NFC West: 2013 Week 1 GNB at SFO
September, 8, 2013
By Bill Williamson | ESPN.com
SAN FRANCISCO --– A look at the San Francisco 49ers' 34-28 win over the Green Bay Packers, a Week 1 game which featured playoff intensity.
What it means: It was all about Colin Kaepernick the runner in the pregame hype, but Kaepernick showed he is a passer first. With the read-option in the background, Kaepernick, making his 11th NFL start, threw for a career-high 412 yards. He beat the Packers in the playoffs last season with a quarterback record 181 yards rushing. Kaepernick had 22 yards rushing Sunday. He also found a new receiving toy: Anquan Boldin had 13 catches for 208 yards, with nearly every yard seeming to come in the clutch. With Michael Crabtree out, Boldin -- who came over from Super Bowl foe Baltimore for a sixth-round pick -- could be huge for the 49ers. He and Kaepernick had a huge Week 1. It was the 49ers' third straight win over Green Bay.
Stock watch: Kaepernick found tight end Vernon Davis only six times over the final six games of the 2012 regular season. But Davis heated up in the postseason with 12 catches, and he stayed hot Sunday with six catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Last week, former 49er-turned-analyst Randy Moss said he didn’t see a good chemistry between Kaepernick and Davis last season. Sunday, that seemed to change. Elsewhere, the arrow is points down on cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha after he was routinely beaten by Green Bay receiver Jordy Nelson. Asomugha was a star in Oakland as recently as 2010. He signed a big deal in Philadelphia two years ago but has fallen off. He was the No. 3 cornerback Sunday, but may not stay in that position long.
Chippy day: Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews joked he and Kaepernick did not go out to lunch when they crossed paths this offseason. I don’t think that will change. Matthews hit Kaepernick on his way out of bounds before 49ers left tackle Joe Staley came up to defend his quarterback. The two started a spirited bout and yellow flags flew. Matthews later got in Kaepernick’s face after a sack. It was great superstar drama and could be a great rivalry for years to come.
What’s next: Another playoff-like matchup. The 49ers travel up to NFC West rival Seattle next Sunday night. This has become one of the best rivalries in football, on and off the field. This season is starting in a hurry for the 49ers.