The San Francisco 49ers 34-28 win over the Green Bay Packers was as easy as A-B-C at Candlestick Park on Sunday afternoon.
To be accurate, there wasn't anything easy about the hard-fought win for the denizens of the City by the Bay.
But an A. B. and a C. were a big part of the equation, however.
The A. B. was Anquan Boldin.
Boldin went from beating the 49ers as a Baltimore Raven in the Super Bowl in February to single-handedly picking apart the Packer secondary on a hot and humid late summer day.
The C. completing this analogy belongs to Colin Kaepernick, Green Bay's nemesis in its playoff loss last January.
Kaepernick ran for a quarterback record 189 yards in that one, sending Packer defensive coordinator Dom Capers back to the drawing board.
They retooled the 'D' and tailored it to stop the 'Pistol' offense or spread formation that ended GB's season eight months ago.
On this day, Kaepernick proved he could be as effective with his arm as with his legs racking up 412 passing yards.
208 of those were amassed by Boldin on 13 catches, including a touchdown.
Two high-powered offenses.
Two Super Bowl contenders.
A national television audience.
The matchup between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers was more prizefight than NFL season opener.
Substitute Rodgers and Kaepernick for Ali and Frazier.
In the first half, the two heavyweights slugged it out to a 14-14 draw.
The Packers, for their part, had to overcome an Eddie Lacy fumble and a Jermichael Finley bobble leading to an interception.
The audience learned at halftime that the referees misruled on offsetting deadball penalties which gave a second crack to Kaepernick.
GB’s playoff nemesis found Boldin for a 10-yard TD and a 14-7 lead.
Rodgers shelved the running on this drive moving up field hitting Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and ultimately Finley (who went airborn) for the final 12 yards and the equalizer with under a minute remaining in the half.
The Fox broadcasters Joe Buck and Troy Aikman stated the obvious when they said was a little ‘chippy.’
Clearly, these two teams don't care too much for each other adding to the drama.
Perhaps that was a bit of an understatement as it looked more like the MMA without the Octagon.
The third stanza saw each team record its third touchdown.
Vernon Davis’ second TD catch went for two yards after Kaepernick took advantage of a DB corps that was missing Casey Hayward and Morgan Burnett.
Rodgers connected with Nelson after a nifty drive and it was 21-21.
The Niners opened the final 15 with a field goal and a 24-21 advantage.
That set up a textbook Packer drive with Rodgers pulling the strings.
A great snag by Nelson went for 37 yards and Lacy earned his first NFL touch from two yards out after picking up a couple of first downs in the red zone.
Green Bay’s first lead came with 8:26 left in the game.
It would be short-lived, however.
Kaepernick hit Davis and Boldin for a couple of big gainers and Frank Gore plunged in from the one to snatch the lead back a mere two minutes, thirty-nine seconds later.
A second, ill-advised attempt by Jeremy Ross to bring the kickoff out of the end zone put the Pack behind the eight ball.
The boneheaded play forced Rodgers to start from the eight-yard line and they failed to move out of the morass.
Any thoughts of Ross's redemption for his fumble in the playoffs went out the window as a result.
Special Teams, arguably the steadiest leg of the stool last season, has to address Ross and the entire return game as the team prepares for Week Two.
The booming kickoffs of punter Tim Masthay was a huge improvement and is looking like a stroke of genius.
Head coach Mike McCarthy surprised everyone by sending Ross back out again to receive the kick following San Fran’s field goal.
The Packers will have the Lambeau Field faithful to provide support next Sunday when Robert Griffin III and his Washington Redskins come to town on September 15.
RG III is the second of a handful of ‘Pistol’ packing QBs Green Bay will face.