SAN FRANCISCO -- Here is how the 49ers graded out in their season-opening, 34-28 win Sunday over the Green Bay Packers at Candlestick Park:
PASS OFFENSE: As Colin Kaepernick's 412 yards would indicate, aggressive and accurate throws led to his career-best passing day, along with helpful receivers Anquan Boldin (208-yard debut) and Vernon Davis (two touchdowns). Jim Harbaugh credited the offensive line for protecting Kaepernick, but the coach also noted the quarterback's "best-ever" ability to throw so well on the move.
RUN OFFENSE: Right tackle Anthony Davis described the early rushing attack as being "chained to a stump." The 49ers broke through on their game-winning touchdown drive, as Bruce Miller's block sprung Kendall Hunter for a 23-yard gain, then Frank Gore followed up his own 8-yard run with at 1-yard touchdown plunge. Gore had just 44 yards on 21 carries (2.1 average).
PASS DEFENSE: Mixed results across the board, as best illustrated in safety Eric Reid's successful debut. Reid made an athletic interception one play after missing a tackle. Nnamdi Asomugha and Perrish Cox also missed tackles, but Asomugha successfully defended a third-down pass in the fourth quarter. Donte Whitner stopped Randall Cobb in bounds to help kill out precious seconds on the last drive.
RUN DEFENSE: NaVorro Bowman forced a fumble and tallied a team-high eight tackles. Patrick Willis (five tackles) showed no signs of his month-old hand injury. The Packers struggled running until Eddie Lacy gained 26 of his 41 yards on a fourth-quarter touchdown drive. Penalties on guard Josh Sitton wiped out three decent first-half runs. Justin Smith and Ray McDonald got more rest than usual.
SPECIAL TEAMS: After Gore's go-ahead touchdown, C.J. Spillman made a tackle at the Packers 9 on a fourth-quarter kickoff return. Phil Dawson's debut wasn't perfect as he missed his first field-goal attempt (48 yards) before nailing his next two tries (27, 33 yards). The coverage units didn't allow a return longer than 17 yards, but Tramaine Brock drew two penalties on one punt coverage.
COACHING: After misdirecting the Packers defense by talking about read-option hits on Kaepernick, the 49ers unleashed a pass-heavy attack that seized upon a suspect secondary. Emotions ran high but not out of control. Adjustments on defense and in the rushing attack helped key the fourth-quarter comeback. Late play calls and timeouts are a concern.