The NFL released the 2015 Record & Fact Book as the league prepares for the start of the coming season. The publication focuses on the upcoming season, but it also has one interesting piece of information. The book provides a look at the scheduling formula for the current season and the following season. We know the San Francisco 49ers current list of opponents, but the book confirms a majority of the 49ers 2016 opponents as well.
The 2016 season will see the 49ers face the following opponents:
Home opponents: Arizona, St. Louis, Seattle, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, New England, NY Jets, NFC East*
Road opponents: Arizona, St. Louis, Seattle, Atlanta, Carolina, Buffalo, Miami, NFC North*
The NFC East and North opponent is based on where the 49ers finish in the standings. They will face the East and North teams that finish in the same spot in the standings. This will mark the second straight season the 49ers will face the Atlanta Falcons, and the third time in four years.
The NFL's scheduling formula provides the following matchups for each team:
- Home and away against its three division opponents (6 games).
- The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (4 games).
- The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (4 games).
- Two intra-conference games based on the prior year's standings (2 games). These games will match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place, and fourth-place teams in a conference will be matched in the same way each year.