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Cheese Curds, 12/3: LaFleur among best 4th-down coaches; Packers varied snap cadence

One of the many strategies the Packers had to combat the Rams’ defensive front was mixing up Aaron Rodgers’ signals, and it seemed to work.

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Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers has been a master of drawing opposing players offsides in recent years, but that success has seemed to fall away a bit over the past season and a half. There are far fewer instances of free plays for the Green Bay Packers lately, while it seems that running the play clock down near zero on almost every play gives opposing pass-rushers a chance to get off the ball and time up the snap count.

But on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, the Packers varied up Rodgers’ traditional cadence quite a bit, and it yielded excellent results. It was noticeable even on the TV broadcast that there seemed to be more dummy calls around the snap, and it was just one of a handful of ways that the Packers and their coaching staff shook up their offense to help a battered offensive line hold up. Even better: the Packers didn’t have a single false start despite the changes!

That’s another example of good coaching by Matt LaFleur, who should be on the short list of candidates for the NFL’s Coach of the Year award. LaFleur is one of the more aggressive coaches in the NFL on fourth downs (most of the time), and that’s another area where he is able to create additional opportunities for his team.

Check out these items and more in today’s cheese curds.

How the Packers offense overcame mismatches in the trenches against the Rams – The Athletic
It was a lot of quick passing playcalls from Matt LaFleur that helped neutralize the Rams' defensive front, and varying Aaron Rodgers' snap cadence seemed to help keep them at bay as well.

How good is your NFL coach on fourth-down calls? We rank all 32 | ESPN
ESPN ranks LaFleur as second among active NFL coaches in his fourth-down decisions. We'll all remember last year's NFC Championship decision, but in general, he goes for it when the numbers suggest he should, and the Packers do a good job converting in those instances.

Rasul Douglas has been diamond during rough injury stretch for Packers | Packers.com
There are not enough digital words printed about Douglas' addition this year. Here are some more from Wes Hodkiewicz.

Analyzing Packers’ 2021 rookie class at the bye week | Packers Wire
Eric Stokes has of course played the most of any defensive rookie this season, and though he's not playing at a Pro Bowl level, he's acquitting himself very well for a first-year player. Royce Newman continues to struggle somewhat, but he was surely helped out by the changes in the cadence and offensive scheme on Sunday.

Why are there no good teams in the NFL this season? A statistical analysis – The Athletic
The title is hyperbolic, as author Arif Hasan admits, but it's true that this season does not have a dominant team. Power rankings are all over the place, Super Bowl odds are a mess, and there really doesn't seem to be a clear reason for this.

Maryland homeowner burned down house trying to fight snakes | WTOP News
It's the "Found a spider/snake/other scary animal in the house? Burn it down" joke come to life.