4:25 PM EDT
September 8, 2013
NFL Game Summary - Green Bay at San Francisco
San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Colin Kaepernick kicked off his first full season as San Francisco's starting signal-caller with a resounding win over the same team he torched in last year's NFC Divisional Playoffs.
Kaepernick threw for 412 yards and three scores, while Frank Gore's go-ahead 1-yard touchdown late in the fourth helped the reigning NFC champion 49ers claim a 34-28 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in the season- opener for both teams at Candlestick Park.
Kaepernick completed 27-of-39 passes and became the first San Francisco quarterback to throw for 400-plus yards since Tim Rattay accomplished the feat on Nov. 10, 2004.
Anquan Boldin, acquired from Baltimore for a sixth-round pick in the offseason, quickly asserted himself as Kaepernick's favorite target, hauling in 13 passes for 208 yards and a score.
"We knew they were going to come in ready to play after what happened in the playoffs," Boldin said. "We had to come out and match their intensity."
Vernon Davis added six catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns for the 49ers (1-0), who dropped a heartbreaking 34-31 decision to the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII back in February.
Aaron Rodgers finished 21-of-37 passing for 333 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, while Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb each caught seven passes for 100-plus yards and a score.
Rookie running back Eddie Lacy rushed 14 times for 41 yards and a touchdown for the Packers (0-1), who won the NFC North for a second straight season last year before being bounced in the playoffs by Kaepernick and the 49ers.
With the score locked at 21-21 heading into the fourth, Phil Dawson drilled a 27-yard field goal on the second play of the quarter to put the 49ers ahead.
After the teams exchanged punts, Green Bay started at its own 24 and quickly moved down the field, with Rodgers hitting Jermichael Finley for 13 yards before Nelson did a great job of getting his toes down just inside the sideline for a 37-yard reception down to the San Francisco 13.
Back-to-back Lacy runs set the Packers up with 1st-and-goal from the 2-yard line, and after a Rogers incompletion, Lacy leaped over the pile for a 2-yard score to put Green Bay ahead, 28-24 with under 8 1/2 minutes remaining.
Kaepernick quickly answered, hitting Boldin over the middle for 43 yards before Kendall Hunter ripped off 23 more down to the Green Bay 9.
Gore then surged ahead for eight yards down to the goal line before punching it in on the next play to give San Francisco a 31-28 lead with 5:47 left.
The 49ers forced a quick three-and-out from the Packers before Kaepernick converted a 3rd-and-4 with a 15-yard toss to Davis to keep the clock moving.
Gore carried the ball on the next three plays, forcing Green Bay to use all three of its timeouts and setting up 4th-and-2 from the Green Bay 36.
Rather than kick a long field goal, the 49ers decided to go for it, with Kaepernick buying time in the pocket before hitting Boldin for 15 yards and a fresh set of downs.
After three straight runs, Dawson buried a 33-yard field goal to make it 34-28 with 26 seconds left.
With little time to work, Rodgers found Cobb for 38 yards to move the Packers into 49ers territory, but after a spike left three seconds on the clock, Rodgers got hurried and threw incomplete to end Green Bay's comeback bid.
Early on, the 49ers went three-and-out on their first touch, but responded by converting four third downs on a 13-play, 83-yard scoring march that ended with a 20-yard touchdown grab by Davis to make it 7-0.
Green Bay answered with a scoring drive of its own, as Rodgers hit Cobb for 13 yards and then found Nelson for 31 more before capping the drive with a 5-yard TD toss to Cobb to tie the game with 1:05 left in the first.
A Lacy fumble early in the second gave San Francisco possession at the Green Bay 14, and on 3rd-and-6 from the 10-yard line, Kaepernick scrambled for four yards before stepping out of bounds.
As Kaepernick made his way to the sideline, he was hit late by Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews, resulting in a personal foul. San Francisco offensive lineman Joe Staley came to the aide of his quarterback and was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct.
"It wasn't a very smart play," Matthews said. "I had already committed to hitting the quarterback. I guess I should've figured he was going to step out of bounds. But it's nothing personal. I went up to him later and was joking around with him."
Because the penalties were dead-ball fouls, the play should have counted, making it 4th-and-2, but the referees ruled the third-down play would be replayed, giving Kaepernick another shot at the end zone.
Kaepernick took full advantage, as he found Boldin on a crossing route for a 10-yard score and a 14-7 lead with 8:57 left in the second quarter.
San Francisco had a chance to add to the lead after Eric Reid picked off Rodgers later in the frame, but Dawson missed wide left on a 48-yard field goal try.
The Packers then evened things on their ensuing drive, as Rodgers hit Nelson for 15 yards and a first down on 3rd-and-15 before going back to Nelson for nine more down to the San Francisco 15.
Three plays later, Rodgers hit Finley for a 12-yard touchdown to send the teams into the break locked at 14-all.