Final

49ers 30

(1-0, 1-0 away)

Packers 22

(0-1, 0-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:25 PM ET, September 9, 2012

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI 

1 2 3 4 T
SF 3 13 7 730
GB 0 7 0 1522

Top Performers

Passing: A. Rodgers (GB) - 303 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: F. Gore (SF) - 16 CAR, 112 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: J. Jones (GB) - 4 REC, 81 YDS, 1 TD

Niners lean on defense to upend Aaron Rodgers, Packers

Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Randy Moss found his way back to familiar turf, celebrating a touchdown at Lambeau Field in his new uniform.

The San Francisco 49ers' defense kept Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers out of the end zone for most of the day -- then made sure they didn't give the game away.

Showing the same brand of dominant defense that powered them to the NFC Championship Game last season, the 49ers smothered Rodgers and the Packers offense, then made one last stand to stop a late rally in a 30-22 victory on Sunday.

49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks said the 49ers' win could be an "eye opener" for the Packers, and a sign that the 49ers are poised for another big playoff run.

"Maybe we'll see them again in the NFC championship," Brooks said.

Facing a Packers team that lost only once in the 2011 regular season was a tough opening road test, the 49ers were more than ready.

"We were just tremendously on it today, and that was a big part of our victory," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said.

Things went so well for San Francisco that when David Akers tried a 63-yard field goal at the end of the first half, it bounced off the crossbar and then kept going through the uprights to tie an NFL record.

"When you hit the goal post at any part it usually makes that horrific noise and then it usually bounces back," Akers said. "This time it got there. It was a sweet bounce. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime type of a deal."

The Packers came into their opener with hopes that a rebuilt defense and improved running game could help get them back to the Super Bowl after coming up short in the playoffs last season.

"They've got a great defense," Rodgers said. "You've got to give them credit. They've got some of the top guys in the league at their position."

Rodgers finished the game as the Packers' leading rusher, with new addition Cedric Benson gaining just 18 yards on nine carries.

The Packers don't have long to prepare for their next game, Thursday night at home against the division rival Chicago Bears.

Asked if he at least was pleased that his team put together a comeback, Packers coach Mike McCarthy held his tongue.

"Boy, I'd like to answer that truthfully," McCarthy said. "We're 0-1. We have some work to do. We're up in 96 hours."

Rodgers cautioned against blowing one loss out of proportion.

"It's one game," Rodgers said. "This is a team that was in the NFC championship last year. It's a good team. Hopefully we see them down the road in the playoffs."

Rodgers finished 30 of 44 for 303 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, but the 49ers held him in check until late the in the game. Jermichael Finley had a 1-yard touchdown for the Packers.

Alex Smith was 20 of 26 for 211 yards and two touchdowns while Frank Gore rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Moss scored a 14-yard touchdown in the second quarter, a familiar -- and painful -- sight for Packers fans.

Moss turned his back to the crowd and pointed to the name on his jersey, opting for a more subdued celebration than the now-notorious fake mooning motion he made toward fans at Lambeau during his Minnesota Vikings days.

"He had a lot of juice, he blocked well," Harbaugh said. "He got open and he was a great big target in there."

The replacement officials called a total of 18 penalties, some of them questionable and drawing animated complaints from both sidelines.

"Some of the penalties were definitely a little bizarre," Rodgers said.

The 49ers took a 16-point lead into the fourth quarter, then twice let Rodgers and the Packers cut the lead to 8. But the defense held firm on a potential game-tying drive in the final minutes

Randall Cobb gave the Packers a chance with a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown, and a 2-point conversion cut the lead to 8, at 23-15 in the fourth quarter. But Rodgers threw an interception to linebacker NaVorro Bowman, and Gore ran for a 23-yard touchdown.

Rodgers then threw a touchdown to James Jones, cutting the lead back to 8.

With the clock nearing the four-minute mark, a sack by Clay Matthews helped force a punt and the Packers took over at their own 16-yard line with 3:37 left and no timeouts.

Rodgers steadily marched the Packers down the field, but Brooks sacked Rodgers. Facing fourth-and-10 near midfield, Rodgers threw deep toward Jordy Nelson but the pass fell incomplete.

Linebacker Patrick Willis said the 49ers made a statement.

"You turn on the TV or you hear people say, 'No, the Packers are going to beat them by two or three touchdowns,' and you hear everybody saying all this and that,' " Willis said. "But we know what we have and we have complete confidence in one another here across the board, offense, defense and special teams. As long as we have that and we're still together, I think we're capable of doing anything."

