The NFL already told us which teams the 49ers will play a long time ago, and they waited until Wednesday to bless us with the dates and times. We’ve got reactions!
Week 1: @ Dallas Cowboys – Sunday, September 7, 1:25 p.m. FOX
Is there really a reason to care much about this one, besides that it’s opening week and the national media is going to go insane, considering how the 49ers are drama central these days and they’re playing Jerry Jones’ Warped Vision of America’s Team? The rivalry is so dead here, Fox will probably have to show Terrell Owens standing on the Dallas star as the lead highlight from their pregame montage. Or The Catch, I guess.
Week 2: vs. Chicago Bears – Sunday, September 14, 5:30 p.m. NBC (SNF)
The regular season home debut will be at night, which is smart because it’ll give the fans on the east side of the field a chance to experience the first game at Levi’s that matters without the sun shining directly into their eyes.
Week 3: @ Arizona Cardinals – Sunday, September 21, 1:05 p.m. FOX
San Francisco goes from playing two teams that went 8-8 last year to a real test. The one nice thing about facing the Cardinals is they still have Carson Palmer, who’s in that Romo/Stafford class of really talented guys who can be counted on to throw at least one phenomenally stupid pass each game, usually late in the fourth quarter.
Week 4: vs. Philadelphia Eagles – Sunday, September 28, 1:25 p.m. FOX
This week leading up to this game won’t feature any Oregon vs. Stanford comparisons. Nope. Not one.
Week 5: vs. Kansas City Chiefs – Sunday, October 5, 1:25 p.m. CBS
You know how the 49ers seem to pace themselves throughout the year and keep some wrinkles under wraps until the playoffs? Prediction: all the feel-good features about Alex Smith and how he triumphed despite getting mistreated in San Francisco are going to irk Jim Harbaugh, to the point where he’ll make sure Greg Roman goes Full Playbook on the Chiefs.
Week 6: @ St. Louis Rams – Monday, October 13, 5:30 p.m. ESPN (MNF)
The goal in St. Louis, as it is every year until Jeff Fisher is no longer head coach of the Rams: avoid season-ending injuries.
Week 7: @ Denver Broncos – Sunday, October 19, 5:30 p.m. NBC (SNF)
This is one of those games NBC probably figures is guaranteed to be a great matchup between two undefeated teams, but things rarely go as planned in the NFL.
Week 8: BYE
Otherwise known as “the week everyone obsesses over NaVorro Bowman’s return date,” unless he comes back sooner than expected.
Week 9: vs. St. Louis Rams – Sunday, November 2, 1:05 p.m. FOX
Sam Bradford will probably be injured by this point, which would mean the second straight game at Levi’s against an ex-49ers quarterback (Shaun Hill).
Week 10: @ New Orleans Saints – Sunday, November 9, 10 a.m. FOX
I would love, love, love to cover this game. I know the 49ers go to New Orleans every year (sometimes twice) and it’s weird because the Saints aren’t in the NFC West anymore, but New Orleans is the best. If you’re thinking of making 49ers road trip this year, forget Seattle and have fun all week, instead of trudging through the rain surrounded by a bunch of 12s.
Week 11: @ New York Giants – Sunday, November 16, 10 a.m. FOX
This might spend the week before this game in Youngstown, Ohio. I’m not sure what else to add here, so let’s call this the “Brandon Jacobs Bowl.” Or not.
Week 12: vs. Washington – Sunday, November 23, 1:25 p.m. CBS
Facing a team that went 3-13 the year before at home is as close to a bye as the 49ers will get leading into their short week. If Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins both get hurt, the 49ers could face a familiar face at quarterback (Colt McCoy) for the third straight week at Levi’s. Washington better hope that doesn’t end up being the case.
Week 13: vs. Seattle Seahawks – Thursday, November 27, 5:30 p.m. NBC (Thanksgiving)
Booooooo. That’s not an opinion on the Week 13 opponent. I hate this for selfish reasons.
- I’m almost positive I won’t be able to cover this game without risking personal injury (my wife takes kickboxing classes).
- Thanksgiving isn’t meant to feature meaningful football games; it’s a time for buttfumbles and laughing at the Lions and Cowboys while you slide into a food coma.
- The games between these teams are the best the NFL currently has to offer, and they’re also the most brutal. Thursday games shouldn’t exist, but playing this game on a short week seems especially egregious. But the NFL couldn’t care less, as we all know.
At least the 49ers won’t have to travel to Baltimore to play on Thanksgiving this time.
Week 14: @ Oakland Raiders – Sunday, December 7, 1:25 p.m. FOX
Here’s one thing we know about this game: it won’t get blacked out locally. I’m putting the over/under on Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers feature stories at 15 during the week leading up to this game.
Week 15: @ Seattle Seahawks – Sunday, December 14, 1:25 p.m. FOX
Having these two teams beat each other up twice in three weeks is weird, but so is moving the draft to May.
On a #nct note, this game takes place on my birthday, and the 49ers are 7-3 lifetime (my lifetime) on this date. The most memorable games were the 41-0 Monday Night Football bludgeoning of the Bears in 1991 and the 2006 Thursday night upset of the Seahawks at what was then called Qwest Field. What, you really need more 49ers vs. Seahawks rivalry talk? Fine …
RICHARD SHERMAN RICHARD SHERMAN RICHARD SHERMAN RICHARD SHERMAN RICHARD SHERMAN RICHARD SHERMAN RICHARD SHERMAN RICHARD SHERMAN RICHARD SHERMAN RICHARD SHERMAN RICHARD SHERMAN RICHARD SHERMAN RICHARD SHERMAN RICHARD SHERMAN RICHARD SHERMAN
I’m here to please.
Week 16: vs. San Diego Chargers – Saturday, December 20, 1:30 PT CBS
Thousands of men who root for the 49ers will do 100% of their Christmas shopping on Dec. 21 this year.
Week 17: vs. Arizona Cardinals – Sunday, December 28, 1:25 p.m. FOX
Without looking I’m going to assume the 49ers have played the Cardinals on the last week of the regular season for the last 10 years, minimum. Of note: this is the last regular season game of Michael Crabtree’s contract year, so Patrick Peterson might want to fake an injury or something.
Besides the game on Thanksgiving, this is a much easier schedule for the 49ers than the 2013 slate in a physical sense. They don’t have to go to London, they hit the East Coast just once, and after that game they get to stay in the Pacific Time Zone for the last six weeks of the season. But I’m hoping against hope that 49ers vs. Seahawks doesn’t become a Thanksgiving tradition for the next three-to-five years. Let the Lions and Cowboys have their turkey day fun as we make fun of them while stuffing our faces.