The San Francisco schedule features some difficult challenges, and that includes a fairly back-half heavy road schedule. They play five of their eight road games in the span of seven weeks between Week 10 and Week 16. It's certainly not the end of the world, but it will be something to watch if the team wants to have any hope of being competitive in 2016.
In recent years, 49ers fans have done a solid job bringing the noise on the road. It helped that the team was looking good, but even in the bad years, we've seen fans do a solid job making the road trip. And so, I thought it would be fun to borrow an idea from friend of the site Matthew Fairburn (a Bills beat writer). He put together a ranking of the Bills eight road games, based on best to worst road trips for fans.
And so, here is a ranking of the road games. Will you be making the trip for any of these games? I might try and get down to Atlanta for the Falcons game, as it is a relatively easy trip from DC, and I have a friend down there.
1. Los Angeles Rams - Week 16, Saturday, December 24
I'll agree with Matt. That first game back in LA is kind of cool to consider. And if you want to get away from family for the Christmas holiday, why not spend it in sunny Southern California?
2. Seattle Seahawks - Week 3, Sunday, September 25
This might seem high given that it is a likely loss, but I'm thinking less about wins and losses, and more about the overall experience. The city of Seattle is a fantastic city to visit. If it's raining, that can be a bummer, but if you go up for the weekend, you should get some nice weather at some point. As for the stadium itself? It's a really fun atmosphere to watch football. I don't like the Seahawks, but having been to two 49ers games at CenturyLink, it might be my favorite venue for watching football.
3. Buffalo Bills, Week 6, Sunday, October 16
The 49ers get out to Buffalo rarely, alternating home and away games every four years with their AFC counterparts. An October trip to Buffalo sounds better than a November or December trip. And why not visit the home of the Buffalo wing?
4. Carolina Panthers, Week 2, Sunday, September 18
I've heard great things about Charlotte, but my only visits have been to the airport. I will say, that if you go, stop at Bad Daddy's Burger. I have been to the airport one, and it has a fantastic burger. But beyond that, this will be the Panthers home opener, marking their first home game since this past January's playoffs. It should be a good environment, even if the 49ers are going to be heavy underdogs.
5. Miami Dolphins, Week 12, Sunday, November 27
Why not turn Thanksgiving into a South Beach affair? Late November means cold weather in a lot of places, but Miami is probably not going to be particularly high on that list! And if you're looking for a road win, this might be one of the better options.
6. Arizona Cardinals, Week 10, Sunday, November 13
I thought about ranking this higher in large part because 49ers fans do a great job representing at University of Phoenix Stadium. But given that the 49ers travel there every year, it's hard to call this a must-visit road trip this year. Don't get me wrong, it seems like a fun one, but it gets docked a little. It's a divisional game, but also while Phoenix is great for spring training, I'm otherwise not a huge fan of the sprawl.
7. Atlanta Falcons, Week 15, Sunday, December 18
Atlanta is a very solid city. Not spectacular, but a nice place to visit. This actually is the most likely road game for me. I have a friend who lives down there, and it is a good excuse to visit. There's solid food and generally just a good vibe. The big downside though is the potential for inclement weather. Even though Atlanta is in the south, it can get some really crazy weather patterns.
8. Chicago Bears, Week 13, Sunday, December 4
Early December likely means not so great weather. The Bears should be better than last year, but losing Adam Gase does not exactly help Jay Cutler. Both teams have some potential, but there's a decent chance this is a meh game.