Live Commentary: Green Bay Packers 28-34 San Francisco 49ers - as it happened

Live Commentary: Green Bay 28-34 49ers - as it happened
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Relive Sports Mole's coverage of the NFL match between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers.

The San Francisco 49ers opened their new season with a win this evening, beating the Green Bay Packers 34-28 at Candlestick Park.

The two teams traded blows throughout the match as neither could gain a telling advantage on the scoreboard.

Both quarterbacks threw three touchdowns apiece while there was also a rushing touchdown for both sides in the fourth quarter.

In the end, it was the boot of Phil Dawson that made the difference as he kicked two field goals to give his side the victory.

You can read how the match unfolded with Sports Mole's live play-by-play coverage below.


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9pmGood evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for the much-anticipated opening week clash between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. Let's get straight down to business.

9.02pmThe NFL is well and truly back, ladies and gentlemen. Peyton Manning began the season in imperious form, throwing a record-equalling seven touchdown passes to held the Denver Broncos beat the Baltimore Ravens on the opening night, while a whole host of other fixtures have taken place today.

9.04pmIt is the turn of the Packers and the 49ers to get their respective seasons underway now, though, and what a match we have in prospect. It is a repeat of last year's Divisional Playoff, when the Packers were unable to cope with Colin Kaepernick as he helped the 49ers to a 45-31 win. That set up a Super Bowl showdown with the Ravens, which the 49ers ultimately went on to lose.

9.06pmHopes are high that the 49ers can go one better this season, a view that has grown more and more throughout the warm-up campaign. They have had problems with injury during pre-season, so it hasn't exactly been ideal preparation, but their on-field performances have steadily improved and they managed to win three of their four matches.

9.08pmTheir one and only defeat came in their opening match as they lost 10-6 to the Broncos, but the improvement has been clear to see since then. A 15-13 win against Kansas City was followed by a 34-14 win over the Vikings before they finished their warm-up campaign by thrashing the San Diego Chargers 41-6.

9.10pmIn Colin Kaepernick they have a quarterback capable of special things. He is a threat when throwing the ball and when running with it, which will make it very hard for the Packers to second guess what he is going to do tonight.

9.12pmThe Packers have a pretty impressive quarterback themselves, though. Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best player in the NFL right now and he will be instrumental in today's match. He may call upon the likes of Eddie Lacy to run the ball, which wasn't as potent a weapon for them last season, but his throwing will be the most likely route of points for the Packers tonight.

9.14pmThings haven't gone too well for the Packers in pre-season, though. They were shut out by the Arizona Cardinals in their first match, losing 17-0, before picking up their sole win with a 19-7 victory over the Rams.

9.16pmThey returned to losing ways in their next match, however. They were beaten 17-10 by the Seattle Seahawks and their last outing saw them beaten 30-8 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

9.18pmScoring points has been a real problem for the Packers, then. They only reached double figures in one of their four pre-season matches, and they know that they will have to do a lot better than that if they are to win this one tonight.

9.20pmTonight's match pits the NFC North winners (Green Bay) from last season against the NFC West winners (49ers) from last season. These two sides met twice last season, with the 49ers coming out on top on both occasions. Most notably, they won in the aforementioned Divisional Playoff, a defeat that the Packers will be desperate to avenge today.

9.22pmThere will be questions over the Packers offensive line this evening. There are two rookies protecting Rodgers, who may be keen to get the ball away quickly in the early stages as those rookies settle in.

9.24pmIt will be interesting to see if Kaepernick can repeat his performance from the last meeting between these sides. It was a dominant display by him in the playoffs.

Q1 15:00KICKOFF: We're underway at Candlestick Park and the Packers take a knee from the kickoff.

Q1 14:22Shaky start for the Packers' offensive line as Aldon Smith gets through and sacks Rodgers early on. Not a good start for the quarterback, but he wasn't given anywhere enough protection there.

Q1 13:20The Packers fail to get the first down so are forced into an early punt, which leaves the 49ers within their own 30-yard line.

Q1 13:14Kaepernick's first throw is incomplete and he can feel quite lucky about that as Williams came very close to intercepting it. Not the best start from either quarterback, but it could have been a lot worse for the 49ers there.

Q1 13:02Good protection for Kaepernick as he embarks on his first run. He makes decent ground but doesn't quite reach the first down line so the hosts will punt it.

Q1 12:12Lacy is caught early by the 49ers defence and the Packers make a three-yard loss before Rodgers makes two consecutive passes, the last of which gets the Packers a first down just inside their own half.

