The Green Bay Packers already have as many losses this season as they had all of last season. And the San Francisco 49ers have made a very big statement that they’re the team to beat in the NFC.
San Francisco jumped out to an early lead at Lambeau Field and never trailed on Sunday, playing tough and physical defense combined with effective and mistake-free offense and beating the Packers 30-22. Green Bay, which went 15-1 in 2011, is now 0-1 in 2012.
Alex Smith, the quarterback the 49ers selected first overall in the 2005 NFL draft, has heard many times that he’s not as good a player as Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback the Packers selected with the 24th pick that year. But on this day, Smith couldn’t have been much better. He completed 20 of 26 passes for 211 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, and he was in complete control of the offense all day long. This is the quarterback the 49ers need Smith to be.
Rodgers was fine, completing 30 of 44 passes for 303 yards with two touchdowns, but he had a bad interception and he wasn’t quite the superhuman quarterback he was last season. With the ball and an eight-point deficit late in the game, Rodgers fell short as he attempted to engineer a comeback.
It’s easy to overreact to Week One games and forget that there’s still a long season ahead, but this game looked like it told us a lot about this 49ers team. If nothing else, there’s no doubt the 49ers were the better team today at Lambeau Field.