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

877469.jpg

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.

Kaepernick's parents defend his anthem protests: 'Very proud of our son'

Kaepernick's parents defend his anthem protests: 'Very proud of our son'

Colin Kaepernick began his silent National Anthem protests in late August.

For almost four months, his parents have remained quiet.

But after reports that Kaepernick did not have the support of his parents, Teresa and Rick Kaepernick reached out to ESPN's The Undefeated on Friday to set the record straight.

"Colin is carrying a heavy load and following a difficult path that he truly believes in. He is putting his entire future and possibly his life on the line for those beliefs. As his parents, it pains us to read articles and tweets saying that his family does not support him; this could not be further from the truth. We want people to know that we are very proud of our son and admire his strength and courage in kneeling for the rights of others," the couple said in a statement to the publication.

Kaepernick's parents also commented on those you have called their son un-American or labeled his protests as anti-Military.

"Colin has chosen to kneel for the national anthem as a protest to the continuing racial inequality in this country. He has explained his reasons for this in multiple interviews, yet it seems some people still do not understand his point. For whatever reason, there are some who want to view this as an anti-military protest or an un-American stance. These views could not be further from the truth, but we know that people will believe what they wish to believe. The recent remarks (attacks) by Admiral Harris supported by the Pentagon are over the top, and we feel the desire to make a public statement in support of our son," The Kaepernicks said in their statement.

They concluded their statement by discussing the reaction the family received due to Kaepernick's protest, including detailing the hate mail that has been sent to them.

"When Colin first 'took a knee', his family was as surprised as anyone. We did not understand why he was doing this and were overwhelmed with the public reaction and hate. Colin not only received terrible racist tweets, but also received letters directly to our home similar to that recently received by [Denver Broncos linebacker] Brandon Marshall. We were truly shocked at the amount of racist hatred out there! Until this had occurred, we had naively believed that the racial atmosphere in this country was far better than it actually is. Prayer and talks with our son gave us a much better understanding of the reason for his protest and how we should view it."

The Undefeated's Martenzie Johnson also spoke to Teresa Kaepernick by phone on Friday and she threw her family's support behind her son.

"I just want to be on the record that we absolutely do support him," she said.

49ers, McDonald agree to five-year extension

49ers, McDonald agree to five-year extension

The 49ers signed tight end Vance McDonald to a five-year contract extension through the 2021 season, the team announced late Friday.

The deal is worth $35 million, including $16 million in guaranteed money, ESPN reported. The actual contract terms and amount of fully guaranteed money is expected to be less than the reported figures.

McDonald ranks third on the 49ers with 24 catches for 391 yards and four touchdowns. He has touchdown receptions this season of 75 and 65 yards.

"Vance has shown consistent growth throughout his four-year career and his production this season is the result of his dedication and hard work,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “We believe he has only scratched the surface of what he will be able to accomplish in his career. Vance is a tremendous ambassador for the 49ers, and his passion for helping others provides a wonderful example for this organization. We look forward to his continued contributions to this organization, both on and off the field.”

McDonald is in the final season of his original four-year, $3.99 million contract he signed as a second-round draft pick in 2013.

In McDonald’s three previous seasons, he caught just 40 passes for 475 yards and three touchdowns.

McDonald spoke last week about the greater chances he's gotten to prove himself since the 49ers traded Vernon Davis last season.

“I just always look back at the opportunity when Vernon went to (Denver),” McDonald said. “Just being able to have the trust and the opportunity to start games and play every down.”

Said 49ers coach Chip Kelly, "He’s one of our weapons on the offensive side of the ball and he runs better than most tight ends in this league. So really depends on week to week what people have available at the safety spot to kind of match up with him. But he’s certainly someone that I think people defensively have to game plan for.”