GREEN BAY—Anquan Boldin beat double coverage to give the 49ers a 14-7 lead at a critical juncture in Sunday’s game. It was one of 13 catches Boldin would make on a day when the Packers appeared helpless to stop the veteran wide receiver.
“Your execution has to match their execution. We just didn’t execute well enough. We have to make sure if we’re committing two people to someone, he can’t catch the football,” Packers Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers said in providing an overview of his unit’s performance in the Packers’ 34-28 loss at Candlestick Park on Sunday.
It was a tale of two defenses. The Packers’ run defense was the best of times. The Packers’ pass defense was the worst of times.
When the day was done, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who had rushed for 181 yards against the 49ers last January, had thrown for 412 yards in this most recent 49ers victory.
“We’re disappointed in the performance yesterday. We did a good job on the running game. What we didn’t get done is, No. 1, we have to make more plays in the passing game. They converted far too many third downs,” Capers said.
Boldin’s 10-yard touchdown reception with 8:57 to play in the first half was on a controversial third-and-six play. Boldin slipped out of safety Jerron McMillian’s attempted tackle following the quick throw over the middle. The 49ers wide receiver would finish the day with 208 yards receiving.
Capers was especially disappointed by his defense’s failure to stop the 49ers after the Packers had taken their first lead of the game, 28-24, with 8:26 remaining to play in the game.
“The most disappointing thing is when it came down to crunch time, after we took the lead, they hit two big pass plays. I didn’t feel we responded well,” Capers said.
Kaepernick was at his best at crunch time. He led a game-winning, 80-yard touchdown drive, then killed the clock the next time the 49ers had the ball by converting third-and-four and fourth-and-two passes.
The 49ers converted nine of 18 third-down attempts, gained 494 yards and controlled the ball for 38 minutes and 35 seconds. Nearly all of that damage was done through the air, as the Packers smothered the 49ers’ vaunted running game.
“It wasn’t like we didn’t have things ready,” Capers said when asked what adjustments were made against Boldin. “We had some double calls in there … and he beat the double.”
Special Teams Coordinator Shawn Slocum spoke of being disappointed that his kickoff-return team left the Packers offense to start deep in Packers territory, especially after the 49ers took a 31-28 lead and the offense was left to start at its 9-yard line.
“Our production in the kickoff return game was nowhere near where it should be,” Slocum said.
Returner Jeremy Ross was guilty of hesitating in the end zone on one return, and the blocking was faulted for the drive that began at the 9-yard line.
Offensive Coordinator Tom Clements was pleased by his unit’s production – 385 yards, 23 first downs and 28 points in only 58 total plays – but disappointed by its inconsistency.
“It was feast or famine. We had five three-and-outs. We have to be more consistent,” Clements said. Additional coverage - Sept. 9