Game notes


The three other kickers to hit 63-yarders were New Orleans' Tom Dempsey in 1970, Denver's Jason Elam in 1998, and Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski in 2011. ... Harbaugh was furious with the replacement referee crew early on, after they called Aldon Smith for unsportsmanlike conduct for taking off his helmet after a sack of Rodgers in the first quarter. Harbaugh seemed to question several other calls but didn't criticize the crew afterward. "I don't know what I'm supposed to say or not say," he said. ... Sunday's attendance was 70,523.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SF
GB
1st Downs2221
Passing 1st downs
1316
Rushing 1st downs
62
1st downs from penalties
33
3rd down efficiency
2-96-13
4th down efficiency
0-00-1
Total Plays6261
Total Yards377324
Yards per play6.15.3
Total Drives1311
Passing191279
Comp-Att
20-2630-44
Yards per pass
6.45.9
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks-Yards Lost
4-203-24
Rushing18645
Rushing Attempts
3214
Yards per rush
5.83.2
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-00-0
Penalties8-6610-77
Turnovers01
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01
Possession33:0027:00

Passing Leaders

SFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Smith20/262118.1204-20
GBC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Rodgers30/443036.9213-24

Rushing Leaders

SFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Gore161127.0123
Hunter9414.608
GBCARYDSAVGTDLG
Rodgers5275.409
Benson9182.004

Receiving Leaders

SFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Crabtree77610.9020
Moss44711.8120
GBRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jones48120.3149
Cobb9778.6016

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSFGB
sfFG4:58David Akers 40 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 58 yds, 4:18
30
SECOND QUARTERSFGB
sfTD11:14Randy Moss 14 Yard Pass From Alex Smith (David Akers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 92 yds, 5:10
100
gbTD4:43Jermichael Finley 1 Yard Pass From Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yds, 6:30
107
sfFG0:59David Akers 43 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 55 yds, 3:45
137
sfFG0:02David Akers 63 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 17 yds, 0:18
167
THIRD QUARTERSFGB
sfTD8:21Vernon Davis 4 Yard Pass From Alex Smith (David Akers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 84 yds, 5:09
237
FOURTH QUARTERSFGB
gbTD11:35Randall Cobb 75 Yard Punt Return (Aaron Rodgers Pass to Jordy Nelson For Two-Point Conversion is G)
Drive info: 1 plays, 75 yds, 0:00
2315
sfTD8:50Frank Gore 23 Yard Run (David Akers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 23 yds, 0:00
3015
gbTD6:09James Jones 10 Yard Pass From Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 76 yds, 2:36
3022

Research Notes

From Elias: Regarding Aaron Rodgers complaining about officials. The Packers had 10 penalties in Week 1 after averaging 4.8 penalties per game last season (tied for the fewest in the NFL).
Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb had another big start to a season Sunday, returning a punt 75 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Cobb had a 108-yard kickoff return in last season's Week 1 win against the Saints, and is the first player with a Week 1 punt or kick return touchdown in consecutive seasons since Roscoe Parrish did it in 2007-08 with the Bills. Also, Cobb caught all nine targets thrown his way for 77 yards, both career-high totals. Cobb's previous single-game high for targets was four.
Frank Gore had 16 rushes for 112 yards on Sunday, including a 23-yard touchdown run down the right sideline with 8:41 left to play. Gore finished the game with six rushes for 72 yards outside the tackles. Since the start of the 2008 season, Gore had not rushed for more than 64 yards outside the tackles in a single game.
Randy Moss and Mario Manningham joined the 49ers' receiving corps in the offseason, and Alex Smith used his wide receivers more than usual on Sunday. Smith threw for 152 yards to wide receivers on Sunday, his highest total since Week 13 of last season. Since 2010, San Francisco ranked last in the NFL in percentage of receiving yards produced by wide receivers (50.8 pct of total receiving yards from 2010-11).
  [+]
The 49ers' defense contained the Packers' vertical passing game well on Sunday. Last season, Rodgers led all qualified NFL quarterbacks in yards per attempt, touchdowns and TD-Int differential on throws at least six yards downfield.
  [+]
Randall Cobb is the 2nd Green Bay Packer since 1940 to have 2 punt return TD of 75+ yards (had an 80-yard punt return TD last year). The other is Desmond Howard.

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