The 49ers were victorious in a 30-22 win over the Green Bay Packers. This was the 49ers first win in Lambeau Field since 1990. Alex Smith shined along with the defense in this performance. He was 20 for 26 with 211 passing yards and two touchdowns.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Anthony Dixon. “We set our goals about four or five days ago. The first one was to win the season opener. We went up there and did just that.”
The 49ers defense came out strong shutting down the Packers offense to start the game. After allowing a few first downs, the Packers weren’t able to muster any offense in the first possession.
To open the scoring, David Akers kicked a 40 yard FG which was setup on a 20 yard catch by Randy Moss. Alex Smith went 4 for 5 for 41 yards on the first scoring drive.
After another stop, the Packers defense committed some key penalties to keep the 49ers drive alive. One of them was on a key pass interference on third down. Randy Moss caught the touchdown, making it his first in two years.
The Packers answered right back with a touchdown drive of their own. Aaron Rodgers was 8 of 9 on completions for that drive to make it 10-7 49ers.
The 49ers responded with a field goal drive of their own. Back to back 11-yard catches by Randy Moss and Mario Manningham helped set it up. There was also a key defensive holding on Charles Woodson that kept the drive alive.
The defense for the 49ers forced a three and out and created another opportunity to score before the half. Colin Kaepernick had a 17 yard gain to get within a long field goal distance. David Akers tied the NFL record for longest field goal in history with a 63-yard kick. The ball bounced off the crossbar but over. The 49ers ended up leading 16-7 at halftime thanks to that field goal.
In the second half after the defense forced a three and out, the 49ers drove down the field for another touchdown of their own. Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis had receptions of more than 20 yards on that possession to set up Davis’s four-yard touchdown catch to make it 23-7 49ers.
After a few stalled possessions, the 49ers’ special teams unit gave up a punt return for a touchdown to Randall Cobb. It appeared there were two illegal block-in-the-back penalties but the referees picked up their flags and the touchdown stood to make it 23-15 49ers.
The Packers stopped the 49ers on their next possession giving Aaron Rodgers the opportunity to tie the game. Rodgers ended up throwing an interception to NaVorro Bowman which put the 49ers deep in Green Bay territory. On the next play, Frank Gore ran a 23-yard touchdown run into the endzone to put the the 49ers up 30-15.
After three more stalled possessions, the Packers responded with a touchdown pass to James Jones to make the score 30-22. Jones caught three consecutive passes for that drive and the Packers were within one possession.
The 49ers were unable to kill out the clock and were forced to punt and give the Packers one last opportunity to tie the ball game. The Packers were able to get to the 45-yard line of the 49ers, but couldn’t come closer. Ahmad Brooks made a key sack to make things difficult and Chris Culliver tipped the final pass away from Jordy Nelson to preserve the win.
“It came down to the wire and we felt it shouldn’t have been as close as it was,” said Donte Whitner. “But at the end of the day it felt good to come out with a win.”
The defense of the 49ers was the story of the game. Aaron Rodgers had 300 yards passing, but he had a key interception. The Packers were also unable to run the football on the 49ers.
Donte Whitner admitted that stopping the run was key. It gave all attention towards Aaron Rodgers in preventing him from making the big plays.
“We stopped the run putting 6 in the box,” said Whitner. “It’s a testament to our front-seven. It allows [the secondary] to help those outside guys. Sometimes you have to pick your poison. When you play guys like Aaron Rodgers you have to be ready for things.”
The Packers only had 18 rushing yards for Cedric Benson. He was completely ineffective this game. Aaron Rodgers only had a few scramble yards on the ground.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh is very satisfied with this win. There were flaws and there’s still a lot to work on, but it was a solid team effort.
“The fight for 60 minutes was there,” said Harbaugh. “We played a our greatest game out there with our minds. We got a lot of great teams to play [for this season] but I’m proud of our guys today.”
-Kyle Williams made no mistakes in punt returning while filling in for Ted Ginn Jr.
-A.J. Jenkins was inactive for this game.
-Joe Staley had an up and down Sunday. He allowed two sacks from Clay Matthews and got away with a few penalties, but did a good job overall at preventing more damage.
-Alex Boone did a great job in his debut as a RG. The inside pass protection was solid.
-Randy Moss didn’t appear on the field as much, but still made an impact with a touchdown and a few key receptions. He had one 20 yard reception to set up a touchdown later.
-The 49ers treated their wide receivers evenly by mixing it up offensively. Michael Crabtree was the only receiver who was consistent in terms of getting playing time.
-Aldon Smith was great at bringing pressure. On the flip side, he also had a sack that was unofficially negated in yardage because of an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for removing his helmet on the field.
-David Akers was perfect going three for three in field goal attempts. This included a record-tying 63-yard field goal.
-Both teams depended on turnovers last season but in this game there was only one interception by Aaron Rodgers which NaVorro Bowman caught.
-The secondary didn’t give up any large passes. There was only one catch by James Jones that went 49 yards. The entire unit was excellent in coverage preventing anything major.
-Michael Crabtree was good at moving the team down the field as a possession receiver.