GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The 49ers and Packers met up for an entertaining game worthy of a prime-time television audience Monday night.
And the biggest star on the field stole the show in the 49ers’ heart-breaking 33-30 loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau Field. Mason Crosby hit the short game-winning field goal as time expired.
The 49ers got strong performances from quarterback C.J. Beathard, backup running back Raheem Mostert and the defense -- until Rodgers rallied the Packers with a late comeback that was finalized on Crosby’s kick.
Mostert rushed for a career-high 87 yards on 12 carries, as he shared the load with Matt Breida, who was limited in practice last week because of an ankle injury. Breida gained 61 yards on 14 rushing attempts.
Here are three takeaways from Monday’s game.
Beathard bounces back
Beathard bounced back with a mostly solid showing after a disastrous four-turnover game in last week's loss to the previously winless Arizona Cardinals. He mostly played an error-free game until the final minute when he was intercepted on a deep third-down pass.
Beathard completed 16 of 23 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. His passer rating was 115.3. The interception came on his final attempt -- a deep pass intended for Marquise Goodwin against an all-out blitz. The Packers took over and marched down the field for the winning points.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan featured a mixture of outside zone runs with Breida and Mostert, while also scheming up some receivers open down the field.
The 49ers scored 24 points in the first half, marking their most productive first half since October 2013, when they had 28 in the first half of a game against the Jaguars. At halftime, Beathard had a 156.2 passer rating with nine completions in 12 attempts for 182 yards and two TD passes to Marquise Goodwin.
It was an encouraging performance from Beathard, who made his third start in place of Jimmy Garoppolo, who is out for the season with a knee injury.
On the other side, Rodgers was just better. He usually is. Rodgers completed 25 of 46 passes for 425 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.
More turnovers cost 49ers
The 49ers had five turnovers in the Week 5 loss to the Cardinals. And this game featured more of the same, as the 49ers had three giveaways and no takeaways.
Kickoff returner D.J. Reed fumbled on the ensuing kickoff after the Packers tied the game at 7. Green Bay scored three points off the turnover on Crosby’s 20-yard field goal. The fumble forced the benching of Reed, as Richie James took over return duties for the remainder of the game.
In the second quarter, fullback Kyle Juszczyk caught a 22-yard pass from Beathard but fumbled the ball back to the Packers. Again, the 49ers’ defense held, forcing Green Bay to settle for another field goal.
The 49ers were a league-worst minus-eight on turnovers to open the week, and they saw that margin go to minus-11. Rodgers cashed in Beathard's late-game interception for the winning points.
Goodwin's return is a good one
Goodwin has battled leg injuries from Week 1 after sustaining a deep thigh contusion against the Vikings. He was inactive last week in hopes of returning to health and regaining his speed.
It appeared to work.
Goodwin warmed up shirtless two-and-a-half hours before kickoff with the temperature at 38 degrees and a stiff wind blowing at Lambeau Field. It did not take him long to heat up once the game began.
Late in the first quarter, with the 49ers trailing by 10 points, Goodwin ran a deep post, and Beathard hit him in stride 41 yards down the field. Goodwin took it into the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown.
Goodwin later gave the 49ers a 21-20 lead in the second quarter with a 30-yard touchdown reception, which he punctuated with a long-jump celebration in the end zone. Goodwin represented the U.S. in the 2012 London Olympics in the long jump.
Goodwin's return was a huge boost for Shanahan’s offense, as it's predicated on having a speedster at the X-receiver position to provide a deep-passing threat and also open up the underneath routes.
Goodwin finished with four receptions for 126 yards and two TDs.