SANTA CLARA, CALIF. – The Green Bay Packers snap a four-game losing streak against the San Francisco 49ers in a 17-3 victory Sunday afternoon to advance to 4-0 on the season. Green Bay is one of six teams in the NFL that remain undefeated.
In the previous three meetings the thorn in the Packers side had been the read option offense of the 49ers behind dual-threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The Packers defense was able to hold the 49ers to only a field goal and Kaepernick to only 160 yards passing and 57 yards rushing.
After three and outs by both teams to start the first quarter, which included a potential 80 yard touchdown dropped by Packers’ receiver Ty Montgomery, the Packers offense was able to march downfield with Aaron Rodgers going 6-8 passing. The drive was capped off with a nine-yard touchdown strike to tight end Richard Rodgers. The Packers ended the first quarter with a 7-0 lead.
In the second quarter The Packers’ defense was able to hold standout running back Carlos Hyde in check, but Kaepernick was able rush for 43 yards on six attempts. After having a chance to tie the game at seven, Kaepernick was sacked on back-to-back plays from Nick Perry and Jayrone Elliott, forcing the 49ers to settle for a field goal.
Before the half concluded, the Packers had a chance to add another touchdown, but on third down linebacker Ahmad Brooks sacked Rodgers, forcing the Packers to settle for a field goal attempt. Mason Crosby missed wide left on a 44-yard kick and the half ended with the Packers leading 7-3.
The 49ers’ first drive of the second half ended with a punt, and Green Bay capitalized with a 9 play, 61 yard drive ending with a 1-yard touchdown plunge by fullback John Kuhn. After another 49ers’ drive ended with a punt, the Packers drove the ball into 49ers territory and Mason Crosby successfully kicked a 31-yard field goal to give the Packers a 17-3 lead.
The story of the second half was how Dom Capers’ defense adjusted to the read-option and not giving Kaepernick room to run. The pass rush was dominant with Perry, Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews registering sacks. Kaepernick threw a deep ball interception to Sam Shields that was intended for Anquan Boldin in the middle of the fourth quarter. The only big gain the 49ers had in the second half was a 47-yard pass to Torrey Smith, but the drive ended on a fourth-down sack by Mike Neal.
Another big story for the Packers was their rushing attack which saw Eddie Lacy rush for 90 yards on 18 carries and Rodgers scramble for 33 yards.
Aaron Rodgers finished the game 22 for 34 for 224 yards and one touchdown. The Packers defense recorded six sacks and were able to hold the 49ers to 77 yards rushing en route to the two-touchdown victory.
Next, the Packers head back to Green Bay to take on the St. Louis Rams. San Francisco will travel to New York to play the Giants on Sunday night.
Other games from around the NFL:
The Thursday night game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens was a typical battle between the two AFC North rivals: physical and defensive. Steelers kicker Josh Scobee missed two field goals in regulation that allowed the Ravens to drive for a game-tying field goal to force overtime. Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker made the game-winner in overtime to give his team its first win of the season, 23-20. Ravens’ running back Justin Forsett ran for 150 yards on 27 carries.
Sunday’s game in London, England ended in a New York Jets convincing win over their division rival Miami Dolphins, 27-14. Jets’ running back Chris Ivory ran for 166 yards and one touchdown, and Dolphins’ coach Joe Philbin was fired on Monday.
Running back Devonta Freeman ran for three scores and cornerback Desmond Trufant and linebacker Nate Stupar returned fumbles for touchdowns to help the Atlanta Falcons run away from the Houston Texans, 48-27. Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 256 yards and one touchdown.
Quarterback Eli Manning threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns, including a late one to running back Rashad Jennings that broke open a 17-10 game to help the Giants to a 24-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Chicago Bears’ veteran kicker Robbie Gould nailed a 49-yard field goal in the final seconds to give his team its first win of the season, 22-20 over the Oakland Raiders. Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns in his return from injury.
The Cincinnati Bengals remained undefeated thanks to three touchdown runs from running back Jeremy Hill and 321 passing yards from quarterback Andy Dalton that led to a 36-21 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Chiefs’ kicker Cairo Santos accounted for all 21 Kansas City points as he tied a record for second-most field goals in a game with seven.
Playing without starting quarterback Andrew Luck, the Indianapolis Colts needed overtime to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 16-13, in Indianapolis. Two 40+ year-old veterans were the key players for the Colts, as Matt Hasselbeck threw for 282 yards and one score in relief of Luck and kicker Adam Vinatieri made three field goals, including the game-winner in overtime.
The Carolina Panthers’ defense picked rookie Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback Jameis Winston four times, including one by star cornerback Josh Norman that was returned for a touchdown. Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton threw for two more scores as Carolina moved to 4-0 with a 37-23 win.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for 290 yards and a late score to wide receiver Pierre Garcon to help the Washington Redskins edge the Philadelphia Eagles, 23-20.
Rookie kicker Josh Lambo made a 39-yard field goal as time expired to lift the San Diego Chargers to a 30-27 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers finished with 358 passing yards and three scores.
Rams’ quarterback Nick Foles threw three touchdown passes and rookie running back Todd Gurley had 144 of his 146 rushing yards in the second half to help send the Arizona Cardinals to their first loss of the season, 24-22.
Kicker Brandon McManus made three field goals, running back Ronnie Hillman had 103 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown, and the Denver Broncos’ defense continued to play well to begin the season en route to a 23-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings and a 4-0 start to the season.
The New Orleans Saints got their first win of the season in overtime, 26-20, over the Dallas Cowboys. Quarterback Drew Brees threw the game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass to running back C.J. Spiller, this being the 400th career touchdown pass of Brees’ career.
In a situation all too reminiscent of a game three years ago vs. the Packers, the Seattle Seahawks were the beneficiaries of a questionable call at home on Monday night against the Detroit Lions. Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor, in his first game back from a contract holdout, forced a fumble from Lions’ star receiver Calvin Johnson. Linebacker K.J. Wright slapped the ball out of the end zone, but the referees called the play a touchback, even though the rules state that if the defense knocks a fumble out of the end zone, a penalty commences and the offensive team gets the ball at the 1-yard-line. This call, plus some stiff defense by Seattle, allowed the home team to escape with a 13-10 victory.