Last season, the 49ers and Packers both came up short against the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. There was speculation by many prognosticators that each team would be hungry after disappointment suffered at home, many considering them locks for deep playoff runs in 2012. Sunday was an early peak at a possible NFC Championship Game as the 49ers beat the Packers 30-22.
Green Bay appeared to be resting on its laurels of last year. Their offense was sluggish while it scored only 7 points in the first three quarters. Double-checking Aaron Rogers’ woes, was a staunch 49ers defensive who kept Green Bay in check at every turn. Rogers finished with a below average (for them) line of 30-44, 303 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. Last year, Green Bay averaged 40 points a game.
For his part, Alex Smith was nearly perfect, going 20-26, 211 yards and 2 TDs. He broke a team record for consecutive passes without an interception. The 49ers ground game proved effective not only by keeping the ball out of Aaron Rogers’ hands but also outpacing the Packers 4-to-1 with 186 yards.
Randy Moss proved he was back in the NFL by catching the 49ers first touchdown of the season. His celebration “dance” was him pointing to his back. Moss was part of the 49ers off-season offensive upgrades.
The Packers did start to show life in the 4th quarter and gain momentum. Randall Cobb returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown near the start of the 4th quarter. The defense stepped up against the 49ers on the ensuing drive, holding them to a needed three-and-out. Down by two scores and time running low, Aaron Rogers threw an interception to kill any upsurge that was building.
Green Bay eventually scored on a pass to James Jones with 6:05 left. However, the 49ers already scored another TD of their own minutes before with a Frank Gore rumble-tumble of 23 yards. All that was left was for San Francisco’s defense was to hold steady and run the clock out.
David Akers tied an NFL record for the longest field goal kick just before the 1st half ended. His 63 yard kick bounced off the crossbar just out of the reach of a leaping Randall Cobb.
An on-going trend was the replacement referees. 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was his typical hothead-self, especially towards the officiating crew. He spent most of his time in the whitecaps' ear trying to persuade them. He bizarrely lost his cool during an early call against his own Aldon Smith for removing his helmet after celebrating a sack. He was right during the punt return touchdown however. Flags were thrown but pulled despite a clear illegal block from behind by the Packers.
San Francisco is now 1-0.
Green Bay is now 0-1
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