SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Green Bay Packers finally solved Colin Kaepernick and moved to 4-0 on the season after a 17-3 victory Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers.
Kaepernick, the 49ers’ embattled quarterback, had beaten the Packers in their three previous matchups, running for 301 yards and passing for 902. But on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium, Green Bay’s defense finally found a way to contain him, sacking him six times for 41 yards.
Kaepernick didn’t look anything like the elusive young quarterback who used his legs and his arm to beat the Packers three times in 13 months, including twice in the playoffs. He seemed indecisive in the pocket, throwing several passes well out of bounds or well short of his receivers.
He ran for a team-high 57 yards, but completed only 13 of 25 passes for 160 yards.
The Packers’ offense wasn’t as sharp as it’s been so far this season, but did enough to win on the road for the second time.
Aaron Rodgers faced consistent pressure in the pocket, getting sacked three times. He completed 22 of 32 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown, while James Jones, Randall Cobb and Richard Rodgers each caught five passes. Eddie Lacy ran for a game-high 90 yards on 18 carries.
Green Bay is 4-0 for the first time since the 2011 season and returns home for games against the St. Louis Rams and the San Diego Chargers the next two weeks.
The Packers’ offense showed some signs of life in the second half, scoring on its first two possessions of the third quarter after an unproductive first two quarters. John Kuhn’s 1-yard plunge near the end of the third quarter gave the Packers a 17-3 lead.
Green Bay opened the scoring on its first possession of the game, but its offense was stalled for most of the first half.
The Packers took a 7-0 lead after Aaron Rodgers hit tight end Richard Rodgers for a 9-yard touchdown with 9:12 left in the first quarter. On the play, Rodgers had a lot of time to throw, moving to his left outside of the pocket before finding the tight end in the back of the end zone to cap a 12-play, 80-yard drive that took up the first 5:58 of the game.
Following that drive, though, the Packers were forced to punt on their next three possessions and ended the first half with a 7-3 lead after Mason Crosby missed wide left on a 44-yard field goal attempt.
Twice, the Packers failed to convert on third-and-short situations when Rodgers missed on passing attempts. Overall in the first half, the Packers converted only 1 of 7 third-down attempts.
The Packers were without three starters because of injury. Wide receiver Davante Adams (ankle), right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) and safety Morgan Burnett (calf) all were inactive. They were replaced in the lineup by James Jones, Don Barclay and Micah Hyde, respectively.
Also inactive for the Packers were cornerback Demetri Goodson (hamstring), linebacker Jake Ryan (hamstring), offensive lineman Lane Taylor and quarterback Brett Hundley.
Active for the first time this season was rookie tight end Kennard Backman. Backup tight end Andrew Quarless was put on injured reserve last week after sustaining a knee injury against Kansas City.
The 49ers were without starting tight end Vernon Davis, who was sidelined with a knee injury.