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Rodgers, Packers push past 49ers

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Aaron Rodgers made the most of his only appearance of the preseason, throwing a touchdown pass to Randall Cobb in the Green Bay Packers' 21-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Friday night.

Colin Kaepernick did not fare as well as he looked extremely rusty in his first game action since last November. He completed 2 of 6 passes and generated one first down on three drives.

Rodgers was held out of the first two preseason games despite being healthy and won't play the exhibition finale next week; the veteran quarterback needs little game work to get ready for the regular season.

Rodgers played two drives against the 49ers, going 6 for 9 for 60 yards.

After the first drive stalled because of penalties, Rodgers looked sharp the next time Green Bay got the ball. He moved around easily in the pocket and drew a 12-men-on-the-field penalty when he operated out of the hurry-up offense.

That play helped extend a 14-play, 87-yard drive capped when Rodgers threw a quick pass to Cobb, who juked Chris Davis and got into the end zone for a 6-yard score.

Despite Kaepernick returning after sitting the first two games with a tired shoulder, Blaine Gabbert once again got the start. He appears to have the inside track for that role when the season starts.

After a three-and-out on the opening drive, Gabbert led the Niners to a score on his final series. He had a nice run and two short completions before Carlos Hyde busted a 27-yard run. Quinton Patton then took a lateral from Gabbert and scampered into the end zone on a 3-yard run.

Kaepernick entered to applause on the next series, but did little to show he deserves the starting job. He was quick to leave the pocket when his first option was covered, and three of his passes were broken up by defenders. He finished 2 for 6 for 14 yards and added 18 yards on four runs.

ROOKIE WATCH

Packers: Joe Callahan, an undrafted rookie out of Division III Wesley College, replaced Rodgers in the second quarter with backup Brett Hundley out with an ankle injury. Callahan went 16 for 24 yards for 167 yards with an 18-yard TD pass to Jared Abbrederis.

49ers: First-round draft pick Joshua Garnett did not start but came in after two series to get time with the first-team at left guard.

INJURY UPDATE

Packers: LB Jayrone Elliott and S Chris Banjo left with hamstring injuries and RB John Crockett injured his shoulder. ... First-round DL Kenny Clark did not play because of a back injury.

49ers: DL Quinton Dial (knee) and WR Bruce Ellington (hamstring) left with injuries. ... DL Arik Armstead missed his third straight preseason game with a shoulder injury.

POSITION BATTLES

Packers: Free agent acquisition Jared Cook, competing with Richard Rodgers for the starting tight end role, caught four passes for 54 yards. Rodgers had one catch for 8 yards.

49ers: Anthony Davis, a former starter at right tackle, played right guard in a game for the first time since college. Davis sat out last year in a temporary retirement before returning to the team this summer. With Trent Brown entrenched at right tackle, Davis is trying to get back into the lineup at guard.

PATRIOTS 19, PANTHERS 17: At Charlotte, N.C., Tom Brady looked sharp in his preseason debut, throwing a 33-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan in helping the New England Patriots to a preseason win over the Carolina Panthers.

Brady relieved Jimmy Garoppolo late in the first quarter and completed a 37-yard pass to Aaron Dobson on his first play from scrimmage, leading to a field goal. On his second drive Brady heaved a perfectly placed over-the-shoulder pass to Hogan down the right sideline for a 9-0 lead. Brady's other two drives failed to produce points.

REDSKINS 21, BILLS 16: At Landover, Md., Kirk Cousins found a groove and undrafted rookie running back Robert Kelley made the most of his chance and the Washington Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills in the third preseason game.

With the Bills (1-2) resting almost their entire starting defense, Cousins overcame a rough start to finish 12 of 23 for 188 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

BUCCANEERS 30, BROWNS 13: At Tampa, Fla., Josh Gordon showed why the Cleveland Browns are so happy to have him back on the field.

The talented receiver with a history of suspensions for drug violations caught everything thrown his way in his preseason debut, scoring on a 43-yard reception and also hauling in another pass from Robert Griffin III for a 44-yard gain that led to a first quarter field goal in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

STEELERS 27, SAINTS 14: At New Orleans, Ben Roethlisberger torched New Orleans' defense for 148 yards and two touchdown passes on his first two series of this preseason, then got the rest of the game off while the Steelers rolled to a victory over the Saints.

Roethlisberger, who sat out of the first two preseason games, opened by leading a 14-play, 76-yard drive on which he converted two third downs and found tight end Jesse James for a 5-yard score. His next series was highlighted by his 57-yard scoring pass down the left sideline to Antonio Brown, also playing for the first time this preseason. The Steelers star finished with 12 completions on 17 attempts.

Green Bay Packers running back Brandon Burks runs with the ball past San Francisco 49ers defensive end B.J. McBryde (60) during the second half Friday. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS