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Cheese Curds, 9/27: Packers are struggling with the run on both sides of the ball

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The Packers haven’t done a great job running the football, but is that really a cause for concern?

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers’ schemes and personnel do not seem to lend themselves to making the team a classic power running or stalwart run defending squad. Lining up with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback means that every run is a play that takes the football out of his hands, while the defense has seen more investment in the pass rush and secondary than on interior front seven defenders.

Still, there are reasons to be concerned about the running game on both sides. First, the defense is allowing 4.5 yards per carry, though most of the damage there was done by the Atlanta Falcons’ excellent running backs. However, the Bears feature a dynamic duo of their own who are probably looking forward to Thursday’s matchup.

Then there is the offense, which has seen Ty Montgomery take around 90% of the snaps through three games with abysmal production on the ground. Montgomery has not had a carry longer than eight yards yet this year, and though the offensive line’s constant flow of injuries is a factor, it’s likely time to get rookies Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, and Devante Mays involved a bit.

We have those items and more in today’s curds, including a call from Rodgers himself to fans about the conversations around the national anthem. Click, read, and enjoy!

Aaron Rodgers calls for fans to link arms like players |
Rodgers and the Packers' players linked arms during the national anthem on Sunday against Cincinnati, and they plan to do so again on Thursday while asking fans in attendance to join them and to focus on the message that the players are trying to send: "This is about equality. this is about unity and love and growing together as a society."

Packers' nitro defense will be tested by Bears' running back duo - ESPN
The Packers have been inconsistent in run defense so far this year, perhaps due in part to the heavy use of safeties in the box. With Bears running backs Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard -- appropriately nicknamed the Joystick and the Rumble Pack -- on deck, it will be a tough task for the defense to hold up with just those two-man fronts.

Packers lacking opportunities and efficiency in run game | Packers Wire
Meanwhile, the Packers' offense is struggling far more with the run, having attempted just 16 conventional runs per game and getting no big plays on the ground. Admittedly, several APC writers (this one among them) hold the belief that establishing the run is overrated when you have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, but it would be nice to at least see a couple of big gains.

Kentrell Brice thankful he didn’t injure groin worse in Atlanta |
The Packers’ de facto starting strong safety pulled up with tightness on the first play of the game in week two, but he was one of the players who practiced in full on Tuesday and he should be ready to go for Thursday’s game.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 4: Titans hit top five; Steelers plunge -
The Packers dropped three spots in the power rankings on for some reason; the only explanation I can think of is that they're factoring in the continued injuries on the offensive line.