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NFL schedule 2013: Release expected April 16, according to report

Rumors are circulating on a release date for the 2013 NFL schedule. We take a look at the news and what it could mean for the 49ers in prime time.

Stephen Brashear

This news is a couple days old, but I think it is still worth discussing, particularly since a lot of people might have missed it. Reports indicate that the NFL will release the 2013 schedule on April 16.

Over the last couple weeks, the NFL and MLB have been trying to figure out a way to get the Baltimore Ravens the Thursday season-opening home game. In recent years, the Super Bowl champion has kicked off the next season hosting the Thursday night league opener. This year, the Orioles have a game that evening, and both teams cannot play at the same time due to a shared parking lot. The Orioles and White Sox are both traveling to Baltimore late the night before, and MLB regulations do not allow for a day game to follow a road game held the previous night.

The Ravens will now open the 2013 season on the road. This is notable because the NFL schedule was being held up a bit by the decision on the opener. Now that the Ravens location for the opener is settled, the rest of the schedule can be finalized as well.

As we get ready for the 2013 NFL schedule, it will be interesting to see which 49ers games get primetime slots. We know the list of opponents, and we can likely figure out some of the 49ers primetime games. They will likely get no more than five games in primetime, but there is always the possibility of a late season flex. The 49ers had five primetime games heading into last season, and then saw their Week 16 contest with the Seahawks get moved to Sunday Night Football.

In looking through this year's list of opponents, it seems very likely both Seahawks games will end up on national television. The worst case would seem to be one primetime game and then one FOX Game of the Week. I would love to see both get primetime slots, but we'll see.

Beyond that, the Packers, Texans, and Colts home games both could intrigue the networks. The same holds true for the Saints and Redskins on the road. You can't tell me the NFL wouldn't love to feature RGIII vs. Colin Kaepernick under the lights on national television.

If I had to make a prediction of five primetime games for the 49ers in 2013, I would go with:

@ Seahawks
vs. Packers
vs. Colts
@ Redskins
vs. Texans

What do you think of that list?