Green Bay Packers drop season-opener to the 49ers (Rapid Reaction)

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Bad reffing aside, the Green Bay Packers’ defense had no answers for the San Francisco 49ers who went into Lambeau Field and pulled out a 30-22 win.

Aaron Rodgers wasn’t horrible, but he also wasn’t his MVP-self with a costly interception in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.


What It Means: By beating Green Bay (0-1) on their home-field, the 49ers (1-0) have a legitimate claim at being the best team in the NFC. They clearly looked like the most complete team while the Packers appear to have issues on the defensive side yet again. San Fran QB Alex Smith looked brilliant as he picked Green Bay’s secondary apart on 20-of-26 passing with 211 yards and two touchdowns. The Packers also struggled against Frank Gore and company while giving up 186 yards on the ground. Give a ton of credit to the 49ers defense who held the Packers to 6-of-13 on third down and won the turnover battle. With the rest of the NFC North winning all of their games, you would have to think it puts a little pressure on the divisional favorites.

Player of the Game: WR Randall Cobb (9 catches for 77 yards and a 76 yard punt return touchdown)

Who knew Cobb would be such a heavy target already? Donald Driver didn’t see the field at all and it appears his job has been anointed to the younger Cobb. If you’re in a fantasy PPR league and no one owns this guy, pick him up as fast as you can. Clay Matthews also had a big day in the loss with 2.5 sacks.

Highlight of the Game: Even if you’re a Packers fan, you had to be impressed by David Akers 63 yard field goal right before halftime. He needed a little help from the crossbar, but in doing so, tied Tom Dempsey (1970), Jason Elam (1998) and Sebastian Janikowski (2011) for the longest field goal in NFL History. More amazingly, Dempsey and Akers are the only two to complete the task without the help of the altitude in Denver.

Stat of the Game (18): This was the number of penalties given out by the replacement referees. Eight of them went against San Francisco and ten against Green Bay. None worse than the mystery blocking-in-the-back call against the 49ers on Cobb’s punt-return for a touchdown.

What’s Next: The Packers have to forget about the loss fast with a quick turn-around in week two. On Thursday, the Chicago Bears come into town for another installment of the league’s oldest and most storied rivalry. The Bears beat up on Andrew Luck and the Colts in week one and will be hungry to get a quick jump-start on the division standings. It’s too early to say the Packers have to win, but it’s an important game for sure.

What were your initial impressions of the Packers? Did you see any improvement on defense? 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 to share Fantasy Advice and pretend to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.

*Pictures courtesy of Packers.com

 

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