Last week we had some excitement surrounding the release of the 2011 NFL schedule. The 49ers schedule for the upcoming season provides a host of intriguing matchups and quite the playoff stretch run. However, now that we've had time to soak it in, we also have to consider the lockout's potential impact on the schedule. If there's a delay to the start of the 2011 NFL season, this schedule would have to include some adjustments for missed time.
The league has actually factored in a variety of adjustments to account for the lockout potentially lasting into the 2011 season:
1) Week three of the NFL season features matchups of teams that all have the same bye weeks, which means the league could use that later bye week for games.
2) There is currently a bye week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl, which can be removed.
3) The NFL has booked hotel rooms in Indianapolis (site of the Super Bowl) for back to back weeks.
4) There are no divisional matchups in week two and four, which means losing those games entirely would not significantly impact divisional competitive balance in the schedule.
For the 49ers, this could mean a couple of things. First, the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles could end up being removed from the schedule entirely. If the 49ers did not have to play on the road at Philly, that would have to qualify as a positive for the team.
The second impact is that the 49ers would not get that extra bye week between the NFC title game victory and Super Bowl XLVI. I'd prefer the rest for the 49ers, but it's not like the AFC champs would be getting any additional rest. The good thing is we'd know well in advance whether the Super Bowl was taking place February 5 or 12. I really have no preference for when I'd be going to watch the 49ers sixth Super Bowl victory, particularly since the President's Day holiday weekend won't be for another week after that.