Packers Build a Big Lead; Hang On to Top San Fran 30-24

The Packers Sunday took it to the 49ers, building a big lead at 30-10 early in the fourth quarter, only to have to hang on to beat San Fran 30-24. The win puts Green Bay at 6-4 on the season, but in the win they lost two key players, both on defense. Both possibly gone are outside linebacker Aaron Kampman and cornerback Al Harris, who sustained potentially serious knee injuries.

“Hopefully, these two injuries aren’t as serious as we may think,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

Ryan Grant ran for 129 yards and a score, and QB Aaron Rodgers went off against the team that snubbed him on draft day some years ago. He was 32-for-45 for 344 yards with two TD’s and a QB rating of 108.0. He also was only sacked twice, a breath of fresh air for an O-line that has struggled all year.

Alex Smith, the player the Niners did take No. 1 instead of Rodgers, rebounded from a miserable start to throw three touchdown passes after halftime for the 49ers (4-6)—including the first touchdown catch of Michael Crabtree’s career.

San Francisco’s Josh Morgan returned a kickoff 76 yards and Smith threw a 24-yard touchdown to Vernon Davis, cutting Green Bay’s lead to 30-17. With Harris and Kampman still sidelined, Smith had long completions to Isaac Bruce and Crabtree on the next series, setting up a fourth-and-5 at the Green Bay 10. Smith found Frank Gore for a touchdown, cutting the lead to 30-24 with 5:56 left.

After Gore’s score, the Packers put together a drive that included a third-down conversion by Rodgers on a sneak, allowing them to run out the clock. “It’s definitely something that we can build off of,” McCarthy said. “Because we’ve had some momentum swings in the past, just two weeks ago, that we didn’t recover from.”

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