The scene before Sunday’s kickoff at Candlestick Park All is quiet before the action starts in San Francisco
Tags: #GBvsSF, san francisco 49ers, sideline pass
Posted in Packers.com Blog
* 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).
Tags: #GBvsSF, captains, press box notes, san francisco 49ers
Posted in Packers.com Blog
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.
Tags: #GBvsSF, san francisco 49ers
Posted in Packers.com Blog
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.
Tags: #GBvsSF, colin kaepernick, conference calls, jim harbaugh, san francisco 49ers
Posted in Packers.com Blog
Tags: #GBvsSF, instant replay, san francisco 49ers
Posted in Packers.com Blog
GREEN BAY PACKERS QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS:
Time of possession was obviously a problem, do you agree?
What does it feel like to lose a game like this?
“Well, it’s pretty frustrating, put a lot into this. Now I stand here and you realize that this is the last time that group is going to be together. It will be a different team next year. There will be additions, subtractions and that’s the most frustrating part. You spend a lot of time with those guys, you care about them, you care about this a lot and then to go out there and play like that it’s disappointing.”
How would you assess your performance on offense?
“We didn’t do enough on offense. We could have helped our defense out a little bit. They had a couple extra possessions there because of the punt return fumble and then the pick six. So our defense probably got a little tired out there but the second half we had a chance to run right into it. The touchdown there on the first possession would have put us in a good situation but came up short.”
On the deep ball to WR Jordy Nelson, on the post, what did you see on that play?
“Well the protection was really good I found most of the night and was just hanging in the pocket he was running the post. He said he was thinking I was going to get out of the pocket with starting flat and I was thinking he was going to take a high angle and that’s what happens when you’re not on the same page.”
I don’t know if you talked about this, but this is your first game as a player at Candlestick?
Second, there was excitement because of the fact that you are coming back home and all that?
“No, not really.”
How did you feel at half time?
“Yeah, we felt good. You know we gift wrapped them 14 points on two turnovers. In the game our defense was doing alright and in the second half we just didn’t score any points.”
Did you think this was a team that was going to win it all?
“This team? Yeah definitely.”
What was your impression of the QB Colin Kaepernick?
“He was running all over the field. He’s big, strong, athletic, throws the ball well and runs the ball extremely well. We didn’t really have a whole lot of answers for him.”
How are you feeling when it was 31-24 and getting the ball, and feeling like this is going to be a track meet back and forth between the teams?
“Yeah, we knew we’re going to have to score some points. I’m disappointed we couldn’t get any on that first drive of the second half, but we were able to come back and get a field goal and they go down and score and we knew that we probably were going to have to put up 38 points at least to win the game.”
GREEN BAY PACKERS CORNERBACK CASEY HAYWARD:
How did they game plan you? Were you hurt by an over-aggressive defense?
“I have to go back and watch the film. I don’t quite know. They played a real good game.”
You’ve had a really impressive rookie year. Now that’s it’s come to a finish, how do you feel about your season?
“I felt I did well. But week-in and week-out, our ultimate goal is the Super Bowl. But we fell short by a couple of games.”
Was it a question of you guys were there, but [QB Colin] Kaepernick made good plays despite good defense? Or was there anything scheme-wise?
“Probably all. He played good. They schemed us on some calls. But we missed some calls and plays as well.”
Did this game play a little too close to home like the way the first game played out?
“They just came out and hit us in the mouth. They just beat us tonight.”
GREEN BAY PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER GREG JENNINGS:
The time of possession did not work in your favor the first half. In the second half was it just hard to get anything sustained?
“We lost to a better team today. We established the momentum early with the interception and then we let them back in the game early. We knew it was going to be a dog fight. They came out in the second half and did whatever they wanted to do.”
This must sting because you guys know how good you are.
“We could say that for several years; ’07,’09, last year, and this year. It wasn’t meant to be. We lost to a better team today.”
Do you think about your future now that this game is over?
“It has been great. I love this organization. The reality is that there will probably be some changes made. Hopefully I stay here. If not I am ready to move wherever. It is what it is, I am not naïve to that. I am being a realist. I love this organization I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. If I have to that is what I have to do.
GREEN BAY PACKERS DEFENSIVE TACKLE B.J. RAJI:
What made it so hard to contain Colin Kaepernick today?
