GREEN BAY, WI (WHBL) - The Green Bay Packers lost their first season opener since 2006 yesterday, 30-22 to the San Francisco 49’ers. The loss ended a string of 13 regular season home victories for the Packers, who were out-played on both sides of the ball. A tight San Francisco defense held Green Bay to just 45 rushing yards. The Packer defense gave up 186 rushing yards, as Alex Smith completed key passes when he needed to. David Akers booted three goals for the Niners, including an N-F-L-record-tying 63-yard shot that hit the crossbar and bounced over to end the first half. The Niners were up 23-7 early in the final period, when Randall Cobb ran back a 75-yard punt for a touchdown and Jordy Nelson caught a two-point conversion to get the Packers to within eight. But the game’s only turnover, an interception by Aaron Rodgers, resulted in a 23-yard touchdown run by Frank Gore which put the Niners up by 15 again. Rodgers then led the Pack on a 76-yard drive capped by a 10-yard scoring pass to James Jones. And the Niners’ defense and running game took control the rest of the way. San Francisco ended a string of nine straight losses to Green Bay, which will regroup quickly and host the Chicago Bears on Thursday night. Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy said it was difficult to overcome nine penalties his team committed in the first half. A team of replacement officials threw 18 flags for the game – including 10 against Green Bay. McCarthy said it made it hard for his offense to get in a rhythm. Rodgers completed 30-of-44 passes for 303 yards and two scores – including a one-yarder to Jermichael Finley in the first half. Rodgers was also Green Bay’s top rusher with five scrambles for 27 yards, but he was sacked three times. Cedric Benson was held to just 18 yards as the Packers’ starting running back. Cobb caught nine passes without a drop for 77 yards. Gore ran for 112 yards on 16 carries for San Francisco. Michael Crabtree led the Niner receivers with seven catches for 76 yards. Smith was 20 of 26 for 211 yards and two scores, including a 14-yarder to Randy Moss who was wide open in the end zone. Moss, who returned after a year of retirement, caught four passes for 47 yards. Green Bay had converted just 1 of 11 third downs going into the fourth quarter before the offense stepped up. The 49’ers converted just 2 of 9 third downs for the game, as the Packers sacked Smith four times. Clay Matthews had two and a half sacks. Still, the Niners out-gained the Pack in total yards, 377 to 324 – and they held the ball six minutes longer.
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