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SAN FRANCISCO — The 49ers looked quite familiar and quite recognizable. If anything, they might have looked better than a year ago in some areas.

Especially in the starting quarterback area. In the NFL, that is never to be taken for granted.

The 49ers kicked off the season Sunday, their last one at Candlestick Park. And quarterback Colin Kaepernick kicked off his campaign to show the world that he was not just a one-season wonder. He steered his team to a 34-28 victory over the Green Bay Packers — or, as 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh analyzed it, Kaepernick did a good job “managing the chaos of the game.”

Basically, the Packers dared Kaepernick to beat them with his passing game, his most unproven asset. You could probably now move it into the “proven” column. Kaepernick completed 27 of 39 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns.

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“Their game plan was to not allow him to run, so he beat them with his arm,” said 49ers safety Donte Whitner. “When we face a team that wants to take the pass away from him, he’ll use his legs. That’s what you get with a dual quarterback — make defensive coordinators have nightmares.”

Next weekend in Seattle, where the Seahawks are waiting, fewer mistakes will be a must. But the reassuring outcome against Green Bay is a good base upon which to build. The 49ers were supposed to be a good football team this season. But until the first whistle blows and the violence begins, there are no guarantees.

Sunday wasn’t a certified guarantee that the 49ers will return to the Super Bowl. We’re a long way from that. But it was certainly a moderately significant down payment.

Measuring up
How Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III did in Week 1.
Quarterback Result Stats
Russell Wilson W. 12-7 at Carolina 25 for 33, 320 yards, 1 TD
Colin Kaepernick W, 34-28 vs. Green Bay 27 for 39, 412 yards, 3 TDs
Andrew Luck W, 21-17 vs. Oakland 18 for 23, 178 yards, 2 TDs
Robert Griffin III vs. Philadelphia, tonight
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