(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.) By JANIE McCAULEY AP Sports Writer The San Francisco 49ers showed all the same poise and big playmaking ability - not to mention dominant defense against NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers - in a season-opening statement victory at Green Bay as they did in coming so close to a Super Bowl last season.
Who said the reigning NFC West champions couldn't do it all again even with a far more daunting schedule?
''It's a big win,'' three-time Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore said Monday, a day after rushing for a key 23-yard touchdown with 8:41 left at Lambeau Field. ''We've got to keep going, keep working.''
The Niners snapped an eight-game losing streak in Green Bay dating to 1990. More than that, they showed they are a legitimate NFC contender for the second straight season.
From the day the schedule came out, many looked at San Francisco's games and saw the list as much more challenging than a year ago - starting in Week 1 on the road against the Packers.