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2013 NFL Season Opener: 49ers Rely On Kaepernick’s Arm To Defeat Packers

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The San Francisco 49ers opened their 2013 season at home against the Green Bay Packers, a rematch between two teams that met in the playoffs last year. It was also the game where Colin Kaepernick made a name for himself as he set a NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 181 and threw for 263 yards.

In a bit of a surprise offensive coordinator Greg Roman went away from the run and the 49ers offense relied onKaepernick’s arm. He completed 27 of 39 passes, threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns and carried the ball seven times for 22 yards with a long of 15.

First 49ers quarterback to throw for over 400 yards since Tim Rattay did it in October of 2004.

Anquan Boldin played a huge role catching 13 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown. His biggest reception was his last which went for 15 yards on a fourth down play with just under three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Vernon Davis caught two touchdown passes and caught six passes for 98 yards.

When the 49ers did run the football Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter found it difficult to maneuver against the Packers defense. Gore finished the day with 21 carries for 44 yards, a long of eight and scored the go ahead touchdown, Hunter finished his day with six carries and 24 yards with a long of 23.

On the defensive side rookie Eric Reid played extremely well with seven tackles and an interception. Aldon Smith picked up two sacks and forced the incomplete pass that ended the game and Donte Whitner also contributed seven tackles.

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense got off to a slow start, yet as the game progressed he began to get into a better rhythm. His favorite receiver Jordy Nelson who caught seven passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, yet his biggest play came on a 37-yard completion when he dragged both toes along the sideline. Randall Cobb caught seven passes as well for 108 yards and a touchdown and Jermichael Finley caught five passes for 56 yards and a touchdown, yet also was responsible for missing a catch that Reid was able to intercept the pass.

Rookie Eddie Lacy didn’t provide much on the ground and he also fumbled resulting in great field position for the 49ers. His two highlight plays came on a short pass from Rodgers that allowed him to get into the open field for 31 yards and a short touchdown run to give the Packers a short-lived lead. He ended up with 14 carries for 41 yards and a long of seven.

Defensively Clay Matthews had an outstanding game though he did make a crucial mistake that gave the 49ersextra life on a drive when he hit Kaepernick late out-of-bounds, which caused a skirmish along the sideline. Joe Staley got an unsportsmanlike penalty for protecting his quarterback, the rule though wasn’t enforced properly as it gave the 49ers a second chance on a third-and-six, when the down should have counted since the two penalties were of the dead ball variety.

That led to a touchdown by the 49ers. Matthews finished with seven tackles and a sack, Brad Jones led the way with 10 total tackles and Sam Shields recorded nine total tackles and two passes defended.

Even though the Packers were able to contain Kaepernick and the 49ers running game, the defense wasn’t able to stop the pass leading to the 34-28 win for San Franicsco.

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