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Packers-49ers post-game notes & quotes

Posted by Duke Bobber on September 9, 2012 – 8:51 pm

PACKERS FALL TO 49ERS IN SEASON OPENER
– Green Bay lost to San Francisco, 30-22, on Sunday at Lambeau Field. It marks the first time since 2006 that the Packers lost their season opener.
– Sunday’s loss snapped the Packers’ 13-game regular-season home winning streak. That is tied for the fourth-longest winning streak at home in franchise history.
– The Packers will host the division-rival Chicago Bears on Thursday night at Lambeau Field at 7:20 p.m. (CDT).

OTHER POST-GAME NOTES:
– Today’s paid attendance was 70,523. It was the 303rd consecutive sellout (286 regular season, 17 playoffs) at Lambeau Field.
– WR Randall Cobb’s 75-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter was the third kick return for a score in his career (two punts, one kickoff). That ties him with six other players for the second most in franchise history (Travis Williams, six).
– Cobb posted career highs in receptions (nine) and receiving yards (77). His previous single-game highs in the respective categories were four catches (at Kansas City, Dec. 18, 2011) and 75 yards (vs. Denver, Oct. 2, 2011).
– QB Aaron Rodgers threw a TD pass in his 30th consecutive regular-season game at home, further extending his franchise record. It is also the longest current streak in the league.
– With 303 yards passing on Sunday, Rodgers registered his 23rd career regular-season game with 300-plus passing yards.
– DB Charles Woodson registered 1.5 sacks, his second-best single-game performance behind a two-sack outing vs. Seattle (Sept. 30, 2001) when he was with the Oakland Raiders.
– Woodson appeared in his 200th career regular-season game on Sunday.
– LB Clay Matthews posted 2.5 sacks, the seventh time in his career (regular season) that he posted two-plus sacks. It was his most in a single game since he recorded three sacks vs. Buffalo on Sept. 19, 2010.

GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY:
(on what slowed down the offense, particularly in the first half) “Well, when you look at the first half, the one glaring statistic next to the punts were the penalties. Nine penalties in the first half, very difficult to overcome that. So that was part of our struggles. The 49ers defense is a very good defense. We knew that going into today. We knew they were going to be a challenge. The game went a little differently than we would have liked it to. I’d like to have more production in the run game. I thought the 49ers defense played with favorable sticks more than we did, as far as the down and distance. But with that, I thought Aaron did a good job of handling the distortion, particularly in the first half.”

(on failing to establish RB Cedric Benson and the running game) “We didn’t run it very well. Give credit to their run defense. We wanted to get into a run-play mix there early with the no huddle offense. I thought Aaron did a good job with that. But yes, the production definitely wasn’t there. A 2.0 (average), that’s not good enough. That’s not what we’re looking for.”

(on whether the 49ers were able to mix run and pass to keep the defense off balance) “It wasn’t a surprise. That’s something that both teams had a chance to evaluate in the offseason. I think some people thought San Francisco would be more spread out, more vertical. That wasn’t the case. They did a good job with their ball-control passing game underneath with the completion throws. Frankly, it comes down to execution. We’ll take a look at their play call versus our defensive call, our play call against their defensive play call. That’s all part of the game evaluation. But it goes on through the game. You make adjustments. They did a good job on offense.”

(on whether he was disappointed in the inability to stop the 49ers on key running plays) “Definitely. I mean, we didn’t win the down enough in the run game. I thought they did a good job with the toss-crack scheme, getting the ball to the perimeter. As far as our support and our fits, I thought both running backs did a very good job of being patient, sorting it out. I thought there was some very good running on those particular plays when we did have the chance to turn it back and they got back inside and back outside. They were well executed. But hey, we’re going to see it again. I’m sure we’ll see it Thursday night.”

PACKERS QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS:
(on his thoughts on the game) “Disappointed. Two plays in particular that I made. You don’t expect them to make a 63-yard field goal, but if I just slide there (and) keep the clock running, they’ve got to use a timeout and probably don’t get a field goal off. I’m disappointed about that. I’m mad about the interception…Greg (Jennings) thought he was wide open. That jolted me and I made a snap decision, which I usually don’t do.”

(on their lack of ability to run the ball) “They’re tough up front. They’ve got a great front seven. We had some good looks to run the ball on the first couple drives, but didn’t get a whole lot done. Then we went with some of our four wide receiver personnel trying to get (Randall) Cobb matched up in a positive situation. That was the direction we went after that.”

(on whether it seemed like it wasn’t their day with the penalties and mistakes) “I still feel good about what we had going there in the second half. We had a few mistakes, but some of the penalties were definitely a little bizarre.”

(on what contributed to their offensive struggles) “They’ve got a great defense, you’ve got to give them credit. They’ve got some of the top guys in the league at their position. They made some good plays, good adjustments, disguised some coverages. We didn’t have the opportunity to take a lot of shots downfield, but when we did, they made some plays on it and we missed a couple third downs there we probably should have had to keep drives going.”