Q1 10:54Lacy is being given the ball a lot in these early stages but he is struggling to make significant ground at the moment. The Packers are third and six when Rodgers overthrows to Lacy, resulting in a punt.

Q1 09:45Huge play from Clay Matthews! He breaks straight through the offensive line to make a tackle and it is a loss of seven for the 49ers. They respond with a gain of 11, so are now third and six deep inside their own half.

Q1 07:42Two good plays in a row from the 49ers as Kaepernick throws from consecutive first downs to take his side into the Packers half. They are moving steadily down the pitch with this drive and are now at second and eight.

Q1 05:22This is a good drive from the 49ers. They have gone from their own 10-yard line and are now just outside the Packers' 20.

Q1 03:37Kaepernick finds Boldin in the end zone but the wide receiver can't get both of his feet down before being forced out of bounds. It was a good effort from Boldin and he managed to get his left leg down, but the right was most certainly out of bounds.

Q1 02:57TOUCHDOWN SAN FRANCISCO!

Q1 02:57The first score of the night goes the way of the hosts as Kaepernick throws to Vernon Davis in the endzone. They add the extra point as well, taking a 7-0 lead after a 79-yard drive down the field.

Q1 02:54The 49ers kick us off again and the Packers take a knee from the restart, so will resume from their own 20-yard line. Can Rodgers match that last drive from Kaepernick? The latter is winning the battle of the quarterbacks at the moment.

Q1 02:40Rodgers is getting the ball away as quickly as possible after that earlier sack. The drive begins with a first down before Jordy Nelson makes a great catch for a 31-yard completion.

Q1 01:42Big play by Lacy! Rodgers throws a short pass to the rookie, who takes advantage of good blocking to weave his way through to the five-yard line, where he is eventually tackled. That is another 31-yard gain.

Q1 01:05TOUCHDOWN PACKERS!

Q1 01:05The Packers are back level! Rodgers finds Randall Cobb with a short pass and the wide receiver does brilliantly to spin away and reach the ball just into the end zone to pick up the touchdown. There is a matter of inches in it, but the replays show that he did indeed stretch far enough. The extra is added to make it 7-7.

Q1 00:58Perrish Cox opts to return the kickoff and he makes good ground before being hauled down on his own 25-yard line. He very nearly found a way through there.

Q1 00:00END OF FIRST QUARTER: Green Bay Packers 7-7 San Francisco 49ers

10.07pmThe first quarter ends with the teams all square at one touchdown apiece. Both quarterbacks had shaky starts but have responded with good drives resulting in touchdowns since. That last drive from the Packers went 80 yards all from the hands of Rodgers and in double quick time.

Q2 14:47The second quarter begins with a gain of seven for the 49ers as Kaepernick finds Boldin. He then follows that up with a 27-yard throw to the same player to claim the first down.

Q2 13:25Boldin has been heavily involved in this second quarter so far. Kaepernick has throw the ball to him three times already, and the latest sees them reach third down and seven just inside the Packers' half.

Q2 12:30There is no pressure on Kaepernick as the 49ers offensive line does its job, but he has no options up the field so rushes for the first down marker. The Packers defence close in on him quickly, however, and he falls around five yards short. They will punt this one now.

Q2 11:15TURNOVER! Just after punting the ball away, the 49ers have it back in a very good position. The Packers are given a 10-yard penalty and Rodgers looks to Lacy to rush to the first down line. The rookie fumbles in a tackle, however, and the 49ers are the first to dive on the loose ball. They are now within 20 yards of the end zone.

Q2 10:02Kaepernick gives the ball to Gore, who looks to have just about reached the first down line four yards from the end zone. However, a flag is down and the 49ers are given a five-yard penalty, leaving them third and six.

Q2 09:21Kaepernick has all the time in the world but doesn't see any options to run for the first down. He falls just short, but Matthews puts in a late hit on the quarterback that prompts an all-out brawl between the two sides. As a result of the 49ers' reaction to Matthews' hit, what would have become a first down for them reverts back to third and six.

Q2 08:57TOUCHDOWN 49ERS!

Q2 08:57That penalty doesn't cost the 49ers as Kaepernick finds Boldin in the middle of the field. The wide receiver eludes a tackle from McMillan before strolling into the end zone to restore his side's lead. The extra is also added.

Q2 08:50There is bad blood brewing between these two sides! Every stoppage is being accompanied by scuffles between both sets of players. The latest comes after Ross decides to return the kickoff but fails to reach the 15-yard line.

Q2 08:09That failed kickoff return has put the Packers under pressure deep inside their own half. Rodgers throws an incomplete pass on third down so the visitors will now be forced to punt. The 49ers should get the ball back in a decent enough position from this.

