The NFL released the 2013 regular season schedule on Thursday, and we have had plenty of opportunities to dissect it thus far. I thought we would try and parse through this a little bit more with a bit of a generic poll. I realize it is hard to assess the strength or weakness of a schedule at such an early juncture, but that hasn't stopped us in the past!
The 49ers schedule features four playoff teams in five weeks to open the season. They get five straight non-playoff teams following that, but I have to think the Saints and Panthers are improved. Arizona is always tough to figure out, while the Titans and Jaguars have their work cut out for them.
Traveling to face the Rams for Thursday Night Football is not the ideal short-week game, but I suppose it could be worse. I don't see how the 49ers will look past St. Louis to that Texans game, considering what the Rams did to the 49ers last year. That Cardinals-Titans-Jaguars stretch seems like an opportunity to pad the record, but there is always some team that comes out of nowhere to become a tough opponent.
Speaking of tough opponents, the 49ers strength of schedule is tied for seventh, although I hope most of us recognize that SOS based on the previous year's win/loss numbers is kind of bogus. I don't know who will take a step back, but I have to think the Panthers, Saints and Bucs could all prove a bit more difficult than their 7-9 records might indicate.
Accordingly, go through the schedule and let me know what you think in the poll below. I'm going with a numbered voting scale. We already knew the opponents going into this. So, vote 1 if you think this schedule is about as easy as it could be in light of the opponents. Vote 10 if it is as hard as it could be in light of the opponents. And of course, vote anything in between as you see fit.
Week 1: vs. Green Bay Packers - Sunday, September 8, 1:25 p.m. FOX
Week 2: @ Seattle Seahawks - Sunday, September 15, 5:30 p.m. NBC
Week 3: vs. Indianapolis Colts - Sunday, September 22, 1:25 p.m. CBS
Week 4: @ St. Louis Rams - Thursday, September 26, 5:25 p.m. NFL Network
Week 5: vs. Houston Texans - Sunday, October 6, 5:30 p.m. NBC
Week 6: vs. Arizona Cardinals - Sunday, October 13, 1:25 p.m. FOX
Week 7: @ Tennessee Titans - Sunday, October 20, 1:05 p.m. FOX
Week 8: @ Jacksonville Jaguars (in London) - Sunday, October 27, 10:00 a.m. FOX
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: vs. Carolina Panthers - Sunday, November 10, 1:05 p.m. FOX
Week 11: @ New Orleans Saints - Sunday, November 17, 1:25 p.m. FOX
Week 12: @ Washington Redskins - Monday, November 25, 5:40 p.m. ESPN
Week 13: vs. St. Louis Rams - Sunday, December 1, 1:05 p.m. FOX
Week 14: vs. Seattle Seahawks - Sunday, December 8, 1:25 p.m. FOX
Week 15: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sunday, December 15, 10:00 a.m. FOX
Week 16: vs. Atlanta Falcons - Monday, December 23, 5:40 p.m. ESPN
Week 17: @ Arizona Cardinals - Sunday, December 29, 1:25 p.m. FOX