(on the left side of the Packers offensive line) “They played great. Justin (Smith) had one tackle, I think, in the stats. Aldon (Smith) was active, but the sack he got was when I was outside the pocket, so Marshall (Newhouse) did a great job, T.J. (Lang), the whole line did a good job. To be in the shotgun that many times and to play a defensive front like that with four big-time pass rushers…and then they bring in (Patrick) Willis or (NaVorro) Bowman at times, I thought they held up really good.”

(on how frustrating the officiating was) “I think there were calls on both sides that were interesting. A couple of the plays were either no calls that should have been calls or not the correct call.”

(on WR Randall Cobb’s expanded role) “That’s what we’ve been talking a lot about. He’s a big-time player, a great punt returner obviously. We’re going to try to find ways to get him matched up on positive mismatches for him out there. The more opportunities we can give him in space, there’s a lot of good plays out there he had.”

(on whether he’s glad to have a short week after a game like this) “Yeah, hopefully everybody’s healthy and we come out of this without anybody missing a lot of time. It definitely helps (to have a) short week with, Chicago, common opponent, another home game. We’ve got to play better next week.”

(on if this is a sobering loss given the high expectations) “It’s one game. This is a team that was in the NFC Championship last year. It’s a good team. Hopefully we see them down the road in the playoffs.”

PACKERS TACKLE BRYAN BULAGA:
(on the 49ers defense) “That’s a good defense. They fly around, they do different things, and we just didn’t play well enough to beat them.”

(on starting the season with a loss) “Obviously we don’t want to start it out with a loss here, but we’ve got to turn around and play in four days on Thursday. Learn from this one, move on, and get ready to go Thursday.”

PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER RANDALL COBB:
(on the slow start on offense) “I don’t know. We didn’t start off as fast as we planned and we didn’t do some of the things we planned to do. We were playing against a great defense. They got some turnovers and made it tough for the offense to move the ball.”

(on his punt return for a touchdown) “I just saw the field open up to the wide side and just tried racing to the sidelines. I got three good blocks on the way. I saw the flag and I was hoping they didn’t call it, and luckily they didn’t.”

(on when he knew he was going to score) “When I (saw) the kicker I knew I had chance if I could set the kicker up and beat the kicker. You’re taught as a returner that if you get tackled by the kicker then you’ve got some problems, so I was just trying to do everything I could to get to the end zone.”

(on being more involved on offense) “Like I’ve always said, whenever I get the opportunity, I’m going to try and take advantage of those opportunities and hopefully continue to do that and continue to have success.”

(on the 49ers defense) “They’re a great defense. They got pressure on the quarterback, they played a lot of man coverage and didn’t leave us much space to work.”

(on not protecting Lambeau Field) “It’s tough. You want to win all your games, regardless if it’s home or away, but definitely at home you want to come out and start the season out fast and protect your home turf. We didn’t do that tonight. We didn’t do the things we need to do to win.”

PACKERS LINEBACKER AJ HAWK:
(on starting the season with a loss) “We’ve been working for a while now leading up to this game and for it to turn out like this wasn’t in our game plan. Give (the 49ers) credit – they’re a good team and they played really well today.”

(on the defense’s performance) “At times I think we did a good job getting to the quarterback, getting off the field on third down and we stopped the run a few times. But for the most part when they really needed it they found a way to run the ball on us, and any coach from any level will tell you that to win a game you’ve got to stop the run first. We didn’t get that done today.”

(on having to play from behind) “I never felt like we were out of it. With how good our offense is, you’re always in the game. We were never down, we never felt like, ‘Hey this thing’s over.’”

(on the penalties) “I don’t know how the numbers stacked up, but there were a lot on both sides of the ball. Regardless of refs, (the 49ers) beat us. I think early in the season most games seem to have more penalties than they do later in the year for whatever reason.”

(on the quick turnaround) “This is good for us that after a game like this we get to get right back on the field Thursday night. Definitely not what we wanted today, but I think as a team when you lose you want to get back out on the field and take it to them. So we’re ready for Thursday. I’d go play tomorrow. I feel good, and I think everyone on this team feels the same way.”

PACKERS LINEBACKER CLAY MATTHEWS
(on the defense’s performance) “There were a lot of bright spots, but at the same time there were some mistakes that we need to improve on. Obviously the penalties, the big plays, we’re always trying to improve upon that. I think you saw us get after the quarterback a little more and improve upon some things from last year. As with any opening game there’s a lot of room for improvement.”

(on trying to make a statement after how last season ended) “It’s a fresh slate. Obviously last year we didn’t end the way in which we wanted to, but this was a good team coming in here to our backyard so we knew it would be a big win for us and unfortunately we came up short.”

PACKERS DEFENSIVE BACK CHARLES WOODSON
(on how he feels about the defense after this game) “They put up 30 points, but I thought overall as a defense we made strides from where we were last year. We flew around. We got sacks today. We got to the quarterback. There were a couple plays here and there where we missed some assignments, but I come away from this game feeling really good about our team.”

