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Cheese Curds, 10/25: How do you solve a problem like Aaron Donald?

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The last time the Packers played the Rams, they held Donald without a sack. That was three years ago, and Donald has come a long way since then.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

When the Green Bay Packers take the field on Sunday, they will do so against a Los Angeles Rams defense that ranks 10th overall in DVOA. However, that ranking was recently boosted by a big game against a bad offense — the San Francisco 49ers — as the team ranked 17th just a week prior.

In other words, we’re not entirely sure just yet what that defense is. But one thing is certain: it has the most disruptive interior pass-rusher in all of football. Aaron Donald is a beast, who beat the 49ers offensive line up and down the field last Sunday. His eight sacks are tied for the league lead across all positions, and he has taken to his role as a 3-technique rusher in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense with alacrity, winning Defensive Player of the Year honors last season.

So what do you do about Donald? One answer is to keep the game close and run the football. The Rams rank just 24th in rushing DVOA, but they have the second-fewest rushing attempts against on defense in the league. That means that although teams are successful running the football, they can’t do it often because they’re down big early on.

If the Packers’ run game can get going early, they have a good chance of keeping up with Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and the rest of the Rams’ offense. If not, Donald will be harassing Aaron Rodgers all day long.

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