In what will likely be the best game of Week 1, the San Francisco 49ers earned their first win at Lambeau Field since 1990 with a 30-22 victory over the Green Bay Packers. With more physical play and great defense when it came to limiting big plays downfield by Aaron Rodgers, the 49ers played an all-around great game for the win.
49ers quarterback Alex Smith played a stellar game on offense, finishing 20-for-26 for 211 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Frank Gore excelled in the 49ers' various personnel groups, rushing for 112 yards and a touchdown on just 16 carries. Wide receiver Randy Moss also had a noteworthy return to Lambeau, catching a 14-yard touchdown pass from Smith in the second quarter, giving him 14 career regular-season touchdowns against the Packers.
The 49ers defense and special teams also played a huge part in the win. Soon after Randall Cobb's 75-yard punt return touchdown, linebacker NaVorro Bowman intercepted a Rodgers pass in the middle of the fourth quarter which lead to the 23-yard touchdown by Gore. Kicker David Akers even found a way to make his mark on this exciting game by tying an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal to end the first half and give the 49ers a 16-7 lead into halftime.
While this game certainly displayed why these two teams are favorites to win the Super Bowl this year, the result of this game was heavily tainted by poor calls by the replacement officials. The referees did make some good calls in this high-pressure game, but there were more bad decisions than good made by this officiating crew. While there were blown or missed calls that affected both teams, such as the inconsistent and late pass interference calls, the biggest miss call took place on Cobb's punt return in the fourth quarter.
Initially, there was a flag thrown for an apparent illegal block during the return. However, the officials decided to rescind the penalty despite an illegal block in the back to Anthony Dixon by special-teamer Terrell Manning after further review. This call definitely changed the tide of the game for the time being and could have changed the outcome of this game if it weren't for the plays by Bowman, Gore, and the rest of the 49ers defense.
In the end, the 49ers played like the better team for most of the game. Aside from some miscues in the fourth quarter, the team was effective on offense and defense despite the flurry of calls and non-calls. Despite upsetting a Packers team that had won 13 straight regular-season games at home, the 49ers' victory was unfortunately overshadowed by a slew of poor decisions by the game's replacement officiating crew.
Maiocco's Instant Replay: 49ers 30, Packers 22, CSN Bay Area
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Austin Chang is a lifelong football fan, San Francisco 49ers supporter, and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.
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