49ers schedule 2014: Late bye week should help San Francisco down the stretch

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers should benefit from a late bye week, unlike the rest of the NFC West.

We've already talked about the San Francisco 49ers schedule at length, but there's one important aspect of the whole thing that I think has been overlooked. The 49ers will get a Week 8 bye, which is right in the middle of the season and, to me, the absolute best time to have a bye.

To compare, the St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals, and Seattle Seahawks all have a bye in Week 4. I don't really see a benefit in an early bye week. That early in the season, a team is banged up, sure, but it's not necessarily the best time to take a break. Rather, it's not the most beneficial time to take a break.

But the 49ers will have seven games under their belt, and they've got two big matchups against the Seahawks right after that bye. In addition to that, the 49ers have a favorable second-half schedule outside of those Seattle games, with minimal travel and four home games in their final six. But getting rested up just before those crucial divisional matchups is the best-case scenario.

The only negative to a late bye, in my opinion, only occurs when you have a situation where you've got a player coming back from injury. If that player is expected back after a couple weeks, having an early bye could give that player some extra time to heal up. Fortunately for the 49ers, they're relatively healthy, aside from NaVorro Bowman. And looking at Bowman's injury, he shouldn't be back until around Week 8 at the earliest, regardless.

So the 49ers will get that late bye, will rest before some of the biggest matchups of the season and meanwhile, the divisional rivals will all have squandered it earlier in the season. Feels pretty good!

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