SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Colin Kaepernick threw for a career-high 412 yards and three touchdowns, with 13 completions to Anquan Boldin in San Francisco's season-opening 34-28 victory Sunday over Green Bay.
Boldin finished with 208 yards receiving and a 10-yard touchdown, and his sensational San Francisco debut helped keep his team on a roll in what has evolved into a fierce NFC rivalry. Vernon Davis did his part in a prolific passing game led by Kaepernick, with a pair of TD catches for the NFC champion Niners.
Frank Gore scored a go-ahead, 1-yard touchdown with 5:47 remaining as the 49ers made it three straight against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, after beating Green Bay last September to open the season and then 45-31 in the NFC divisional playoffs.
"We knew they were going to come in ready to play after what happened in the playoffs," Boldin said. "We had to come out and match their intensity." Rodgers threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns, but the Packers departed Candlestick Park with another defeat eight months after that embarrassing postseason game.
New Orleans held on for 23-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons in coach Sean Payton's return from suspension, with Drew Brees passing for 357 yards and two scores. Brees connected with Marques Colston for a 25-yard touchdown pass during which the receiver also set a club record for catches with 533. Brees also hit tight end Jimmy Graham for a 7-yard score in the third quarter.
Matt Ryan passed for 304 yards and touchdown passes to Tony Gonzalez and Julio Jones. He also drove Atlanta to the Saints 3 in the final minute before falling just short. Payton was suspended in connection with the NFL's bounty probe last season and had to watch from afar as the Saints fielded one of the worst defenses ever, yielding a single-season record 7,042 yards.
The Dallas Cowboys beat Eli Manning for the first time in their new $1.2 billion stadium with Brandon Carr returning an interception 49 yards for the clinching touchdown in the 36-31 victory over the Giants.
Tony Romo shook off a hit to the ribs that knocked him out for the final Dallas play of the first half and threw a pair of touchdown passes to Jason Witten. Manning threw three touchdown passes to Victor Cruz and had New York in position for a comeback victory despite the flurry of mistakes.
But with the Giants trailing 30-24, a pass from Manning went off the hand of running back De'Rel Scott into Carr's arms. The Chiefs began the Andy Ried era with a 28-2 win at Jacksonville, which got past its own 36-yard line just once.
At Chicago, the Bears rallied for a 24-21 win over the Bengals, with Jay Cutler passing to Brandon Marshall for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Bengals led by 11 in the third quarter and were up 21-17 early in the fourth when Tim Jennings jarred the ball from Mohamed Sanu following a reception and made the recovery.
The Patriots had a 23-21 win over the Bills, with Stephen Gostkowski kicking a 35-yard field goal with 5 seconds left to give New England the road win. Tom Brady set up the decisive score by leading a 49-yard, 12-play drive during which he twice completed passes to convert third downs.
The Colts collected their first opening-day victory since 2009 with Andrew Luck running 19 yards for the winning touchdown at Indianapolis. At Detroit, Reggie Bush turned a short pass into a 77-yard touchdown in the third quarter and finished with 191 yards of offense to help the Lions to a 34-24 win over Minnesota.
The Rams had a 27-24 comeback win over the Cardinals with Greg Zuerlein kicking a 48-yard field goal with 40 seconds left, while the Jets edged the Buccaneers 18-17 with Nick Folk landing a long-range field goal with 2 seconds remaining.
At Pittsburgh, Tennessee's revamped defense sacked Ben Roethlisberger five times as the Titans shut down the Steelers in a 17-9 victory. The first Sunday of the NFL season was a costly one for the Steelers, with Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey (knee) and linebacker Larry Foote (ruptured biceps) sustaining likely season-ending injuries.
In other Sunday games, the Seahawks beat the Panthers 12-7 and the Dolphins had a 23-10 win over Cleveland, handing the Browns their 14th first-round loss in 15 seasons. On Monday night, Robert Griffin III returns from major knee surgery to run Washington's up-tempo offense against Philadelphia and San Diego hosts Houston.
The season kicked off last Thursday with Peyton Manning matching the NFL record with seven touchdown passes in Denver's 49-27 home victory over Super Bowl champion Baltimore.