Q2 07:56The 49ers resume just inside their own half and Kaepernick sends a good long pass towards Davis, who is wide open but can't hold on to the ball. On the next down the quarterback can't find a way out so just runs the ball out of play for a loss of two. They are now third and 12.

Q2 06:45A delay of game penalty loses the 49ers another five yards and Kaepernick can only throw out of bounds when they eventually make the play. The Packers will get the ball back from the punt now having stopped the 49ers from making any ground on that latest drive.

Q2 05:15Rodgers is very well protected there, which will be reassuring to Packers fans. He finds Nelson on the line of scrimmage, and Nelson is able to spin away from a tackle and make a 22-yard gain down the left touchline. Good play from the Packers.

Q2 04:18INTERCEPTION! Oh James Jones will not want to see that one again! He fumbles an easy enough catch and his misery is compounded as the ball bounces off his knee and into the arms of Reid, who returns it to within three yards of the end zone before being brought down by Rodgers. The play will be reviewed, but if it is deemed that Reid was not brought down via contact then the 49ers are in a great position. It looks like there was contact, however, so play will revert all the way back to where the interception happened.

Q2 04:18That is a lucky break for the Packers and Jones. The interception stands as expected, but the ball will be moved back to the 44-yard line as opposed to the three-yard line.

Q2 03:41Boldin is looking like the 49ers' most dangerous weapon at the moment. He catches a long pass from Kaepernick after losing Williams to make a good gain. That is his sixth catch of the match.

Q2 02:41There was a lot of talk from Matthews before the match about how he was going to hit Kaepernick hard. His earlier hit prompted a scuffle between the two sides, but there is no reaction to this one which is perfectly legal. The 49ers need to protect their quarterback better than that.

Q2 01:37Phil Dawson goes for the first field goal of the game from 48 yards, but he drags his effort a little to the right of the posts, so it remains a seven-point game.

Q2 01:22Brooks puts in a late hit on Rodgers from behind and is flagged for the offence. That turns what was originally a 13-yard gain into a 28-yard gain as the Packers move into the 49ers' half.

Q2 00:58Rodgers sends a long throw down field as he knows that he has a penalty if it is intercepted. It is smart play from the quarterback and almost creates a touchdown, but Reid just beat Jones to the ball.

Q2 00:52Big first down from the Packers as they move to within 25 yards of the end zone. Asomugha was guilty of missing a tackle there, allowing the Packers to make a 15-yard gain.

Q2 00:16TOUCHDOWN PACKERS!

Q2 00:16Great play from Jermichael Finley! He catches a Rodgers pass, stays up after a tackle from Cox and then reaches the ball into the end zone under heavy pressure. That was a very good finish by the Green Bay tight end. The extra point is duly added and we have a tied game with only seconds to go until half time.

Q2 00:09Anthony Dixon makes a good kickoff return, shaking off a couple of tackles to reach the 40-yard line in his own half. With just seconds left of the half, Kaepernick could go for a hail mary pass here.

Q2 00:01Kaepernick has all the time in the world to wait for his teammates to pack the end zone, and he heaves it upfield towards a mass of bodies. It is incomplete, however, as the Packers defence just does enough to send the teams into half time all square.

Q2 00:00HALF TIME: Green Bay Packers 14-14 San Francisco 49ers

11.09pmWe have a very interesting match on our hands here. The teams go into the half-time break all square at 14-14, and it is hard to see who currently holds the advantage. It has been an even match on the whole so far, with both quarterbacks throwing two touchdown passes apiece.

11.11pmIt has been quite a heated affair at times today. Clay Matthews told everyone and anyone who would listen that he planned on hitting Colin Kaepernick hard should he get the chance, and the Packers man stayed true to his word with an illegal hit near the end zone that sparked fury from the 49ers.

11.13pmThe 49ers were originally set to get a first down just a few yards from the end zone due to that tackle, but the reaction from some of their players prompted the officials to revert it back to a third down. That didn't affect the hosts, however, as they scored a touchdown with the very next play. Interestingly, however, that touchdown should not have counted as both fouls occurred while the ball was dead, meaning that the 49ers should have been at fourth down, rather than a third. The hosts would have most likely gone for a field goal from that position, so the Packers can feel harshly done by.

11.15pmSpeaking of Clay Matthews, here is a picture of the linebacker cooling himself down during today's match. He hasn't done anything to cool tempers on the field, although it is safe to say that he isn't looking at his most menacing here:

Packers' Clay Matthews during a game with San Francisco on September 8, 2013© Getty Images


11.17pmThe 49ers' main offensive weapon so far has been Anquan Boldin. He has six catches and a touchdown to his name already.

