A game billed to be an excellent one between two top NFC teams proved to be just that, as this one went back and forth all afternoon long. The lead changed hands several times before Frank Gore scored a TD late to put the 49ers ahead to stay, and the final score was 34-28.
There was a lot of offense in this game, as to be expected when Aaron Rodgers is going up against Colin Kaepernick. The surprise, however, was that the top-tier defense of the home team did not show up. The 49ers defense for most of the game, allowed Aaron Rodgers and company to do as they pleased. They finally showed up at the end, following up the Gore TD with a stop on downs, bringing the ball back to their offense to control for the balance of the last five minutes to give them the win.
Colin Kaepernick was the story here. Many wondered if Kaepernick could win with his arm, after the Packers prepared to curtail his ground game. And beat them with his arm Colin did, throwing for his first 400 yard game (412), and 3 TDs. He showed the world that he is in all shapes and forms, a quarterback.
The two teams traded touchdowns in the first half, which ended with a 14-14 score. A Vernon Davis TD from Kaepernick, followed by a hookup from Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson brought the game to a 21-21 climax as they moved to the third quarter.
As the third quarter went to the fourth, the 49ers capped a 10 play drive with a 27 yard field goal by Phil Dawson, giving them a 24-21 lead. After exchanging punts, the Packers went on an 8 play scoring drive of their own, that finished with rookie Eddie Lacy taking a handoff from two yards out to give Green Bay a 28-24 lead.
On the very next drive, Kaepernick and the 49ers went down the field, and Frank Gore scored his only TD of the game, from one yard out, on what proved to be the game-winning score, putting the 49ers up 31-28. After stopping the Packers on the next drive, the 49ers added a field goal to make the final 34-28.
Anquan Boldin had a stellar debut, catching 13 passes for 208 yards and one TD. I would have to believe that the Ravens are kicking themselves for letting Boldin go.
There was an interesting moment in the first half. In the second quarter, as Kaepernick scrambled out of bounds, Clay Matthews launched himself into Kaepernick, earning a late hit penalty. A scrum ensued, and a personal foul was called on 49er lineman Joe Staley. The play was offsetting penalties, but it turned out that it should have been fourth down, not third. Because both penalties were after the play was over, the down should have counted. It turned into a 4 point swing, that could have made a difference.