“You have to tip your hat sometimes when a guy like that at the quarterback position is consistently out running and flanking your defense and making huge plays.”
How tough is a loss like this to swallow?
“It is real tough. We have one goal every year and that is to win the Super Bowl. Obviously that won’t be the case this year. Sometimes that is life and you have to move on.”
This is the second year in a row that there has been a disappointment like this, how tough is it the second time around?
“It is tough. It never gets easy, especially when you are a Green Bay Packer. A lot is expected of you. In a season like this for the second year in a row it is definitely painful. Hopefully we will learn from this and we will be a better team next year.”
Third down was huge for the 49ers. What was it that they were doing that kept them on the field?
“It was either [WR Michael] Crabtree on a dink pass, or [QB Colin] Kaepernick running for necessary yardage or more. That is a frustrating thing.”
Why is Colin Kaepernick so difficult to defend?
“When the quarterback can run like that, it opens up the arsenal for the play calling. Obviously, if you can’t stop the run which is football 101, then it is going to be tough to stop the play action and the deep routes.”
GREEN BAY PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER JEREMY ROSS:
What happened on the muffed punt?
“I started focusing on the pressure that was coming. I was looking at the ball all the way in, but I was more focused on the peripheral, just kind of seeing and feeling it out. I was like when I catch it I have to move quick. I lost my fundamentals by keeping my elbows in tight. The ball just went straight through. ”
Did you have any thought, just forget about what was coming and just make the fair catch?
“I just wanted to make the play. At that moment I was like, I am just going to catch this ball, make this guy miss, and I am going to go for a touchdown. I just wanted to make a big play on that one. I probably should have fair caught it.”
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS HEAD COACH JIM HARBAUGH:
What’d you think about that performance from your team?
“Thought it was a great team performance, great team victory. Highlight the special teams where we got the big turnover. The coverage was outstanding. [S] C.J. Spillman, a bunch of guys – [LB] Tavares Gooden, [LB] Larry Grant, [FB] Bruce Miller, [TE] Delanie Walker, [K] David Akers, [P] Andy Lee, tremendous job there. Defensively we got the great interception, got stops, which is really tough to do against this offense. Offensively, thought we played great. [QB] Colin [Kaepernick] had a great game. Just excellent team performance.”
What did you say to Colin after that pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown to get him back going again?
“Just that there was a lot of football left. He does a great job of responding. He has done that. Every time there’s been an interception that he’s thrown, or safety or turnover. He’s responded with a scoring drive. I think that’s rare. I think that’s a rare quality. And so far he’s shown that he’s got that ability to come back.”
Why is that such a rare quality do you think?
“I don’t know. I have no statistics to back it up, or evidence. Just a feeling that it’s hard for a quarterback after throwing an interception to respond with a touchdown-scoring drive, especially. I don’t think that happens very often. But, it happens. He’s consistently done a nice job of just moving on.”
Did the game plan involve getting Kaepernick running? It seemed like that was a huge part of this one. Did you plan for that?
“Yeah, that was in the plan. A lot more pistol formation in this game plan, both handing the ball off and Kap running and play action, where we’re throwing out of it. We’re pretty multi-dimensional on that formation.”
Did you set that up by not doing that very much in the last few regular season games? There didn’t seem to be a lot of read option against Seattle against Arizona?
“It was more prevalent in this plan.”
Can you describe how DT Justin Smith returned today and how he looked?
“He looked good. From my eye it looked like he was stout against the run and his legend grows. What a player.”
When you saw Colin in college, did you sort of picture this? This was what he did, running out of that pistol, 9,000 yards passing, 4,000 running. Did you see a guy doing
this in the pros?
“Well, I obviously saw a lot of great qualities about the young man. And he did a great job throwing the ball and some of the throws he made were outstanding. Our receivers did a heck of a job. [TE] Vernon Davis did a nice job. Everybody was in on it. I thought it was one of our better games offensively.”
How well did WR Michael Crabtree play, and how vital is he to the offense?
“I think it’s pretty well documented how vital he is. Again, he was outstanding. The back-shoulder catches, those are great plays. The catch and runs again. The yards that he gets after the catch. He’s really like a running back when he gets the ball in his hands. And he was outstanding.”
You’ve mentioned that Colin doesn’t even say that much to you when you talk to him. Did he just give you a look in the eye after the interception? Did he say anything to you like, like “hey I got this?” Was there any conversation from him to you?
