San Francisco at Green Bay

49ers overwhelm Rodgers, Packers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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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.

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"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, but 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 Frank 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."

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 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Randy Moss makes his presence felt in his first game since 2010 as he hauls in a TD in the second quarter. (AP)
Randy Moss makes his presence felt in his first game since 2010 as he hauls in a TD in the second quarter. (AP)

 

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Sun. Sept. 9Final
3137730
0701522
49ersPackers
Pass: A. Smith (20-26, 211) A. Rodgers (30-44, 303)
Rush: F. Gore (16-112) A. Rodgers (5-27)
Rec: M. Crabtree (7-76) J. Jones (4-81)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
FGDavid Akers makes a 40 yard kick. Drive: 9 plays, 58 yards in 4:18.
2ND QUARTER
TDRandy Moss catches a 14 yard pass from Alex Smith (David Akers kick is good). Drive: 9 plays, 92 yards in 5:10.
TDJermichael Finley catches a 1 yard pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick is good). Drive: 10 plays, 80 yards in 6:30.
FGDavid Akers makes a 43 yard kick. Drive: 10 plays, 55 yards in 3:45.
FGDavid Akers makes a 63 yard kick. Drive: 4 plays, 17 yards in 0:18.
3RD QUARTER
TDVernon Davis catches a 4 yard pass from Alex Smith (David Akers kick is good). Drive: 9 plays, 84 yards in 5:09.
4TH QUARTER
TDRandall Cobb runs 75 yards for a punt return (Aaron Rodgers passes to Jordy Nelson runs for a 2 Pt. Conversion).
TDFrank Gore runs for 23 yards (David Akers kick is good). Drive: 1 play, 23 yards in 0:09.
TDJames Jones catches a 10 yard pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick is good). Drive: 5 plays, 76 yards in 2:36.
Players of the Game
Green Bay

A. Rodgers
Att 44
Comp 30
Yds 303
TD 2
Kansas City

A. Smith
Att 26
Comp 20
Yds 211
TD 2
 
San Francisco
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
A. Smith20/2621120
RushingATTYDSTDLG
F. Gore16112123
K. Hunter94108
C. Kaepernick117017
A. Smith51305
K. Williams1303
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
M. Crabtree776020
R. Moss447120
V. Davis343129
M. Manningham429011
B. Miller115015
F. Gore1101
Green Bay
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
A. Rodgers30/4430321
RushingATTYDSTDLG
A. Rodgers52709
C. Benson91804
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
J. Jones481149
R. Cobb977016
J. Nelson564028
J. Finley747116
G. Jennings534010
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
DAL 24 Final
NYG 17
IND 21 Final
CHI 41
PHI 17 Final
CLE 16
STL 23 Final
DET 27
MIA 10 Final
HOU 30
ATL 40 Final
KC 24
JAC 23 Final
MIN 26
WAS 40 Final
NO 32
BUF 28 Final
NYJ 48
NE 34 Final
TEN 13
SEA 16 Final
ARI 20
CAR 10 Final
TB 16
PIT 19 Final
DEN 31
CIN 13 Final
BAL 44
SD 22 Final
OAK 14