With the 49ers’ 30-22 win now in the books, here are some things we learned on Sunday afternoon:
The secondary answered the challenge.
The 49ers secondary was a bit of concern when it came to facing elite quarterbacks. The big question coming into this game was a matter of if the team can handle a strong quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. They were able to do just that by limiting anything effective from him most of the game. He had more than 300 yards passing, but there weren’t any major plays they gave up outside of a 49 yard reception by James Jones. The secondary also came through in the clutch when the Packers tried to score on their last possession. The coverage was outstanding by Tarrell Brown and Carlos Rogers preventing the deep ball.
The run defense is still elite.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The 49ers run defense continued their dominant ways by completely taking away the running game. Cedric Benson averaged only two yards per carry. He only had 18 yards on nine carries. The only running plays the niners significantly gave up were a few scrambles by Aaron Rodgers.
The 49ers will mix it up in terms of personnel.
While there isn’t one dominant wide receiver on the 49ers, they do have a balanced quantity of receivers on the team. Randy Moss, Mario Manningham all had an even amount of time on the field. Crabtree ended up with the catches, but everyone contributed one way or another. Also the running backs will be mixed up. Kendall Hunter early on had more carries than Frank Gore got before Gore dominated the later part of the game.
The officiating will remain inconsistent as long as these replacement referees continue to be on the field.
There were several no-calls and blown calls during this game from officiating. Joe Staley was not caught for a false start and Chris Culliver ended up getting away with a pass interference of his own during the game. For the Packers, they got away with an illegal block in the back as well as some potential personal foul calls. The referees were throwing some flags on borderline calls, but missed other penalties that needed to be called. Things could get real ugly in the season if we see more controversial calls the referees make.
David Akers is where he left off last year as an automatic kicker.
Akers is still a quality pro bowl kicker and it showed today. He made field goals from 40, 43 and later 63 yards. If the 49ers offense has its moments of stalling, Akers is still one of the best kickers today in making field goals.