“No, he just said he understood. I think that’s pretty close to what he said.”
Were you able to see from the sidelines, they showed some replays, it looked like T Joe Staley was doing a pretty good job against LB Clay Matthews when he was lined up on that side? Were you able to notice any of that?
“Yeah, noticed that. I thought our protection was very good. Colin had a chance to go through his reads, set his feet and fire the ball. Consistently good protection all day.”
There was a perception that if you had lost tonight with Colin that your decision to make him the starter would have been a mistake. Were you even thinking, or do you care about that perception?
“No, it’s just a great team victory. I give our players a lot of credit. They had a great week of preparation. They played very poised. I thought they competed like maniacs. And we get another week of work. So, we’ll move on with humble hearts and get ready for our next opponent.”
How did you used to respond after an interception when you were quarterback?
“I don’t know. I hate to be short. I hate to be rude, but what the heck does that have to do with this game?”
Going forward for next week what do you want to see in improvement on the defensive side of the ball? You said you have to go work on some things. What do you want to see for next week?
“Same thing. We want to study for the test. Whoever that is that we’re playing, and have a great week of preparation. And then come out and compete like maniacs. This is that do-or-die, win-or-go-home kind of situation. Such a unique dynamic. So, we’ll do the things that we’ve always tried to do as a team and do them to the best of our God-given ability.”
At what point tonight did you realize your brother had won his game?
“Somewhere in the first quarter, I believe.”
Someone told you from upstairs?
“Yeah, yeah. Congratulations to [Ravens head coach] John [Harbaugh] and the Ravens. That was a real football fight. I had the chance to watch some of it before our game. Feel great for John and his team.”
When you say it was in the game plan for Colin to run, is it just in the read option you’re just telling him think more about running that, than giving it to the running back? Is that the game plan when you want him to run the ball?
“Not necessarily, no. He’s got keys that he’s reading. It’s the read option. It’s a give read, or it’s a pull and run it himself. Sometimes it’s even a pitch it to somebody else decision.”
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS QUARTERBACK COLIN KAEPERNICK:
Your first playoff start and it was just like how I remembered covering you at Nevada. You were flowing out there, can you talk a little bit about that?
“Our offensive line played great today, they did a lot of thing well, up front. Our running backs ran well and our receivers made plays.”
But how about you, you seemed to be just feeling it?
“I mean, it’s a lot easier when other people are making plays. Our offensive line came out, they dominated up front, so that makes it easier on a quarterback.”
What about your feeling after the interception?
“I had to bounce back.”
Were you aware that you broke the NFL record for most rushing yards as a quarterback in any game?
“Not until after the game.”
What does it mean to you?
“It’s a great accolade, I think it means a lot to this team. Our offensive line did an amazing job, our receivers, tight ends and running backs did amazing jobs. They opened up a lot of lanes for me.”
What is it like standing there and listening to your teammates describe you in the way they did?
“It’s great. Any time your teammates have confidence in you and they feel good about what you’re doing, it makes you feel like you’re doing the right things.”
Have you ever rushed for that many yards in a game at any level?
“Not with this much significance.”
Can you describe how the 56-yard touchdown came about and what you saw?
“The end came down, our receivers blocked the corner and the safety. There was nobody else left.”
How well did Michael Crabtree play in particular?
“He played great. He is a key player in this offense. He is a playmaker. He is someone that we want to get the ball into his hands and see what he can do.”
Earlier in the season you talked about how you wouldn’t know until the game if you were in or not. Can you talk about the ride this season?
“It’s been amazing and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
We love to categorize players, he’s a runner, he’s a passer… are you hard to categorize?
“I don’t want to be categorized.”
Coach Harbaugh mentioned that your running was part of the game plan this week. Did you know that a lot of the responsibility was going to be on your legs?
“We had a lot of plays that we put in to utilize that. We also opened up running lanes for our running backs. Frank [Gore] broke a big one, LaMichael [James] was about to break one too. It was just another tool for this offense.”
Are both of those running touchdowns designed runs?
“Not the first one.”
What happened there on the first run?
“Man to man coverage, they doubled Crabtree, broke down and saw a run.”
Were they spying on you at all out there?
“I think a couple of times, a little. For the most part they were trying to double receivers and keep eyes on them.”
How much were they double teaming Crabtree?
