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Wednesday Cheese Curds: Packers, 49ers have familial link in both blood and football

It’s LaFleur vs Shanahan and LaFleur on Sunday. Can the Packers coach outwit them both?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The learner gets to take on the master in San Francisco on Sunday.

Oh and his brother as well.

Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur rose through the ranks of the NFL coaching hierarchy attached at the hip to San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. LaFleur and Shanahan worked together in Washington, Houston and Atlanta before LaFleur joined Sean McVay in Los Angeles while Shanahan assumed control of the 49ers.

LaFleur’s offensive system is a version of Shanahan’s, whose own offense spun off the version his father Mike ran in Denver and Washington. To say both head coaches facing off on Sunday night football know each other is an understatement. It will be the ultimate game of chess that will push LaFleur’s coaching acumen to the max.

Shanahan does perhaps have one advantage of the Green Bay head coach and that is LaFleur’s bother Mike who serves as the 49ers’ passing game coordinator. It was rumored Mike LaFleur was interested in joining brother Matt on the Green Bay staff, but Shanahan blocked the move. Matt LaFleur moved into and chose Nathaniel Hackett as his offensive coordinator instead.

Sunday’s game will be full of connections both familial and otherwise and if LaFleur left Shanahan as the learner and is now the master will determine whether or not the Packers take sole possession of first place in the NFC.

Now for today’s curds

Packers coach ready to battle his brother and 49ers—The Mercury News

Matt LaFleur’s wife and kids will be staying at brother Mike’s house leading up to the game on Sunday night. Those might be some awkward conversations at dinner.

49ers present problems on both sides of the ball—

Don’t let the 49ers middling DVOA ranking on offense fool you (17th). They have a rushing attack that will once again test Green Bay’s weak run defense and Jimmy Garoppolo can heat up at any moment even if he hasn’t played at a high level consistently.

Kenny Clark was Packers’ quiet disruptor against Carolina—

Kenny Clark (doo doo doo doo doo doo) returned to form against the Panthers after facing some injuries as well as an increased amount of double teams. This could be good news for the struggling run defense.

Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith both rank in top 10 of pass rush win rate—Packers Wire

This just in: The Smith Bros. are good at football.

The ducks have won’: French court says they may keep on quacking—Reuters

I don’t think that amount of noise is all it’s quacked up to be, honestly. I’d just duck and cover when nearby.