Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks off the
field after he was unable to convert on a third down against
the San Francisco 49ers in an NFL football game, Sunday,
Sept. 8, 2013, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
GREEN BAY — A
day later, the Green Bay Packers were trying to figure out how
they could have shut down the San Francisco 49ers' read-option and
still allowed 494 yards of total offense in their 34-28 loss.
While it wasn't
the 579 yards they allowed in their playoff loss to the 49ers, it
was still a troublesome number because of the way the 49ers did it
— by quarterback Colin Kaepernick hurting them through the air.
After rushing for
an NFL quarterback record 181 yards and throwing for 263 in the
playoff game, Kaepernick had just 22 yards rushing on seven
attempts, but completed 27 of 39 passes for a career-best 412
yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
there was so much focus on Kaepernick running with the ball and
the read-option, and those type of things," Packers defensive
coordinator Dom Capers said on Monday.
our guys did an excellent job on that yesterday and in terms of
the quarterback scrambles. Now, he didn't gain significant yardage
running with the ball, which we know he's capable of doing.
Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) is stopped near the
end zone by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12)
after he intercepted a pass during an NFL football game on
Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
The play was called an interception but returned to the spot
where he made the catch after a long run.
playing a quarterback that has those kinds of talents and can move
around and has a strong arm, you've got to be able to do both. We
played one phase well, we didn't play the other phase well
receiver Anquan Boldin was on the receiving end of most of
Kaepernick's completions, catching 13 passes for 208 yards and a
Capers even put
two defenders on Boldin and he still made plays, including a
10-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. He had a 22-yard
catch on third down on the 49ers' touchdown drive to start the
third quarter and a 43-yard catch-and-run to set up the go-ahead
touchdown in the fourth quarter.
playing a team like San Francisco, which is obviously a talented
team, it comes down to your execution has to match their
execution," Capers said.
our guys fought hard, but at critical times in the game — and
most of these games come down to that, the third-down situations
— we just didn't execute well enough.
have to go to work and make sure if we're committing (multiple)
people on a guy that he doesn't catch the football. The toughest
series was the series after we went up and they hit the back to
back big plays. That's when you want to be at your best, and we
weren't at that time."
Francisco 49ers' Kendall Hunter (32) picks up 23-yards on a
run in the fourth quarter before being brought down by Green
Bay Packers' Sam Shields of an NFL football game, Sunday,
Sept. 8, 2013, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
After the Packers
took a 28-24 lead with 8:26 left in the game, the defense let the
49ers drive 80 yards in five plays to retake the lead at 31-28.
In addition to
Boldin's 43-yard catch on that drive, running back Kendall Hunter
got loose for a 23-yard run, the 49ers' longest gain on the ground
during the game.
Kaepernick's rushes, San Francisco finished with 34 attempts for
90 yards, a 2.6-yard average.
like we didn't have things up and ready," Capers said.
"We just didn't execute with the kind of efficiency you
Jeremy Ross, who fumbled a punt at his 9-yard line that led to a
momentum-shifting 49ers touchdown in the playoff game, returned
three of seven kickoffs.
Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs out of
bounds as Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews
dives for him during the second quarter of an NFL football
game in San Francisco, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.
Because of short
returns, poor blocking or penalties, the Packers started those
three drives at their 4 yard line, their 22 and their 9.
"It wasn't a
great day for us in the kickoff return phase. Decision-making was
part of it," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "I
thought our kickoff return blocking unit did not do a very good
job. We will do a better job of that this week."
And while the
Packers' no-huddle offense scored four touchdowns, the group also
had five three-and-out series and turned the ball over twice,
leading to a 17-minute deficit in time of possession.
"It was kind
of feast or famine," offensive coordinator Tom Clements said.
"We had five three-and-outs and two turnovers and then we had
four touchdown drives.
outstanding defense. Ideally you'd like to move the ball every
time you have it. That's a little unrealistic, but you definitely
want to minimize the number of three-and-outs you have."
Harbaugh takes aim at Packers' Matthews
Calif. — Jim Harbaugh offered a parting shot at Packers
linebacker Clay Matthews: Slapping is not the tough-guy way.
Monday that Matthews threw one punch and slapped 49ers left
tackle Joe Staley when they tussled following Matthews' late hit
on quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second quarter of San
Francisco's 34-28 season-opening win against Green Bay on
going to go to the face, come with some knuckles, not an open
slap," Harbaugh said. "I think if that young man works
very hard on being a tough guy, he'll have some repairing to do
to his image after the slap."
promised leading up to the game that Green Bay would target
Kaepernick after he ran for a quarterback-record 181 yards to
beat the Packers in the playoffs eight months ago, and Matthews
did just that. On the play, he threw his right arm around the
lower part of Kaepernick's neck.
said last week, usually a man will tell you his bad intentions
if you just listen. That certainly was a cheap shot, launching,
clotheslining to the neck-head area," Harbaugh said.
was flagged for a late hit, Staley received an unsportsmanlike
conduct penalty that Harbaugh didn't think was right.
immediately came to Kaepernick's defense on the play. The
penalties were offset and the 49ers scored on the next play,
which officials later said should have been fourth down rather
than a repeated third down.
The NFL said
Monday that a review showed Staley should not have been
reviewing the play, Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino
determined that Joe Staley should not have been penalized,"
spokesman Randall Liu said in an email. "It should have
been first-and-goal for the 49ers from the Green Bay 3-yard
what I saw," Harbaugh said.
praised referee Bill Leavy and his crew, and said San Francisco
would have gone for it on fourth down anyway.
all, it never should have been offsetting penalties, in my
opinion," Harbaugh said. "All in all, there's a lot of
things going on in that stretch. The other one was the entire
Packers bench cleared, practice squad players, coaches. Members
of the Green Bay Packers are all out of their bench area down
along the goal line. There was no repercussion for that as
Mike McCarthy said in Green Bay, Wis., that he's not looking to
get into a back and forth with Harbaugh.
Matthews is not a dirty player, by no means," McCarthy
said. "So I addressed Harbaugh's comments in the team
meeting, and as always, we'll stay above it."
said after the game he needs to control his emotions, he insists
he will defend his quarterback in a case like that.
it's rather simple when coaching a situation like that.
are going at each other after the whistle, and looking to push
and shove people, just lock up, protect yourself," he said.
"Not going to back down from it, we're not going to get
pushed all around after the whistle when it's not being called,
when the first offense is not being called.
to have a plan. For us, it's not to go pushing and throwing
punches, it's to lock up and protect yourself. And Joe did that
about as well as you could do it. If you call somebody for that
then you're going to have 30 flags, 30 times. That's happening
all the time in our league after the whistle."
Harbaugh had to change his game-day attire at halftime from
Reebok to Nike. He said he could be subject to a fine.
a mistake, grabbed the wrong one," Harbaugh said. "It
was an honest mistake, there was no malice intended. It won't