“A little here and there. On big downs they were trying to double to make sure he didn’t make a play.”
What was your best pass?
“I couldn’t say.”
Last week Joe Webb of the Vikings had a lot of success running until the game got out of hand. Did you see anything from that game that gave you opportunities against them?
“Yeah, we knew going in that we were going to have some opportunities.”
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS WIDE RECEIVER MICHAEL CRABTREE:
Your touchdown catches came at a time when you guys really needed to score. What was the first half scoring frenzy like?
“It was a shoot out, you know. We knew those guys could put up points and we just came out ready to play.”
You said that you built off your post season last year, how did it feel to start on a win like this?
“It felt like we were in the same place winning that game. It’s what we do at the next game. It’s all about the next game.”
How about Kaepernick’s performance tonight?
“He’s a guy playing football. He makes it happen with his feet, with his arms. He’s just out there making plays. He is a playmaker.”
Why do you think you two play so well together?
“I couldn’t tell you, it’s just something that happens. We are out there trying to make a play. We both have one goal, to try and win.”
Did Green Bay try to do anything different with you this time and as time went on?
“I saw a couple double teams, especially in the red zone. We have so many players on our team: Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, Ted Ginn Jr, Randy Moss and our running game. We have too many playmakers for anyone to get double. We have a great team.”
When Colin is running, do you see the defense have to react so much to him and maybe open up some other plays?
“I think it goes both ways. You have to react to everyone on the field. Whether it’s the receivers or running backs coming out of the flat. He does it with his legs so well.”
What was the feeling in here at halftime?
“Just going out here and really trying to finish up the game. Nobody panicked, everyone was on their P’s and Q’s. Everybody knew what they had to do to make the game go. We just went out there and made it happen.”
When Colin throws an interception to start the game, how did you see him react?
“There was no frustration at all. That’s what I was surprised about, he really was in our ear and told us to make a play. I kept telling myself, we need to make a play. I slipped on one play and fell and was mad about that the entire game. I felt like I had to redeem myself, go out there and do my job.”
Last year you said you wanted more opportunities, did you feel like you had something to prove in this game?
“Every playoff game I have something to prove. Last year it was bad, it was what it was. We are on a new year and I’m just trying to make a play and get that win.”
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS CENTER JONATHAN GOODWIN:
On the offense’s performance:
“Colin played great. We had a great game plan and we were able to execute it well. I think those guys had a lot of guys of things coming at them.”
When you stretch things out, it’s kind of hard to zero in on the receivers and watch [QB Colin Kaepernick].
“Yeah, he’s in the gun, he can throw, run or hand it off. A great game plan by G-Ro [offensive coordinator Greg Roman]. I think we did a good job of executing. We kind of got a head start on them with the bye week and I think it showed tonight.”
When you’re blocking, can you tell what’s going on, can you tell if Kaepernick is going to run, is he’s going to throw, escape?
“No, not for me. I’m blocking a certain way and just hoping he’ll make a play.”
Can you tell from the crowd reaction?
“A couple of times I saw [RB] LaMichael [James] run by and I could tell nobody was tackling him, so I knew he didn’t have the ball.”
On Kaepernick’s performance this season:
“The one thing, I’ve said this from day one about Colin, since he started playing, he’s always been confident. When you see a guy that’s playing quarterback in this league that young and he’s that confident, hats off to him.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS RUNNING BACK FRANK GORE:
Is it an adjustment for you running the read option?
“I am a football player. I just adjust to whatever. That is the way to get a “W”, then whatever, I just want to win.”
What was it like for you out there with all that room for running?
“It was fun. Our offensive line did a great job. [QB Colin] Kaepernick did a great job, and our coordinator did a great job.”
What is it like having your quarterback outrushing you?
“It is not the first time. I am not surprised what he did. If that is what it takes to get wins and reach our goal, I am with it.”
The offense had 44 points and you had a nice night.
“We just have to keep working. We know how it feels from last year and not getting done.”
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS DEFENSIVE TACKLE JUSTIN SMITH:
How does it feel about beating QB Aaron Rodgers today?
“Any time we have a guy of that kind of caliber over there, I don’t care how you win, it’s just big.”
What kind of statement is it to get back to the NFC Championship?
“I don’t think we’re really worried about making a statement, we’re just worried about getting back there. I’ve been in this league for 12 years and it’s hard to get to that game. We’re not going to take it for granted and we’ll give it our best shot.”
