PACKERS ROUNDUP: Packers drop opener thanks to Kaepernick's arm, not his legs
For the third time in just over a year, the Green Bay Packers lost to San Francisco. Frank Gore scored the deciding touchdown on a one-yard run with 5:47 left, as the Packers fell to the Niners 34-to-28 yesterday at Candlestick Park. The Packers did not see much of the read-option offense which they spent almost the entire off-season learning to defend, after Niners' quarterback Colin Kaepernick burned the Green Bay defense with it in last season's playoffs. This time, Kaepernick ran for just 22 yards. Instead, he passed 39 times and completed 27 for three touchdowns and 412 yards -- the first 400-yard performance by a San Francisco quarterback since Tim Rattay in 2004. Anquan Boldin, whom the Niners obtained from Baltimore this spring for a sixth-round draft choice, had 208 receiving yards and a score. Tight end Vernon Davis had 98 receiving yards and a pair of scores. For the Packers, Aaron Rodgers completed 21-of-37 passes for 333 yards and three touchdowns. Jordy Nelson caught seven passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. Randall Cobb had 108 receiving yards with seven catches and a score. Jermichael Finley caught Rodgers' other T-D throw. Packers' rookie running back Eddie Lacy had 41 yards, with a two-yard score that gave Green Bay its only lead of the day midway through the fourth quarter -- just before the Niners' final touchdown drive. The Niners had 494 total yards to Green Bay's 385. The Packers dropped to 0-and-1, and will play their home opener next Sunday against Washington.
The Packers promise that you'll see more of the aggressive defense they displayed in yesterday's loss at San Francisco. It was exemplified by Clay Matthews' airborne out-of-bounds hit to Niners' quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second quarter. Matthews said it was not a smart play -- and while the Packers lost, he said he was happy with the edge showed by the defense. Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett said it set the tempo for the entire season and quote, "Whoever's next has to be ready for that same thing." The late hit by Matthews resulted in a shoving match by players of both teams. Both teams got penalties on the play, as Niners' lineman Joe Staley got into it with Matthews after the late hit -- and Matthews threw a punch. Referee Bill Leavy said they were off-setting penalties, and the Niners had another 3rd-and-six opportunity close to the Green Bay goal line. But since the hits occurred after Kaepernick went out of bounds, it should have been fourth down -- a mistake Leavy admitted after the game.
A 49'ers fan died after falling from an elevated walkway at Candlestick Park, a few minutes after yesterday's kickoff between the Niners and Green Bay. Witnesses said the man -- who was in his 30's -- appeared to be intoxicated just before he fell to a sidewalk below. The man died at the scene. Police said it was not clear how far the man fell from the Jamestown walkway, which goes around the outside of the San Francisco stadium. It's the final year for the historic sports complex, as the Niners are about to move into a new stadium next year in Santa Clara California. Since 2003, over two dozen fans either died or were seriously injured in falls at major sports' stadiums around the country.