(on playing the Bears on Thursday) “It’s going to be another tough game. That’s a team that’s gotten better over the offseason. They had a tough game today and they won. They’ll come in feeling good about what they’ve accomplished the first game of the season.”

(on losing the first game of the season) “It’s a loss. It’s the first game of the season and that’s really all it is. We’re 0-1, but I’m going to continue to say I’m encouraged about what we went out there and did today. We had some adversity out there and defensively, I feel good about our defense, I really do.”

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS HEAD COACH JIM HARBAUGH:
(on LB Patrick Willis sitting out in the dime package) “He’s a great football player, no doubt, and so is NaVorro (Bowman), they’re both tremendous, but that was a game-planning decision.”

(on QB Alex Smith’s patience today) “I thought he was great. All game he used his legs, his arm, his mind, his toughness. He was really efficient tonight, and he had a heck of a ball game.”

(on the run from QB Colin Kaepernick to set up Aker’s 63-yard field goal) “We put that play in for ‘Kaep’ with the quarterback draw. Kyle (Williams) set it up with the punt return, so a lot of good things had to happen, and then David Akers finished it off with that 63-yard field goal.”

(on his team’s fight) “The fight for 60 minutes was there, and it was probably our best game with our minds. Everything that those young men were called on to do out there today, they were just tremendously on it.”

(on WR Randy Moss) “He had a lot of juice, he blocked well and got open, and he was a great big target in there a couple times.”

(on if this game was an upset) “I consider it a great victory for us, and we’ll get back to preparing in what we believe in and that is preparing and working.”

49ERS KICKER DAVID AKERS:
(on his NFL record tying 63-yard field goal) “It was kind of one of those miracles, I think to be a part of. I didn’t think I hit it great enough. I made 61 in pregame and it felt pretty good if I could just get it there and strike it right. But, when I hit it I felt like I missed it. It was tracking alright, and as a kicker when you hit the goalpost it usually makes that horrific noise and then usually bounces back. This time it got the sweet bounce. I think this was definitely a once in a lifetime type of deal. It is one of those things that you will never forget.”

49ERS LINEBACKER NaVORRO BOWMAN
(on the interception) “I was just playing my coverage, knowing that I was protected over the top, I could bite on the run and I got back in Aaron’s window and he threw me one and it helped our offense convert on that quick touchdown that we got.”

(on the difficulty for he and Willis sitting out in different packages) “You put the work in week in and week out, me and Pat are in this thing together. It doesn’t matter who’s on the field, we are rooting for each other, and whenever he needs a breather and whenever I need a breather we’re there to help each other out.”

49ERS TIGHT END VERNON DAVIS:
(on his touchdown catch) “I didn’t make it happen on my own. It was all about the rest of the guys out there on the field. Delanie Walker is one of the key guys that people haven’t seen a lot of yet. People know he is explosive, he’s fast, just as fast as me. They have to respect him on certain plays. He had the post and came through. I came underneath the rest of the receivers and it was wide open.”

(on the offense) “We came into the game with the will to win attitude. We ran the ball well and we passed when we needed to. We made the plays. We made it happen.”

(on beating Green Bay) “Green Bay is phenomenal. They are a powerful team offensively. They have some things on defense to be really good. Charles Woodson is a good cover guy. This win shows the type of character that we have and what we wanted to accomplish today. We made a statement today.”

(on quarterback Alex Smith) “I think he went out and played with a lot of confidence. He didn’t back down. He was Alex Smith today. He did the same thing that he did last year to help us win.”

49ERS RUNNING BACK FRANK GORE:
(on his touchdown run) “The offensive line did a great job. Bruce Miller did a great job of screening me out. I am happy about the play. It was a good play call and I just read my blocks.”

(on the offense) “We have great coaches. They do a great job of game planning week to week. We are just going to keep working to get better. I am happy about the win, but we are going to keep working.”

49ERS QUARTERBACK ALEX SMITH
(on the game today) “I think we played good team football for 60 minutes. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but everyone was helping each other and executing. It’s tough to come in here on the road on opening day in a loud place, a lot of things against you and we were able to come out with the win.”

(On Coach Harbaugh talking about Alex using his mind well) “For me, just making good decisions and being smart with the football. It starts with that, and I think we did a good job of that tonight.”

(on the touchdown pass to WR Randy Moss) “We got what we were looking for and he blew open, I think his eyes lighted up bigger than mine and he made a great catch. I’m happy for him to get that touchdown out of the way now so he doesn’t have to deal with that.”

(on Aaron Rodgers’ support of him this week) “It’s humbling; you know he is arguably playing the quarterback position as well as it has ever been played. You look at last year, what he did numbers aside, just his play on the field and as good as he was last year, it’s humbling when a guy like that gives you a compliment.”

49ERS LINEBACKER PATRICK WILLIS:
(on linebacker NaVorro Bowman’s interception) “It was an amazing play. We had worked on that call all week. We hadn’t called it the whole game. We made a check on the play and it was thrown right to him. I felt like I got the interception myself because I was so excited. It couldn’t have come at a better time.”


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