Green Bay, WI – David Akers made three field goals, including an NFL record-tying 63-yarder, as the San Francisco 49ers made a strong case as the early team to beat in the NFC with a 30-22 win over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
The Packers had won 13 straight regular season home games, but rarely resembled the juggernaut that amassed a franchise-record 560 points during last year's 15-1 campaign.
Rather, it was the 49ers who showed last season's 13-3 record and run to the conference championship game was no fluke.
Alex Smith threw for 211 yards and two touchdowns on 20-of-26 efficiency for San Francisco (1-0), which had lost nine straight meetings with the Packers (0-1).
"It wasn't perfect by any means," Smith said, "but good team football, everybody helping each other."
Randy Moss, signed in the offseason after retiring for a year, caught four passes for 47 yards and a TD, while Frank Gore ran for 112 yards and a score on 16 carries in the win.
Aaron Rodgers, the reigning league MVP, tossed for 303 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while completing 30-of-44 attempts.
"They got a great defense. You have to give them credit," Rodgers said of the 49ers, who returned all 11 of their defensive starters.
Randall Cobb totaled 77 yards on a team-high nine catches and returned a punt 75 yards for a TD with 11:16 remaining in a highlight-filled fourth quarter.
Cobb fielded Andy Lee's booming 61-yard punt at his own 25-yard line, raced untouched up the right sideline and stiff-armed Lee en route to the end zone.
Jordy Nelson caught the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 23-15, and the Packers got the ball right back after a quick punt.
Rodgers, though, threw an ill-advised pass across the middle that was intercepted by NaVorro Bowman deep in his own territory on the first play of the ensuing possession.
Gore took the next handoff, bounced outside to the right and withstood two big hits near the goal line for a 23-yard scoring scamper with 8:41 to play.
Less than three minutes later, Rodgers hit James Jones with a 10-yard touchdown pass to make it a one-possession game again, and the Packers got the ball back at their own 16 with 3:37 remaining.
The Packers moved the ball to the 49ers' 45, but Ahmad Brooks sacked Rodgers for a loss of seven on second down. After a 7-yard gain, Rodgers threw a jump ball to Nelson down the right sideline that was knocked down, and the 49ers ran out the remaining time.
Moss' 20-yard catch set up Akers' first field goal, a 40-yarder with 4:53 remaining in the opening quarter.
It was the first of five straight scoring drives for the 49ers, who went 92 yards in nine plays the next time they had the ball. Moss ended that drive with a 14-yard touchdown catch across the middle 3:50 into the second quarter.
The score gave Moss 154 receiving TDs in his career, moving him into sole possession of second place on the all-time list.
The Packers finally got on the board with a 10-play, 80-yard march that saw Rodgers find Jermichael Finley for a 1-yard TD with under five minutes left in the half.
The visitors were able to string together two more scoring drive before the break, the first culminating in a 43-yarder by Akers.
After holding Green Bay to a three-and-out, backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick ran 17 yards to the Packers' 45-yard line. Two incompletions in a span of nine seconds left two ticks on the clock, and Akers came in for one final play.
The 15-year veteran, whose career long was 57 yards coming in, got just enough behind the record-tying kick, as the ball bounced off and over the crossbar, much to the crowd's disbelief.
"I think this was definitely a once in a lifetime type of deal," Akers said. "It is one of those things you'll never forget."
Green Bay did not move the chains in its first drive of the second half, while the 49ers picked up yardage with ease during a 9-play, 84-yard drive. Vernon Davis caught a 4-yard TD pass from Smith for the only points in the third quarter.
Both teams lost to the eventual Super Bowl-winning Giants in last year's playoffs ... Akers tied the longest field goal in NFL history set by Tom Dempsey in 1970 and matched by Jason Elam (1998) and Sebastian Janikowski (2011) ... The Packers had won five straight openers ... Moss trails Jerry Rice by 43 receiving TDs ... The last time the 49ers beat the Packers in regular-season play came in a 24-20 road victory on Nov. 4, 1990 ... The 49ers are 11-0 when Smith starts and has 100-plus quarterback rating ... Cedric Benson, signed by Green Bay three weeks ago, gained just 18 yards on nine carries.