Sunday afternoon saw a match-up between two of the better teams in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers coming out victorious 34-28 over the Green Bay Packers.
It wasn’t the legs of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick that caused the demise of the Packers this time around, but rather his arm.
Green Bay’s defense had no answer at any point in the game for San Francisco’s newly acquired Anquan Boldin who hauled in 13 catches for 208 yards and one touchdown on 17 targets.
What It Means: There’s no reason to start panicking about the status of the Packers because there were a lot of things to like about this team. A loss to the 49ers (defending NFC Champions) in San Francisco in a game the Packers actually held a lead in the fourth quarter is nothing to get all worked up about.
The defense did a wonderful job at defending against the run. The 49ers managed only 90 yards rushing and the read-option was pretty much non-existent. While the secondary didn’t have a solid game, they appeared to be fairly aggressive. You have to give a ton of credit to the 49ers and Kaepernick for exploiting a weakness and accumulating 412 yards through the air.
Aaron Rodgers was his usual self with 333 yards passing and three touchdowns. The lone interception wasn’t his fault as tight end Jermichael Finley dropped a pass into the defenders arms. Despite a costly fumble, Eddie Lacy appeared to be everything the Packers want him to be. Lacy racked up 72 total yards on 15 touches and scored a touchdown. The rookie from Alabama looked to get stronger as the game went on, a quality that could bode well for Green Bay as the season drags on.
Player of the Game: WR Jordy Nelson (7 receptions, 130 yards and 1 touchdown)
With Greg Jennings in Minnesota, Nelson appears to be the frontrunner for Rodgers’ new favorite receiver role. Nelson corralled in a ton of back-shoulder throws and has exceptional route-running skills. He’s also pretty crafty after the catch.
Highlight of the Game: One reason Nelson was able to edge out teammate Randall Cobb (7 catches, 108 yards and 1 TD) for player of the game was due to a sweet grab he made in the fourth quarter. It was a 37 yard reception down the left sideline that Jordy had to fully stretch out for and skillfully get his toes in bounds.
If you didn’t see it, here’s a video of the play courtesy of Packers.com.
Stat of the Game (6.6): The average yards per play of both the 49ers and Packers. This was an unusual stat considering the two paths that each team took. The difference arose from San Francisco running 75 plays and totaling 494 yards to Green Bay’s 58 and 385.
What’s Next: Green Bay will head back home to take on RG3 and the Washington Redskins. The Redskins face off Monday Night with the Philadelphia Eagles. Green Bay did not play Washington last season, but did lose their only game against a NFC East foe (38-10 week 12 loss to the New York Giants).
What did you think of the Packers opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers? Let me know by commenting below.
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys sharing Fantasy Advice and pretends to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Photos obtained from Packers.comPowered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks