Maiocco's Instant Replay: 49ers 30, Packers 22

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Maiocco's Instant Replay: 49ers 30, Packers 22

BOX SCORE

GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- In the regular-season opener, the 49ers skipped ahead to midseason form for the first three quarters.The 49ers were nearly perfect in all three phases for three quarters Sunday. After one fourth-quarter hiccup, coming on a controversial Green Bay Packers punt return for a touchdown, the 49ers regained their swagger in a 30-22 victory at Lambeau Field.The team featured two of the preseason favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. And the 49ers might have established themselves as the early season team to beat.It was the 49ers' first road victory against the Packers since 1990 -- a span that included six regular-season games and two playoff showdowns.Quarterback Alex Smith distributed the ball to the 49ers' wide variety of offensive weapons. Smith finished 20-for-26 for 211 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. And running back Frank Gore capitalized on a wide array of personnel groups, featuring extra blockers to gain 112 yards on 16 carries.Smith set the 49ers' team record for most regular-season pass attempts without an interception. Smith entered the game with 159 consecutive attempts without an interception from the end of last season. Steve Young previously held the record with 184 consecutive attempts without an interception.Defensively, the 49ers managed to keep Aaron Rodgers and the high-powered Packers offense in check.Linebacker NaVorro Bowman intercepted a Rodgers pass midway through the fourth quarter. On the next play, Gore tore off a 23-yard touchdown run to give the 49ers a 30-15 lead. The 49ers had spare offensive linemen Leonard Davis and Daniel Kilgore on the field as eligible receivers on Gore's touchdown run.And, just as a year ago, kicker David Akers was exceptional with three first-half field goals.Akers, a 14-year veteran, tied an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to give the 49ers a 16-7 lead against the Green Bay Packers.Akers became the fourth player in NFL history to kick a 63-yard field goal, joining Tom Dempsey (1970), Jason Elam (1998) and Sebastian Janikowski (2011).Replacement refs: Coach Jim Harbaugh was livid on the sideline when referee David White picked up a flag for an apparent illegal block in the back that would've nullified Randall Cobb's 75-yard punt return in the fourth quarter. It appeared as if Packers special-teamer Terrell Manning blocked Anthony Dixon in the back in the middle of the field.Return of Williams: Kyle Williams handled all the punt-return chores with Ted Ginn out of action with a right ankle sprain. Williams gave the 49ers a chance to score before the end of the the first half when he returned Tim Masthay's punt 20 yards to the 38. Four plays later, Akers went out for his 63-yard field goal to close the first half.Designated runner: Backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick helped set up the field goal when he entered the game for one play, and he dashed off a 17-yard run to the Green Bay 45-yard line with :11 remaining in the half.Akers also made field goals of 40 and 43 yards in the first half. He set the NFL record last season with 44 field goals made.Moss is boss: Randy Moss' debut with the 49ers was a resounding success. He caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith in the second quarter for his 14th career regular-season touchdown against the Packers. He has caught more touchdown passes against the Packers than any other opponent in the history of the franchise.

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.

The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.

An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.

Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.

Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.

"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.

 

49ers head coach Shanahan: Lynch going in the right direction

49ers head coach Shanahan: Lynch going in the right direction

SANTA CLARA -- General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan sat down with 49ers pass-rusher Aaron Lynch shortly after assuming their new roles to give him an outline of what was expected.

Aaron Lynch entered the NFL in 2014 as a fifth-round draft pick despite having the talent worthy of a much-earlier selection. There were concerns about his commitment and character.

Lynch showed plenty of promise in his first two seasons. He tied for the club lead both seasons with six and 6.5 sacks, respectively. Last year, Lynch reported to the offseason program 30 pounds overweight. He was suspended four games for violating the league’s policy of substances of abuse. Then, he missed considerable time with an ankle injury. In seven games, Lynch recorded just 1.5 sacks.

John Lynch and Shanahan told Aaron Lynch his past transgressions would not be held against him, but he had to work hard and prove himself. As Lynch enters the final year of his original four-year contract, his spot on the 49ers' 53-man roster is anything but a certainty.

“Basically, everybody on this team, no matter what has happened before you came into the league or when you’ve been in the league, they’re not holding that against you and it’s a new clean slate,” Lynch said. “So I need to do everything I can to make sure I have a clean slate with them.”

Lynch is currently working with the second unit at the “Leo” position on the 49ers’ defensive line, behind Arik Armstead.

“’Leo’ is a lot of damn fun, so, yeah, I like it a lot,” Lynch said. “You get to set the edge and go get the quarterback.”

Lynch said he is in better physical condition than he was a year ago at this time. He said his target playing weight is in the 260-270 range. He said he is currently in the 280s.

“I came in heavy, but I’ve been working my (butt) off to get down to where my coach wants me to get down to, and where I feel I would be best to give everything I can for my team and do what I can for my team,” Lynch said.

While the 49ers did not witness any improvement in Lynch's commitment at the beginning of the offseason, things seem to be turning around. Shanahan said Lynch has missed only one day of the team's voluntary offseason program -- an excused absence to deal with a situation concerning his wife.

“There’s no doubt Aaron’s going in the right direction for us," Shanahan said. "He came in in the offseason, we challenged him hard with just the way we worked and stuff. He hasn’t shied away from any of it. He’s jumped in on all of our stuff.

"So he’s gotten better each day. He’s gotten more in shape each day and I’m seeing it on the field each day.”