How important was it for you to play?
“I’m just glad to be a part of this team and get a chance to play in the NFC Championship game.”
Your secondary sure held up today:
“They’re phenomenal and I think every one of them is in the Pro Bowl. It was a good defensive win and good team win. Any time you knock QB Aaron Rodgers off it feels pretty good.”
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS TACKLE JOE STALEY:
What was he (QB Colin Kaepernick) like in the huddle when he was running so well, and operating the offense so well, in the read option?
“It was just business. We get excited when we’re moving the ball, but you got to put that play, whether it’s successful or unsuccessful, and put it to rest.”
A few times replays isolated you working against LB Clay Matthews, and it looked like you did a good job with him. Do you feel like you did?
“Yeah I was pretty happy the way I played today. I knew going in he was going to be a great challenge. He’s a phenomenal player. I was really challenged by our coaching staff and our players, and I knew I had to have a big game.”
Can you guess what percentage of the time he was lined up across from you?
“Every play he was lined up across from me.”
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS LINEBACKER PATRICK WILLIS:
What was the moment when you saw them when you realized this was too tough for them to win?
“Honestly, I’m not sure. I know for us it was just about we knew the first half wasn’t a good defensive half for us. And we knew our offense kept us in the game. And we just came in at halftime and talked it over a little bit. And just knew that, come back out the second half, it was all about what we need to do, and what we didn’t do the first half.”
The game starts on such a weird note, the crowd’s jacked up, you guys are excited. And there’s a pick six that goes the other way. What was your reaction when that happened, and how did you guys turn it around from there?
“Honestly, we weren’t worried at all. That’s something we talk about all the time. Adversity is going to hit and it’s how you’re going to respond to it. That makes us the team that we are. When that pick six happened it was just like, all right dang. But, it happened. And we’ve got to go out there on defense and get one. And I think for the most part today we just played. We played for 60 minutes. And we knew that’s what it was going to take.”
From a defender’s point of view, how difficult is it to play against a quarterback like QB Colin Kaepernick?
“Put me in a tough one when you ask me about my own teammate. From what we see in practice and from what we see in the game, obviously you see a quarterback run the way that he runs. That’s unbelievable. And to see him in practice, you never really see him open up like that in practice. You see them do the offense what they do and whatnot. But, to see him do it in a game, it amazes me. It wows me. And I’m just saying wow, did he just do that. And credit goes to that whole offense to have a guy like [RB] Frank [Gore] who people have to account for. And then Kap’s doing what he’s doing. And before you know it, hopefully they don’t know which one to go for. And both of them are running wild, which they did today.”
Can you talk about how impressed it is to see him through his development? So much is talked about with guys like Redskins QB Robert Griffin III and Colts QB Andrew Luck. But, those guys are out and Colin’s still in it helping you guys out?
“Yeah, just to see how fast he’s picked up on the offense, just to see how fast he’s picked up on the game period, it’s remarkable. And I know that Kap’s a guy who works every day and he’s very confident in himself, not conceited by any means. But, if you see what we see every day. I get there and, I’m the type of man I don’t like to be at work, but honestly I get there to the facility and he’s outside already warming up. And I think he works out every day. I joke with him all the time. I say you’ve got to be one of the biggest and strongest quarterbacks I’ve seen. But, he plays the position like a true quarterback. And that’s what it’s going to take. And I’m just happy to see him do that. And he’s done well for us today. And it doesn’t stop here. We’ve got a big game next week wherever we play. And that’s our next focus.”
You talk about how fast he picks things up, how fast is he though when you see him on the field?
“He’s fast. It’s just one thing when you see a guy get behind a guy and they try to run and the guy already has a step on him. But, to see a guy come across the field at an angel and he eats up the angle, to us that’s fast. That guy’s moving. And like I said, it’s great to have him doing what he’s doing. And not only is his speed remarkable, just to see how he’s throwing the ball. Seeing how he’s getting behind other guys, that’s amazing, too. My hat goes off to that offense, that side of the ball. Like I said, today when our defense was struggling they kept us in there in that second half. We knew if we came back out and we played to the level that they were playing and even higher, then the game would be ours. And that was the outcome. We won.”
Can you talk about the overall defensive performance and what would you like to see improve as you go into the next game?