Q3 15:00The second half is underway at Candlestick Park. There was nothing to separate the two teams in the first half, who will find the difference in these last two quarters?

Q3 13:15Boldin is the man that Kaepernick looks to again, and he doesn't disappoint. He leaps between two defenders to make a very good catch for a first down. He then gets on the end of another throw but falls just short of the first down line.

Q3 11:29It is all about Boldin in this second half so far. Once again the wide receiver is on the end of a Kaepernick throw and almost escapes the attentions of a defender for what would have been a clear touchdown. In the end, he is called back, but it is still a good 30-yard gain for the 49ers.

Q3 10:02He's doing it all right now! Boldin plucks the ball out of the air with one hand to send the 49ers to first and goal.

Q3 09:46TOUCHDOWN 49ERS!

Q3 09:46Kaepernick and Boldin combined to put the 49ers in this position, but it is Kaepernick and Davis who ultimately link up for the touchdown. Davis is wide open in the end zone and it is a simple pass from Kaepernick that finds him. That is two touchdowns today for Davis, and the extra point extends the hosts' lead to seven again.

Q3 09:40A kickoff return is snuffed out early by the 49ers, so the Packers will go for a first down inside their own 15-yard line. Can they respond to going behind for a third time in this match?

Q3 08:51Lacy has been the Packers' preferred running option today, but he has struggled to make much ground when he's been given the ball. The Packer's longest rushing gain has been just three yards today.

Q3 07:43The Packers fail to reach the first down line so a kick returns the ball to the hosts, whose punt return gives them a modest six-yard gain.

Q3 06:57A couple of incomplete passes ensure that the 49ers do not make the first down so will be forced to punt the ball back to Green Bay having not made any significant ground on this drive.

Q3 06:37Cobb returns the punt 16 yards to leave the Packers on a first down on their own 30-yard line.

Q3 05:57Lacy makes his best gain of the night so far as he rushes to within one yard of the first down. Rodgers then keeps the ball himself to run the required yard before hopping out of play just inside the 49ers half.

Q3 04:30BOOM! Huge hit from Reid on Cobb there! The rookie came steaming in and smashed Cobb from behind, but Cobb managed to hold on to the ball for a first down.

Q3 03:48TOUCHDOWN PACKERS!

Q3 03:48The Packers just keep coming back for more in this game! Rodgers finds Cobb again to move closer to the end zone before throwing his third touchdown pass of the night to Jordy Nelson. The extra is added to level things up once more.

Q3 03:42There is so little to separate these two quarterbacks at the moment. They have both thrown three touchdowns and just four yards separate them in terms of throwing distance in this match.

Q3 02:20Big play from the 49ers! Kaepernick throws a 37-yard pass to Davis, who catches it over his shoulder before being taken down. That is the longest play of the match so far and takes the 49ers into the Packers half.

Q3 01:04Kaepernick is starting to improve those figures I mentioned earlier. Having just shown his quality when throwing the ball, he demonstrates his all-round talent by running for another first down.

Q3 00:39SACK! Matthews with another huge play! He is not stopped by anyone as he races straight through to take down Kaepernick for a seven-yard loss. The two players square up after the sack, but there is no flag from the officials.

Q3 00:00END OF THIRD QUARTER: Green Bay Packers 21-21 San Francisco 49ers

11.59pmThat is a big play to end the half with! Matthews is certainly backing up his pre-match talk against Kaepernick. He has hit the 49ers quarterback a number of times already in this match and made sure that he knew about it after that latest sack.

Q4 14:52Kaepernick finds Gore wide open right through the middle of the field but he can only make it to the eight-yard line, so the 49ers will bring the field goal team on.

Q4 14:49FIELD GOAL! Phil Dawson makes no mistake with the field goal, kicking the first three-pointer of the match to put the 49ers in the lead for a fourth time today. Can they hold on to it this time?

Q4 13:40SACK! It is Rodgers's turn to get sacked now! Aldon Smith gets through and Rodgers finds himself with very little space to work with before being brought down for a loss of three.

Q4 12:41Miller makes a 16-yard catch and run to claim a first down for the 49ers but, more worryingly for the Packers, Jolly is down and looks hurt.

Q4 12:00Green Bay are looking to to rough Kaepernick up in this match, but he is paying them little attention. He is forced to go to ground to avoid being hit there, and he got an earful from the Packers' defensive line while getting up.

