San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Singletary reacts during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)
Aaron Rodgers made San Francisco pay for a draft-day snub in 2005 and the Green Bay Packers survived a second-half surge by the 49ers for a 30-24 victory. Rodgers threw touchdowns to Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, and Ryan Grant rushed for 129 yards and a score.
The Packers (6-4) won their second straight game, rebounding from a midseason skid to emerge as a solid playoff contender going into their Thanksgiving Day date at Detroit.
Alex Smith recovered from a rough start to make things interesting with three second-half touchdowns, including rookie Michael Crabtree's first career score, but it wasn't enough for the 49ers.
The Packers' win was dampened by a left knee injury to outside linebacker Aaron Kampman and a knee injury to cornerback Al Harris. It was not immediately clear how severe their injuries were.
Backed into his end zone after the Packers downed a punt at the 2-yard line early in the fourth quarter, Smith threw an interception to Nick Collins. Rodgers took over at the 11 and converted a third down with a pass to tight end Jermichael Finley. Grant scored on first-and-goal from the 1 to give the Packers a 30-10 lead.
But Josh Morgan returned a kickoff 76 yards and Smith threw a 24-yard touchdown to Vernon Davis, cutting Green Bay's lead to 30-17 with 10:37 remaining. With Harris and Kampman still sidelined, Smith had long completions to Isaac Bruce and Crabtree on the next series, setting up a fourth-and-5 at the Green Bay 10. Smith found Frank Gore for a touchdown, cutting the lead to 30-24 with 5:56 left.
But the Packers put together a drive that included a third-down conversion by Rodgers on a sneak, allowing them to run out the clock. Rodgers was 32 of 45 for 334 yards, including 274 in the first half as the Packers took a 23-3 lead. Rodgers got a serviceable performance from his offensive line, which allowed two sacks Sunday. Coming into the game, Rodgers had taken a league-worst 41 sacks.
Although Smith's second-half rally was impressive -- he finished 16 of 33 for 227 yards -- Rodgers' performance provided further evidence that the Packers got the better end of the deal when the 49ers chose Smith with the No. 1 pick in 2005. Rodgers, who also was under consideration for the top choice, slipped all the way to the Packers at No. 24.
Next Sunday the (4-6) 49ers host the Jacksonville Jaguars at Candlestick.