SAN FRANCISCO–This one went down to the wire, but Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers scored another win over the Packers, 34-28.
Down 24-21 with 10:56 to play and 76 yards away from victory, Aaron Rodgers began a drive that would put the Packers into the lead. The big play was a 37-yard, toe-tap reception by Jordy Nelson, and then rookie running back Eddie Lacy went over the top for a touchdown from two yards out that staked the Packers to a 28-24 lead.
A 27-yard field goal by the 49ers’ Phil Dawson to start the fourth quarter broke a 21-21 tie.
Kaepernick and the 49ers roared back following Lacy’s touchdown run. Kaepernick completed a 43-yard pass to Anquan Boldin and then running back Kendall Hunter turned right end for 23 yards to the Packers 9-yard line.
Frank Gore burst up the middle for 7 yards to the 2-yard line, from where Gore scored on the next play, and the 49ers had regained the lead, 31-28.
The ball was back in Rodgers’ court with 5:47 to play and the Packers starting at their 9-yard line. On third-and-four, and with the game potentially on the line, Rodgers eluded the rush but threw incomplete, forcing a punt by Tim Masthay.
Kaepernick faced a third-and-four and converted with a pass to Vernon Davis. The 49ers were now in control of the clock and began exhausting the Packers’ times out. The Packers spent their final time out with the 49ers facing fourth-and-two with 3:00 to play. When Kaepernick completed a third-down pass that put him over 400 yards passing for the game, the Packers were running out of time. Dawson eventually kicked a field goal with :26 to play.
Kaepernick completed 27 of 39 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns. Rodgers was 21 of 36 for 333 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
In what turned out to be a shootout between Rodgers and Kaepernick, the big difference between this game and the 49ers’ win over the Packers in January was the Packers defense’s ability to stop the 49ers running game in this game.
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Consecutive passes from Colin Kaepernick to Anquan Boldin to start the second half moved the 49ers across midfield. On a blitz, Kaepernick sidestepped the rush and threw to Boldin for 30 yards. From the Packers 16, Frank Gore ran hard up the middle for five yards to the 11.
Boldin made the catch of the game on the next play, one-handing a bullet from Kaepernick at the 2-yard line. On the next play, the Packers bought the play-action fake, which left Vernon Davis wide open in the end zone. The 49ers led, 21-14, with 9:46 to play.
In what’ve been a turning point in the game, the Packers followed the 49ers’ touchdown drive with a three-and-out that barely ate up two minutes of the clock. The 49ers began their next possession at their 35-yard with 7:41 left to play in the third quarter. The Packers defense quickly forced a punt.
Aaron Rodgers moved the ball into scoring range. It’s important to note that his offensive line gave him ample time to find open receivers.
On second and 10, Rodgers found Cobb over the middle for 18 yards, and Rodgers followed that with a touchdown strike to Jordy Nelson that tied the game at 21-21.
Back stormed Kaepernick. A 37-yard pass to Davis put the ball at the Packers 26. The Packers defense continued to throttle the 49ers running game, but when Kaepernick was able to allude the rush on third-and-nine and scramble 15 yards for a first down, the 49ers were knocking on the door, again.
That’s when Clay Matthews stuffed the read option, tackled Kaepernick for a 7-yard loss and forced third and long at the start of the fourth quarter.
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SAN FRANCISCO–The Packers rallied for a 14-14 tie with the 49ers at halftime of Sunday’s season opener at Candlestick Park.
With the score tied, 7-7, the Packers defense forced a punt early in the second quarter, but rookie running back Eddie Lacy fumbled on first down and the 49ers recovered the ball at the Packers 14-yard line. The fumble is reminiscent of Jeremy Ross’ fumble of a punt near his goal line in the January playoff game.
On a key third-and-one at the 5-yard line, the 49ers were flagged for illegal procedure. Frank Gore had rushed to the 3-yard line for what appeared to be a first and goal. The Packers had the 49ers stopped until Clay Matthews was flagged for a late hit on Kaepernick, but an ensuing dead-ball foul on the 49ers canceled Matthews’ penalty and caused the down to be replayed.
That was no problem for Kaepernick, who used the down-over play to pitch a 10-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin on a quick slant. Safety Jerron McMillian whiffed on the tackle attempt. The 49ers led, 14-7.
Packers safety Morgan Burnett is inactive with a hamstring injury.
The Packers began a drive at their 13 later in the quarter. A 22-yard completion fron Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson moved the ball across midfield. That’s when lightning struck the Packers in the form of a pass that bounced out of tight end Jermichael Finley’s hands and into the hands of 49ers rookie safety Eric Reid. Reid returned the interception to the Packers 3-yard line, where Rodgers made the saving tackle.
Automatic replay review, however, determined Reid had been touched down by Finley at the 49ers 44-yard line, with 4:28 to play in the first half.
