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49ers LB Aaron Lynch among NFL Leaders in Sacks, Tackles for Loss

Early on in Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Lynch broke through the line of scrimmage and thought he had a clear run at Aaron Rodgers.

The reigning NFL MVP, however, got rid of the ball before Lynch could finish the play. A brief conversation between the players ensued.

"I was like, 'Hey, let me eat. Let me get some sacks,'" Lynch relayed to reporters on Thursday.

Rodgers response? "No, I can't let you do that."

The interaction meant a lot to Lynch, who, like the rest of the league, has great respect for what Rodgers has accomplished in the NFL.

"Most guys in that type of starlight push you away because they're better than you," Lynch said. "But he came off like it didn't matter that he is the star. It was cool having fun with a guy like that."

Lynch ended up "eating" quite a bit on the day. He sacked Rodgers twice and finished the game with four tackles for loss. The second-year linebacker credited his fellow pass-rushers for helping open lanes for him.

"Ahmad (Brooks) was getting back there, the interior guys were getting back there, so they were setting me up to get free and come through," Lynch said. "And that's what happened."

Lynch has delivered an impressive start to his sophomore campaign. Through four games, he is tied for third in the league with seven tackles for loss trailing only J.J. Watt (11) of the Houston Texans and Aaron Donald (9) of the St. Louis Rams. This after Lynch tied for the team lead in sacks as a rookie with six.

"Aaron's a good player. He's really talented, he's smart, he's tough and he's got a high motor," defensive coordinator Eric Mangini said. "He is young though, so there's a lot of things he's seeing for the first time, especially out of base because he played more nickel last year.

"I've liked him though since last season. And he and I've talked a lot about it. As he experiences things and understands how the defense works together, he's got a great upside."

This week, as the 49ers prepare to visit the New York Giants on "Sunday Night Football," both Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning mentioned Lynch as an impact player they've noticed on film.

"Run or pass, he's a factor," Coughlin said.

"You see 59 showing up some and getting some sacks," Manning added. "He's playing some good football."

Lynch could be even more valuable to the 49ers in New York if Brooks misses the game. The veteran outside linebacker is dealing with a family matter and has been excused from team activities this week.

"Ahmad is a Pro Bowler; he's a great player," Lynch said. "Our backups are good, too, but Ahmad to other teams is one of those veterans they come into a game strategizing against. … I'll do what I need to do for the team."

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