Jay Cutler threw five interceptions the last time he played. Aaron Rodgers has thrown five interceptions all season. The flip side, however, is that Rodgers tends to take sacks. A lot of them. His tendency to hang on to the ball this season, coupled with a dinged up Packers offensive line, has added up to a league-worst 41 sacks this season.
It's the kind of situation that has 49ers' outside linebackers Parys Haralson (one sack) and Manny Lawson (one and half sacks) dreaming about boosting their statistics. Lawson said that on a normal pass play, he and his fellow pass rushers figure they have four seconds to find the quarterback before he gets rid of the ball. Rodgers tends to have it for a few more ticks.
"He holds the ball a little bit," Lawson said. "That gives us a little bit more time to get to him. He's holding the ball for a reason because (he thinks) a play's going to open up downfield."
The 49ers have 17 sacks on the season, tying them with the Bills, Lions and Buccaneers for 23rd in the league. Still, defensive coordinator Greg Manusky today noted that his defenders still have managed to pressure the quarterback.
"Even though the quarterback is not sacked, we are looking at that all the time," Manusky said. "We want to get as much pressure on him as possible and sometimes those are just as good as a sack because sometimes he throws it not in the right spot, which is great for us."
As for Rodgers, he rejected the notion that he was trading interceptions for sacks. "I think my history as a quarterback has been (one of) taking care of the football and not throwing a lot of interceptions. You can go back to junior college and then to Cal and my time here with Green Bay. I feel like I'm pretty smart with the ball and make good decisions. I think it's more that than taking a sack to avoid interceptions."
Takeo Spikes (hamstring) did not take part in today's practice, and it seems increasingly likely that Matt Wilhelm will play "ted" instead. Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin was given the day off from practice ... The early forecast is that Joe Staley (knee) will return to the lineup before Nate Clements (shoulder). Clements' shoulder fracture is more severe than Brandon Jones' was ...
-- Matt Barrows