NFL schedule release 2013: Guessing the 49ers primetime games

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

The NFL schedule is coming out Thursday evening. We take a look at potential prime time games on the schedule.

Fooch's Note: Here is your 2013 49ers regular season schedule

The NFL will be releasing the 2013 regular season schedule later tonight at 5:00 p.m. PT, which means we get to find out which 49ers games will be nationally broadcast in primetime. The 49ers will likely get several FOX and CBS games of the week, but we won't know for certain until FOX and CBS release some of those details.

The 49ers ended up with six primetime games last year, but when the schedule came out, the NFL only provides a maximum of five primetime games per team. Last season saw the 49ers-Seahawks Week 16 matchup flexed into NBC's Sunday Night Football.

Some folks have been attempting to predict the 49ers schedule, so I thought I'd open up a thread for predictions. You can try and predict the entire 17 week schedule, but I'd say for now just throw out your predictions for which five opponents the 49ers will face in primetime. I can't imagine any scenario in which the 49ers are not getting the maximum amount of primetime games.

Here is a rundown of the 49ers' opponents:

Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams

Road: New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars (London), Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams

In looking through the list of opponents, a few games jump out as possible primetime matchups. The Falcons and Packers both provide playoff rematches. The Colts bring a matchup between Andrew Luck and his former college coach. The Seahawks bring arguably the best current rivalry in the NFL. The Texans provide a potential Super Bowl preview. The Redskins bring RGIII vs. Kap, while the Panthers bring Cam Newton vs. Kap. Even the Saints brings a potentially interesting matchup now that they have a chance of being right back in the swing of things.

If I had to pick a "lock" for a primetime game, I would actually argue for the Packers. I can't remember the last time the 49ers and Packers played a regular season game in primetime. I suppose the NFL could decide they don't need this matchup to sell MNF, SNF or TNF, but I just think it makes too much sense.

The 49ers will likely have five primetime matchups, but at least one of them will be a bit of a random matchup. Last year it was 49ers-Cardinals on Monday Night Football. I could see this year being 49ers-Rams. After last year's two incredibly close games (tie and Rams overtime win), I could see the NFL viewing this as a worthwhile primetime matchup.

What do you see as the 49ers primetime games in 2013?

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