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Cheese Curds, 1/6: Packers desperate for big plays and good pass protection

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A staple of the Packers' offensive production in recent years has vanished this season.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

As the week goes along, we are finding more and more stories about the continued struggles of the Green Bay Packers' offense. Today's curds find several that examine the unit's inconsistency and failure to create explosive plays, which has been one of the staples of the offense in years past.

It's easy to see why the big plays aren't happening when receivers cannot separate from coverage, though. And likewise, it's also clear that when the quarterback does not have time in the pocket, he will not be able to wait for his wideouts to run deep.

So with that, let's take yet another look at why the offense is what it is this year.

What You Might've Missed: From the Claymaker |
Clay Matthews had one of his better games this season last Sunday, racking up one sack, helping out on a few more, and also helping to force the bad throw that led to Micah Hyde's interception.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers' best accomplishment in 2015: Staying healthy - ESPN
Certainly, none of Rodgers' statistical measures rank near the top of his career, with his yards per attempt, completion percentage, and passer rating as the lowest of any season as a starter.

Packers offense can't make the big play |
Green Bay had 17 plays of 40+ yards last year, but just seven this year, which is tied for the fewest in the NFL.

Washington & Green Bay capable of scary good (or bad) offense | Football by Football
Brady Poppinga looks at the reasons why both teams' offenses can succeed or struggle on Sunday afternoon.

For Packers, it’s fourth down and out |
To make matters worse, the Packers went for six fourth downs against Minnesota, converting three of them. And only two of the last 41 teams to go for five or more fourth downs in a single game have won.

Former Wisconsin product among Packers tryouts |
That former Badger was defensive lineman Ethan Hemer, who worked out in a group of several linemen before signing William Campbell to the practice squad.

Browns hire 'Moneyball' executive Paul DePodesta to run their football team -
DePodesta was Billy Beane's right hand man with the Oakland Athletics starting in 1999, and has worked in several baseball organizations before making this jump to the NFL.