EAST RUTHERFORD NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: Darrelle Revis #24 of the New York Jets defends against Randy Moss #81 of the New England Patriots during their game on September 19 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Taking a brief look at the 49ers schedule in 2012, there are a number of games that feature primetime-worthy match-ups. That is inherent considering the level of difficulty on the 49ers upcoming pallet. Most people are aware that San Francisco is facing the top three offenses in New England, New Orleans and Green Bay, but there are a lot of in-game match-ups elsewhere that have more evoking storylines.
Brief: This is a classic best vs. best match-up, and it's peppered with history. When Moss was with New England, he and Revis weren't exactly buddy-buddy. There was a fair amount of trash talking on and off the field, and I'm sure they'll be delighted to face one another once again. And Moss is capable of owning Revis -- we've seen it.
Weeks 7 & 16
Brief: The 49ers had their streak of not allowing a rushing touchdown or 100-yard rusher broken by Lynch -- in Willis' absence. The 49ers are still on a hot streak with Willis starting and in 2012, the All-Pro linebacker is going to remind Lynch of that fact. As part of an NFC West rivalry, this should be a hot battle in the trenches.
The 49ers Defense vs. Tom Brady (NE)
Brief: Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are special quarterbacks as well, but Brady has been a symbol in the league with 3 Super Bowl Championships, winning consistently year after year. The 49ers will be out to prove something against the Brady-led Patriots on the road. This will be a potential Super Bowl preview and great all around fight.
Brief: A rematch of the NFC Championship, only with some slight changes. Manningham and Jacobs are now on the 49ers' roster after being unable to re-sign with the Giants. This is a business but players occasionally take it personally, especially players like Jacobs. This is going to be a heated, high-intensity match-up.
The 49ers' Secondary vs. Calvin Johnson: Part II (DET)
Brief: When the 49ers went on the road to face Detroit in Week 6, the secondary managed to keep Calvin Johnson to 7 receptions for just north of 100 yards -- but no touchdowns. That was pretty unbelievable considering Johnson had scored a combined 9 touchdowns in the five weeks preceding. The Niners secondary will have another crack at CJ in 2012, but can they keep him out of the end zone again?
The 49ers Front Seven vs. Adrian Peterson (MIN)
Brief: The arguable two prides of the NFL Draft Class of 2007 reunited, in Patrick Willis (Round 1, Pick 11) and Adrian Peterson (Round 1, Pick 7). It's the league's best linebacker vs. the league's best running back, what's not to love? This will make for a great game of cat and mouse. It could be a long day for Peterson against this 49ers front that's loaded with talent.
Brief: This is more of a concern than a match-up to watch. Both 49ers tackles will be challenged by Peppers when they face the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. Peppers is capable of a big-time performance on primetime, so the 49ers protection better be on its game.
Joe Staley and Anthony Davis vs. Mario Williams (BUF)
Brief: Another premier pass rusher the 49ers tackles will face is Mario Williams. Williams, now on the Bills, will be a handful in dealing with Buffalo's improving defense. Williams could give the right side of the 49ers' offensive line a hard time in Week 5.
Brief: Goliath vs. Goliath in my opinion. Long has been the best blindside tackle in the NFL for some years now. But he will be facing some tough competition - even for him - in Justin Smith. Smith was the 2011 Defensive MVP candidate and recently named No. 17 in the league's Top 100 NFL Players. Talk about an unstoppable force versus an immovable object...
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