“Really for the most part we just have to start faster. It’s not getting easier whoever it is we play, especially we have to start fast and play for 60 minutes. And we didn’t do that today, but we just finished. And that’s most important. But, yeah I’d just like to see us start faster and continue to do what we do.”
Tags: #GBvsSF, divisional, Playoffs, post-game notes & quotes, san francisco 49ers
Posted in Packers.com Blog
SAN FRANCISCO–The Packers’ season ended in Candlestick Park on Saturday night, in a 45-31 loss to the 49ers in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs.
In a game that gave birth to a new star in the NFL, the Packers surrendered a playoff-record 183 yards rushing to second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was making his first postseason start. Kaepernick rushed for two touchdowns and passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns, all of that after having thrown an interception that was returned by Sam Shields for a touchdown on the 49ers’ first possession of the game.
The major problem Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense faced was a ridiculously lopsided time of possesssion disadvantage that left the Packers with little more to do but stand on the sideline and watch Kaepernick emerge as a postseason star.
San Francisco running back Frank Gore rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown, and the season ended for the Packers much as it started in a loss to the 49ers in which the visitors dominated time of possession with a powerful rushing attack. Then, under starting quarterback Alex Smith, it was thunder. Kaepernick has added lightning to that rushing attack and the 49ers will play the winner of Sunday’s Seattle at Atlanta game in next weekend’s NFC title game.
The 49ers blew the game open in the second half, pushing a 24-21 lead to 45-24 with 3:34 to play.
Rodgers finished the game having completed 26 of 39 passes for 257 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Tags: #GBvsSF, san francisco 49ers
Posted in Packers.com Blog
SAN FRANCISCO–The Packers trailed the 49ers, 24-21, at halftime of tonight’s NFC Divisional Round playoff game at Candlestick Park..
Packers cornerback Sam Shields gave the Packers a great start by intercepting a Colin Kaepernick pass and returning it 52 yards for a touchdown on just the first possession of the game.
Kaepernick, in his first postseason start, fought off the mistake to move the 49ers 80 yards in eight plays and tie the game with a 20-yard touchdown run.
Back stormed the Packers on their own 80-yard touchdown drive, which required seven plays and ended with running back DuJuan Harris scoring on an 18-yard run up the middle.
The Packers made a mistake they might come to regret when Jeremy Ross fumbled a punt at his 10-yard line and the 49ers recovered at the 9. Three plays later, Kaepernick completed a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
Midway through the second quarter, a long pass by Aaron Rodgers for Jordy Nelson was intercepted by the 49ers’ Tarell Brown, who returned the ball 39 yards to the Packers 48. Kaepernick converted a key third-and-long play with a 15-yard run, and then followed that with a 20-yard pass over the middle to Crabtree for a touchdown and a 21-14 lead.
Rodgers rallied the Packers down the field to tie the game. It was, yet, another 80-yard drive. This one needed six plays. Rodgers found wide receiver James Jones over the middle for a 20-yard scoring strike that tied the game at 21-21.
Troubled kicker David Akers booted a 36-yard field goal on the final play of the first half, capping an 11-play, 62-yard drive.
Kaepernick overcame his bad start to complete 11 of 23 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Rodgers was held to five completions in 10 attempts for 96 yards and one touchdown. Kaepernick leads the 49ers with 107 yards rushing and Harris leads the Packers with 47.
The 49ers have dominated time of possession, 21:47-8:13.
Tags: #GBvsSF, san francisco 49ers
Posted in Packers.com Blog
Check out these behind-the-scenes photos from Saturday evening’s NFC Divisional playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park.
Tags: #GBvsSF, san francisco 49ers, sideline pass
Posted in Packers.com Blog
The following players have been declared as inactive for tonight’s Green Bay Packers-San Francisco 49ers NFC Divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park. Packers WR Donald Driver is active.
Green Bay Packers
11 WR Jarrett Boykin
20 RB Alex Green
31 CB Davon House
58 LB Frank Zombo
84 TE D.J. Williams
91 DT Jordan Miller
99 DE Jerel Worthy
San Francisco 49ers
3 QB Scott Tolzien
6 K Billy Cundiff
30 S Trenton Robinson
33 RB Jewel Hampton
63 DT Tony Jerod-Eddie
66 G Joe Looney
93 NT Ian Williams
Tags: #GBvsSF, inactives, Playoffs, san francisco 49ers
Posted in Packers.com Blog