Kaepernick immediately went to work. He threw a 22-yard completion to Boldin. Two plays later, however, Kaepernick was sacked by Matthews, forcing a third-and-18 on the first play inside the two-minute warning. Phil Dawson eventually missed wide to the left on a 48-yard field goal attempt, leaving the Packers with outstanding field position at their 38-yard line.
A pass to Finley and a roughing-the-passer penalty moved the ball to the 49ers 35-yard line with 1:24 to play. Guard Josh Sitton, however, was flagged for his third foul of the half, which helped create a third-and-20 from the 49ers 45. The Packers got a break when an offside penalty negated a Rodgers interception, and on third and 15 Nelson caught a pass along the sideline, broke a tackle and got the first down.
Rodgers found Nelson, again, this time over the middle at 15 with :42 to play in the half. John Kuhn converted a third-and-one and Rodgers followed that play with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Finley, who broke a tackle.
Rodgers was 14 of 23 for 203 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Kaepernick was 13 of 19 for 163 yards and two touchdowns. The Packers defense held the 49ers to 16 yards rushing.
Time of possession could become an issue in the second half, as the 49ers enjoy a seven-minute TOP advantage on a warm day.
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Quarterback Colin Kaepernick pitched a 20-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis with 2:52 remaining in the quarter to break a scoreless tie. The touchdown pass capped a 13-play, 83-yard drive in which the 49ers converted a couple of third-and-short plays with runs by Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. Kaepernick completed six of seven pass attempts in the drive. Davis beat safety M.D. Jennings for the touchdown.
The Packers responded inmmediately, Aaron Rodgers moving the Packers into 49ers territory with a 31-yard pass completion to wide receiver Jordy Nelson. That was followed by an adeptly called screen pass to Eddie Lacy that gained 31 yards to the 49ers 5-yard line.
Two plays later, Rodgers threw to wide receiver Randall Cobb in the right flat, and Cobb was able to reach the ball over the goal line. The drive covered 80 yards in six plays.
Through one quarter of play, Kaepernick had scrambled one time for a harmless eight yards. He did far more damage with his arm, throwing for 79 yards and one touchdown.
Rodgers completed seven of 10 passes for 116 yards. Lacy rushed four times for 1 yard, but his screen-pass reception and run was one of the big plays of the first quarter.
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The following players have been declared as inactive for this afternoon’s Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers game.
Green Bay Packers
29 CB Casey Hayward
42 S Morgan Burnett
51 LB Nate Palmer
58 LB Sam Barrington
65 G Lane Taylor
86 TE Brandon Bostick
93 DE Josh Boyd
With Burnett out, 22 S Jerron McMillian and 43 S M.D. Jennings will be the two starting safeties.
San Francisco 49ers
5 QB B.J. Daniels
13 WR Chris Harper
23 RB LaMichael James
48 FB/DT Will Tukuafu
56 LB Nate Stupar
78 G Joe Looney
84 WR Jon Baldwin
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The scene before Sunday’s kickoff at Candlestick Park All is quiet before the action starts in San Francisco
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* Press box notes written by Packers public relations
PACKERS OPEN SEASON IN SAN FRANCISCO FOR THE FIRST TIME
- Green Bay kicks off its 95th season in team history, and 93rd as a member of the National Football League, by visiting San Francisco in Week 1 for the first time in franchise history.
- It marks the second consecutive year that the Packers have opened their season against the 49ers (at Lambeau Field in 2012), the first time Green Bay has faced the same opponent in Week 1 in consecutive seasons since it squared off with the Chicago Bears in three straight season openers from 1979-81.
- Outside of the last two seasons, the only other time the Packers and 49ers played each other in Week 1 came in 1976 at Green Bay.
- Today’s matchup will feature two of the three teams in the NFL to have won 24 or more regular-season games over the past two years. Since 2011, Green Bay has a 26-6 mark (.813) in the regular season, No. 1 in the league over that span. San Francisco is 24-7-1 (.765) since ’11, No. 3 in the NFL behind only the Packers and New England (25-7, .781).
- According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this will be the first Week 1 matchup since 1991 featuring two teams that have won 24-plus games over the previous two regular seasons. On Sept. 2, 1991, San Francisco (28 wins from 1989-90) visited the N.Y. Giants (25 wins from 1989-90) in Week 1 on Monday Night Football.
- This will be the third matchup between the two clubs in the last 12 months, with the teams meeting last year on Sept. 9 in Green Bay and also in a NFC Divisional playoff contest on Jan. 12, 2013, in San Francisco.
- Green Bay enters today’s contest having won nine of the last 10 regular-season meetings against the 49ers. Including the playoffs, the Packers have won 13 of the last 16 against San Francisco.
- Under Head Coach Mike McCarthy, the Packers have won five of their last six season openers, which is tied for the No. 2 mark in the NFL with Baltimore over that span behind only New England (6-0 since 2007).
- That included five straight Week 1 wins from 2007-11, which made McCarthy the only head coach in franchise history to accomplish that feat.
