There were a great number of exciting plays made by the San Francisco 49ers in their triumphant victory over the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers were flying around on defense and chugging ahead on offense.
During their high point, the Niners even put together five straight scoring drives.
It was a terrific Week 1 performance by San Francisco, and before we move onto their next opponent, I'd like to highlight some of the plays that made this win so memorable. Luckily, since the Niners are such a balanced team, we have highlights from all three phases of the game.
It took a total team win to bring this one home, and these were some of the plays that stood out.
NaVorro Bowman's Interception
With a fresh offensive possession for the Packers, Green Bay was looking to storm down the field and tie it up in the fourth quarter. They finally had an opportunity to close this lead and not a moment too soon, trailing with under 10 minutes left in the final quarter.
On their first play in the new series, the Packers were showing three wide receivers. Aaron Rodgers dropped back, saw Greg Jennings coming across and released over the middle. What he did not see was a lurking NaVorro Bowman, who faked the blitz and sunk in coverage.
Still early in the second quarter, the 49ers were holding onto a 3-0 lead over the Packers, but they knew it couldn't last very long.
San Francisco finally got themselves into scoring position inside the GB 15-yard line. With limited reps on the day, the team sent out veteran wide receiver Randy Moss. On a 2nd-and-9, Alex Smith came out of the shotgun with Moss lined up in the slot. The 49ers QB put Michael Crabtree in motion, causing the Packers secondary to have confusion.
Smith hiked the ball and found Moss all alone over the middle for a 14-yard touchdown strike. The score gave San Francisco a two-score lead.
Aldon Smith's Sack
Early in the game, Aaron Rodgers dropped back, play-faking on a 2nd-and-9. The 49ers were in their base defense, with linebacker Aldon Smith assigned to rush the quarterback. Smith set his sights on Rodgers, didn't fall for the play-action and flushed the Packers QB to his left.
Without any options and unable to throw across his body, Rodgers was rundown by the 49ers' second-year outside linebacker.
David Akers' 63-yard Field Goal
With two seconds left before halftime, the 49ers had a six-point lead, on top of Green Bay 13-7.
The Niners were in a tough spot because they wanted to get some points on the board, and they had to weigh their options between a long, long field goal or an unlikely Hail Mary. The 49ers elected to go with their big leg, David Akers. From 63 yards out, Akers lined up and booted it straight between the pipes. The ball fluttered down, hitting the crossbar and bounced over—it's good!
Aker's 63-yard boot tied the longest field goal in NFL history, making him one of four special-teams players to accomplish the feat.
What was the best play by the 49ers?
On a 49ers 1st-and-10 directly following the Bowman interception, San Francisco dialed up a run to Frank Gore. With just under nine minutes left in the game, the 49ers were looking to add on to a seemingly minuscule eight-point lead over the Pack.
Gore took a handoff out of the Niners heavy formation, breaking outside the right tackle. With lead blocks from Mike Iupati and Bruce Miller and some poor tackling by Green Bay, Gore broke down the sideline, stumbling in for a 23-yard touchdown.
These are just five of many downs that were won by the 49ers on Sunday.
Their overall performance was encouraging, leading many to believe they are capable of accomplishing much greater things this season. It's not everyday you got to Lambeau Field and knock off Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The Niners should be proud of the themselves, but ask any one of their players, and they'd tell you they expected to win.
That's what's great about this new-look 49ers team; they expect to win now instead of just trying not to lose. With a mindset like that, you can believe San Francisco will be generating a slew of top-10 worthy plays in 2012.
Please vote for your favorite play from Sunday's game. And if it's not listed here, be sure to let everyone know in the comments section. Some other notable plays that were left out were ones like Vernon Davis' touchdown, Carlos Rogers' sack or Chris Culliver's game-winning pass breakup.