Q4 11:01Shields manages to make a vital tackle on Williams that turns what was looking like a clear touchdown into an incomplete pass. Williams couldn't hold on to a slightly short pass from Kaepernick.

Q4 10:41The 49ers have defended against Lacy's rushing very well today. I'm not sure whether the rookie has reached a first down running the ball yet.

Q4 10:06Of course, just as I say that, he reaches the first down on his very next run! He makes a gain of seven yards - the longest of the day for him.

Q4 09:44Brilliant from Nelson as he keeps his feet on the ground while leaning out of bounds to catch a 37-yard pass from Rodgers. Very impressive from Nelson, and the Packers are moving into scoring territory now.

Q4 08:32TOUCHDOWN PACKERS!

Q4 08:32It is a lightning quick drive from the Packers, and they end it with a touchdown. Of course, it was Lacy who got it after I praised the way that the 49ers had defended him so far. The rookie picks up his first NFL touchdown by leaping over the defensive line to just stretch the ball into the end zone. The extra point is added and the Packers are in front for the first time today.

Q4 08:11Kaepernick keeps the ball and runs himself, sliding four yards short of the first down with Clay Matthews closing him down.

Q4 07:19Boldin is making all the big plays for the 49ers today, and this is the biggest of the lot. He catches a Kaepernick pass before beating two tackles and running out of bounds having made a 40+ yard gain.

Q4 06:30Another big play from the 49ers as they move to within nine yards of the end zone. They will resume at first and goal as they look to regain the lead in this one.

Q4 05:47TOUCHDOWN 49ERS!

Q4 05:47The pendulum continues to swing in this match and the 49ers have now regained the lead. Gore rushes to within two yards of the end zone and Kaepernick again opts to use his running back for the next play as he piles through a mass of bodies to reach over for the touchdown. The successful kick makes it 31-28 to the 49ers.

Q4 05:44We've seen a few dodgy kickoff return decision today, and this is another one. CJ Spillman gets his tackle in on the eight-yard line, and Rodgers will need to throw his side out from deep inside his own half.

Q4 05:00Rodgers runs himself to edge closer to the first down line before narrowly escaping a sack on the next play. His eventual throw is incomplete, so the Packers will punt it back to the 49ers.

Q4 03:20The 49ers are on third and four before Davis collects a Kaepernick pass and makes a good gain to give his side a first down. The hosts are currently 10 yards or so inside the Packers' half.

Q4 03:00Interesting decision from the 49ers as they choose to play on fourth and two. This could be a risky strategy, but they clearly don't think that a six-point lead would be enough in this match.

Q4 02:42The risk pays off! Boldin makes a comfortable catch from Kaepernick to go over 200 receiving yards for the match and, more importantly, to give his side the first down. If they can get a touchdown from this drive then the Packers will be hard pressed to come back.

Q4 01:06It's decision time for the 49ers again. Kaepernick slides in six yards short of the first down, and this time they will go for the field goal.

Q4 00:26FIELD GOAL! No mistake from Phil Dawson as he makes it a six-point game with not long left on the clock. Can Rodgers get the Packers back up the field in time? We could be in for a very exciting end to this match.

Q4 00:03Rodgers finds Cobb for the first down and then the Packers kill the clock with three second left. It is 'Hail Mary' time for Rodgers, last chance saloon.

Q4 00:00FULL TIME: Green Bay Packers 28-34 San Francisco 49ers

12.52amThis one is over, folks! Rodgers can't get his pass away in time and the ball comes bobbling out of his grasp harmlessly. Time is up, and the 49ers players celebrate opening the 2013 NFL season with a win.

12.54amThe Packers played their part in what was a very good match and a great competition between two of the best quarterbacks around right now. They will be disappointed having lost tonight's match, but there are plenty of positives to take from this match and if they play like that all season then they should be fine.

12.56amWhat a start to his 49ers career Anquan Boldin made today. He was Colin Kaepernick's preferred target the whole way through and he made some telling plays that really helped his side out on a number of occasions. Those two look like a dangerous partnership for the upcoming season.

12.58amBoth quarterbacks were nigh-on faultless today. We only saw one interception, and that was by no means down to a poor pass, rather a dropped catch. Both threw three touchdown passes, while Kaepernick had 412 passing yards, which is the most by any 49ers player in almost a decade.

1amRight, that's just about all we have time for tonight. Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for what was a fabulous way to start the new season as the San Francisco 49ers squeezed past the Green Bay Packers at Candlestick Park. Join us again for plenty more NFL news and action in the coming week! Until then, goodbye!

San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick during a warm-up before the game against Denver Broncos on August 8, 2013
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