- Green Bay has 52 wins on Kickoff Weekend, second most in NFL history behind only the Chicago Bears (53 victories in Week 1).
- This will mark just the second time in McCarthy’s eight seasons (2006-13) that the Packers have opened their season away from Lambeau Field. The only other instance over that span was in 2010 at Philadelphia.
- Opening on the road has been a rare occurrence dating back even further. Since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, the Packers have opened their season at home 32 times while opening on the road just 12 times. Since 1986, 23 of Green Bay’s season openers have been at home, making today’s game just the fifth time in the past 28 years that the Packers have gone on the road to start their season.
- Although this will only be the second time under McCarthy (2010 at Philadelphia) that the Packers have played away from Lambeau Field in Week 1, they have had success in their first road contest of the season.
- Green Bay has won its first road game in six of seven seasons under McCarthy, with last season at Seattle in Week 3 the lone exception.
- The Packers have an all-time record of 53-37-2 (.596) in road openers, the most wins and third-best winning percentage in the NFL.
- With a six-game winning streak in the first road game of the season from 2006-11, McCarthy joined Vince Lombardi (eight straight, 1960-67) as the only coaches in team history to win six or more consecutive road openers.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- Over the past four seasons (2009-12), Green Bay posted a 9-4 record (.692) in the month of September, which was tied for No. 2 in the league over that span behind only Baltimore (10-3, .769).
- The Packers are 11-5 (.688) on the road over the past two seasons, which is tied for No. 2 in the NFL behind only New England (12-4, .750).
- Green Bay turned the ball over seven times on the road last season, tied for the fewest giveaways in the league away from home in 2012.
- Including their two playoff games in 2012, the Packers have scored TDs on 17 of their last 20 trips (85.0 percent) inside the red zone.
- QB Aaron Rodgers has not thrown an interception in 144 consecutive passing attempts in the regular season, the longest current streak in the NFL. His career-long streak is 181 passes without an INT in 2010. Rodgers has not had a two-INT game in 39 straight regular-season starts, the longest streak in NFL history since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
- In three career regular-season starts against the 49ers, Rodgers has completed 83 of 119 passes (69.7 percent) for 945 yards and seven TDs with one interception for a 109.4 passer rating. He has also rushed for 79 yards on 16 carries (4.9 avg.) in those three contests.
- Over the last two seasons, Rodgers has completed 369 of 550 passes (67.1 percent) for 43 TDs and five INTs for a 116.2 passer rating on the road. That passer rating is the best by a QB in NFL history on the road over a two-season span (min. 300 attempts).
- WR Randall Cobb is the only player in NFL history to score on a kick return (kickoff or punt) in Week 1 of each of his first two seasons in the league. Cobb scored on a 108-yard kickoff return vs. New Orleans in the 2011 opener and on a 75-yard punt return vs. San Francisco in Week 1 of 2012.
- TE Jermichael Finley needs five catches to move past No. 3 Ed West (202) on the all-time franchise list for tight ends and 110 receiving yards to move past No. 2 Ron Kramer (2,594). In his last three regular-season games, Finley has caught 18 passes for 203 yards (11.3 avg.).
- In two games against San Francisco last season, LB Clay Matthews registered 3.5 sacks.
- WR James Jones has caught 18 passes for 222 yards (12.3 avg.) and five TDs in his last three regular-season games. He has caught at least one TD pass in three consecutive regular-season contests, which matches his career high.
- In two games against the 49ers last season, P Tim Masthay posted a 47.7-yard average and a 43.7-yard net average on 10 punts, with six of those punts placed inside the 20-yard line.
- With a start today, T David Bakhtiari would become just the fourth Green Bay rookie to start at left tackle in a season opener since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger (Bill Bain, 1975; Mark Koncar, 1976; Ken Ruettgers, 1985).
- With a start this afternoon, RB Eddie Lacy would become just the third Green Bay rookie to start a season opener at running back since the merger (John Brockington, 1971; Brandon Jackson, 2007).
As per team tradition, the Packers select game captains each week.
- Today’s captains will be QB Aaron Rodgers (offense), DT B.J. Raji (defense) and P Tim Masthay (special teams).
WEARING THE STRIPES
Today’s officiating crew includes referee Bill Leavy (127), umpire Ruben Fowler (71), head linesman John McGrath (5), line judge Mark Perlman (9), field judge Jimmy Buchanan (86), side judge Keith Parham (87) and back judge Keith Ferguson (61).
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The Green Bay Packers landed at San Francisco International Airport Saturday afternoon. The team continues to prepare for its regular season opener vs. the 49ers on Sunday.
The Packers have landed.
The Packers board buses after landing in San Francisco.
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San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and QB Colin Kaepernick were made available to the media via conference call Wednesday. To listen to Harbaugh and Kaepernick talk about Sunday’s season opener in San Francisco, click on the links below.
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