Quick Take: Niners-Packers

In Brief

» Last meeting: Donald Driver had nine receptions for 160 yards as the Packers beat the Niners, 30-19, on Dec. 10, 2006.
» Streaks: Green Bay has won six in a row against San Francisco and has a 32-26-1 overall series edge, including the playoffs.
» Last week: The Packers got an outstanding effort from their defense in a 17-7 win over the Cowboys. ... On NFL Network, the Niners intercepted Jay Cutler five times to beat the Bears, 10-6.

Keep your eye on ...Alex Smith's decision-making: Led by veteran cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Al Harris, the Packers have one of the league's best pass defenses. They are fourth in the NFL with 13 interceptions and eighth overall in pass defense. Smith is known for his carelessness with the ball, but he can't force the ball against Green Bay's savvy secondary.

Patrick Willis' energy: San Francisco's defense feeds off Willis' inspired play at the middle linebacker spot. He figures to have an even bigger impact this week, given how often the Packers work the middle of the field in the passing game. His ability to make a momentum-changing play or two could give the Niners the boost they need to win on the road.

Aaron Rodgers' patience: While quarterbacks are often commended for holding onto the ball until the last possible second to give their receivers a chance to get open, Rodgers has taken that concept a bit too far at times this year. His refusal to throw the ball away or take a checkdown has led to sacks and mistakes.

Did you know?

This game features the first two quarterbacks selected in the 2005 NFL Draft. ... Niners RB Frank Gore has a rushing TD in three consecutive games. ... Packers LB Clay Matthews ranks second among rookies with four sacks.

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