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Cheese Curds, 11/13: Where did this Packers pass rush come from?

Green Bay suddenly — and rather shockingly — leads the league in sacks. How did this happen?

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

After a six-sack performance, the Green Bay Packers suddenly find themselves in a strange position. The team has 31 sacks, which is tied for the most in the NFL, and they lead the league in sack rate at just over 10 percent. That’s astounding for a team without a dominant edge rusher, and you can chalk these numbers up to a few specific reasons.

First, the interior rush has been really good, particularly with Kenny Clark leading the way. Second, Mike Pettine is picking and choosing when he calls blitzes, taking that number down a notch from his predecessor, Dom Capers. But when he does blitz, it’s effective, as the Packers have sacks from practically everywhere on defense.

Of course, the team has racked up big sack numbers against bad teams, young quarterbacks, and banged-up offensive lines. The true tests will be whether they can replicate those performances against healthy, veteran, mobile quarterbacks. But for now, there’s reason to feel optimistic that the sacks will keep coming.

Creativity, depth powering Packers’ pass rush |
The Packers have a whopping 15 different players with at least one sack this year, and you can thank Mike Pettine and his creative blitz packages for much of the success in that area.

Kenny Clark's 'sledgehammer' helps Packers to surprising sack lead - ESPN
Clark has 9.5 sacks in his last 14 games, which puts him in rare territory -- especially for an interior lineman. The team also awards a literal sledgehammer as an honor to the team's most "dominant" player on the defensive front, and Clark has kept that trophy for most of this season.

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst forcing his hand in personnel and it’s paying off | Packers Wire
He's actually forcing Mike McCarthy's hand, making him adjust to vacancies by either getting creative (in the secondary) or simply giving the damn ball to the team's best running back.

Jimmy Graham takes pride in run-blocking |
Graham was virtually a non-factor in the passing game on Sunday, but he was talking up his performance in the run game this week, particularly helping Aaron Jones out on some big runs.

Rashaad Penny prompts Seahawks to ride RB committee -
With Penny's big game on Sunday, the Seahawks suddenly have three productive running backs, along with Chris Carson and Mike Davis. The Packers can expect to see some of each of them on Thursday, provided that Carson is healthy enough to play.

Mystery pig lands in back of squad car after mad dash through streets | South Florida Sun Sentinel
The pig, who escaped from his as-yet unidentified home, spent over an hour in the back of a police car after finally being captured. The police have re-homed him to a nearby cattle farm until his owner can be found.