bowl.
This was the kind of impact the Packers had hoped Raji would make last season, when McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dom Capers moved him back to nose tackle -- where he played in 2009 and 2010 before he switched to defensive end. Instead, it was a lost season due to the injury.
"It's been a while," Capers said. "B.J. missed all of last year, so it was really nice to see him. He was active. He got off blocks. He controlled his gap. I thought he did a nice job of being physical on the center, on their guards. So that was encouraging. He was a big part of that, and that enabled us to limit Lynch."
Next up is Charles, the All-Pro back who rushed for 125 yards in last week's loss to Denver.