No rally for Rodgers, Packers fall to 49ers 30-22

Associated Press Published: September 9, 2012
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — A revamped defense didn't look revamped. A revived running game didn't look revived. And not even Aaron Rodgers could bail out the Green Bay Packers.

Rodgers' attempt at a fourth-quarter rally fell short and the Packers were handed a harsh reality check Sunday, opening the season with a 30-22 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

It was an unsettling start for a team that only lost one game in the 2011 regular season, but Rodgers cautioned against blowing it out of proportion.

"It's one game," Rodgers said. "This is a team that was in the NFC championship last year. It's a good team. Hopefully we see them down the road in the playoffs."

The Packers don't have long to prepare for their next game, with the division rival Chicago Bears visiting Lambeau Field on Thursday night.

Asked if he at least was pleased that his team put together a comeback, Packers coach Mike McCarthy held his tongue.

"Boy, I'd like to answer that truthfully," McCarthy said. "We're 0-1. We have some work to do. We're up in 96 hours."

Rodgers finished 30 of 44 for 303 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, but the 49ers held him in check until late the in the game.

Jermichael Finley had a 1-yard touchdown for the Packers.

Randall Cobb had a big day, returning a punt 75 yards to begin the Packers' attempt at a fourth-quarter comeback and catching nine passes for 77 yards. With Cobb getting so many touches, veteran Donald Driver barely got on the field and went without a catch.

Rodgers finished the game as the Packers' leading rusher, with new addition Cedric Benson gaining just 18 yards on nine carries.

The Packers' defense struggled, too.

"We're going to be better," defensive lineman Ryan Pickett said. "It's tough to learn from. But this is a good team that came here, take nothing from them. But we were not at our best today."

49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said the 49ers made a statement.

"You turn on the TV or you hear people say, 'No, the Packers are going to beat them by two or three touchdowns,' and you hear everybody saying all this and that," Willis said. "But we know what we have and we have complete confidence in one another here across the board, offense, defense and special teams. As long as we have that and we're still together, I think we're capable of doing anything."

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