We already dissected the Seattle Seahawks schedule, now we are here to breakdown their chief rival, San Francisco 49ers. Last season, the 9ers were one play away from taking a Super Bowl changing lead, but fell an arm's length short on the road. It's fair enough to say, if San Francisco wants to get to their second Super Bowl in three years, they have to dominate the regular season and win the NFC West.
San Francisco faces the AFC West and NFC East, they also play the second place teams from the NFC North and South. It's a schedule that's manageable, but there are some legitimate pitfalls each month that San Francisco must avoid.
San Francisco is part of one of the biggest games in NFL history to start the season. They go on the road to play the mercurial Dallas Cowboys in what could have playoff implications 17 weeks later. Will it be Tony Romo's time to lead the Cowboys past Super Bowl contender?
The rest of the month won't be easy as well. They face off with the Bears at home, then they are on the road at the Arizona Cardinals, before hosting Philadelphia in late September. Only one of those teams made the playoffs last year, but they were all vying for the postseason in the final week.
If San Francisco can sweep the first month with two road games, there's no doubt they'll coast into the postseason. If they struggle, then they'll have a problem on their hands in October.
Prior to the week eight bye, the 49ers host the Chiefs, before consecutive road games at St. Louis and Denver. All three teams have a lot to prove in varying degrees. Alex Smith was jettisoned by San Francisco midway through their first Super Bowl run, then he was traded to Kansas City to start anew.
The Rams were expected to have a breakout year in 2013, but they lost Sam Bradford early in the season, and their run never materialized. The question is, how many wins are available in the NFC West? It's a Monday night game, so San Francisco better be ready for the Rams best shot.
San Francisco's biggest non conference game is with AFC West champion, Denver Broncos. They'll be on the road to face Peyton Manning at that incredible offense.
November starts the stretch run for the 9ers and they will have to make an impact right away. San Francisco has five games in November and it's book ended by NFC West opponents.
They get their return trip with the St. Louis Rams. Then San Francisco goes on the road for two more road games against New Orleans and New York Giants. To end the month, San Francisco plays Washington with a revamped Robert Griffin III. However, the game of the year as presently constructed is against the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving Day. It's a game that can change the course of the NFL season.
With four games in December, San Francisco has the opportunity to win the conference. Two of the games are against AFC West opponents, while the other two are against Seattle and Arizona to end the season.
San Francisco has three sets of back to back road games. The second of those back to backs are the Broncos, the Giants and the Seahawks. We'll keep an eye on how they do in those games especially.
Overall, San Francisco faces four teams with Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. They play the Manning brothers who have a total of three. They also face off with Drew Brees on the road. Later in the year, San Francisco gets two cracks at newly minted Super Bowl winning quarterback, Russell Wilson.
San Francisco also ends the season with two home games. If they earn the No.1 seed in the NFC, the 49ers have a chance to stay at home for five weeks through a run to the Super Bowl. It will be important for Colin Kaepernick's future with the organization to make his second appearance and win the ring.
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