The San Francisco 49ers grinded out a phenomenal 34-28 win over the resilient Green Bay Packers. Both teams went back and forth on the scoreboard displaying the same amount of intensity as they did in the playoffs. Some extracurricular activities even took place on the sidelines between left tackle Joe Staley and pass-rusher Clay Matthews for the unnecessary late hit on Colin Kaepernick. A rare crucial error from the referees allowed the 49ers to receive an extra down, instead of sending out the field goal unit on a 4th and 2. Kaepernick finished the day with an astounding 412 passing yards, compared to Aaron Rodgers air attack of 333 yards.
It was a given that the Packers would be prepared for the 49ers read-option and Kaepernick’s gazelle-like speed on the scramble. What they wouldn’t be prepared for was Anquan Boldin’s big play-making ability. The 32-year-old veteran had a knack for always being left open on the field during pivotal 3rd down opportunities. Boldin caught 13 passes from his new quarterback, gathering a total of 208 yards in his 49er debut. After his awe-inspiring performance on Sunday, there is no doubt Kaepernick has found his new primary target.
Kaepernick said, “They kept letting him get open, and he played like a grown man today.” “He made plays even when he shouldn’t have.”
The 2003 second round pick was originally selected to play WR for the Arizona Cardinals. After seven years he was then traded to the Baltimore Ravens in 2010, where he won his first coveted Super Bowl ring three years later, ironically against the 49ers. The 49ers gave up a 6th round draft pick to the Ravens, to acquire one of the best veteran receivers in the league. Must be brotherly love? The off-season acquisition of Boldin couldn’t come at a better time with Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham still recovering from their injuries. Once these two receivers are back up to speed, don’t be startled if the aerial attack resembles a Denver Bronco offense.
The Packers did a superb job defending against the read-option, and contained Kaepernick from running all over the field for the most part. The complication was they focused more on the Niners physical running game, and underestimated the 49ers passing capability. Additionally, if Kaepernick’s new chemistry with Boldin continues to “click” the way it did during last night’s performance, expect the 49ers to have another glorious season. Excellent win for the 49ers (1-0), and a valiant effort from the Green Bay Packers (0-1).
Coach Jim Harbaugh said in his interview, “He cost us a draft choice and we’re paying him a lot of money, but he’s worth every penny.”
I couldn’t agree more.