The San Francisco 49ers opened the 2013 NFL season with a very good win over the Green Bay Packers. The game was a high scoring game that featured a clash of two of the better teams in the NFC. The 49ers showed that they are still one of the more physical teams in the NFL but they can win by letting Colin Kaepernick throw the ball.
The Packers were so concerned about not allowing the read option to beat them. Unfortunorately that may have caused them to lose focus on how good the 49ers’ passing game can be. They were not able to stop Anquan Boldin or Vernon Davis. They were the key players in this game as Kaepernick relied on them to get open on some key third down conversions.
Kaepernick completed 27 of his 39 pass attempts for 412 yards and three touchdowns. The questions of chemistry between Kaepernick and Vernon Davis should be put to rest after the two connected for two touchdowns. He showed great patience and was able to make his progressions through his reads as he moved in the pocket. He also did a good job of scrambling to pass. You could see that Kaepernick was scrambling with his eyes down field looking for his receivers to get open.
The pinpoint accuracy that Kaepernick has was on display. He threw made some very precise throws under pressure and took some deep shots. This game was a big step in Kaepernick’s quest to show that he is not a running quarterback. He is a quarterback that can beat defenses both by running and throwing the football.
Anquan Boldin also showed that he can still play as he had 13 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown. Even when he is covered, he is still an option for his quarterback. Boldin played with an edge. That edge has caused him to be considered one of the most physical wide receivers ever. One of my favorite plays by Boldin came on a scramble by Kaepernick. At the end of the play, Boldin flattened Jarrett Bush with a devastating block. He made a key catch on a fourth down conversion that sealed the game for the 49ers.
The defense gave up 29 points, but that is to be expected when facing an offense like the Packers. The concern about the cornerback position resurfaced. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb both have seven receptions for over one hundred yards. Nnamdi Asomugha did not continue to play as well he did in the preseason. On one play for example, he gave up a 16 yard completion when it was third and fifteen.
Eric Reid had a fingertip interception and had another called back due to an off sides call. He was well disciplined in coverage and made some nice open field tackles especially on a third down when he tackled Randall Cobb.
Frank Gore only had 44 yards on 21 carries. Kendall Hunter showed that he is back to form as he broke off a 23 yard run.
Aldon Smith was in the Packers backfield often and gave the rookie Bakhtiari a hard time. Smith had 1.5 sacks on the day.
Phil Dawson had a rare miss when he was not able to make a 48 yard field goal attempt.
Quinton Patton saw limited snaps and was not targeted once. He was open on a corner route on one play but Kaepernick chose to go to Boldin on a crossing route instead.
The clock management issues continued as the 49ers had to use a few timeouts as the play clock got close to expiring. The apparent problem is with the plays getting to the quarterback in a timely manner.
This game featured some fireworks after the comments of Clay Matthews about hitting Kaepernick. Matthews was very talkative after plays and had a late hit out of bounds that sparked a fight between he and Joe Staley.