GREEN BAY, Wis. Quarterback Alex Smith threw his third touchdown pass of the second half, and the 49ers had momentum with six minutes remaining.
But Smith would have no chance for late-game heroics.
Instead, it was Aaron Rodgers who provided all the truly significant happenings within the first 30 minutes of the Green Bay Packers 30-24 victory over the 49ers on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Weve been here a few times, coach Mike Singletary said of the 49ers inability to keep the game close in the first half. You have to play 60 minutes, and you have to start fast, whether youre on the road or at home. We just have to learn to come out and be ready to go from the start.
The 49ers (4-6) fell three games behind the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West. Theyre also two games behind NFC wildcard front-runners Green Bay, Philadelphia and the New York Giants with six games to play.
Every loss means a lot, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said. November and December is the time when you have to win and make that run. It kind of sets us back a little. What it does is it makes it harder for us to control our own destiny.
The 49ers were completely overmatched in the first of Sundays game while falling behind 23-3.
The simple storyline was Rodgers incredible first-half performance in juxtaposition to Smiths struggles.
Rodgers and Smith are forever linked as the top two quarterbacks selected in the 2005 draft. The 49ers selected Smith with the No. 1 overall pick, while 23 teams passed over Rodgers before he landed with the Packers.
The Packers have now won seven consecutive games against the 49ers at Lambeau. But this is the first time in which Brett Favre was not the Packers quarterback.
Its fun to play against a team that you idolized growing up and you watched every Sunday after church, Rodgers said.
It was particularly enjoyable for Rodgers, a native of Chico, because he destroyed the 49ers pass defense in the first half. He completed 22 of 31 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns through two quarters.