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49ers 2016 schedule opens with same difficult travel schedule as last season

The opening schedule for the 49ers is pretty brutal, and it’s a repeat of last year. I don’t think it is purposeful, but it still sucks.

The San Francisco 49ers face off against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football, in the last game of the Week 1 schedule. That leads to a shorter week, but whomever gets a Monday Night Football game is always going to get the shorter week. And yet, the 49ers schedule, which repeats a pattern from last season, involves an added difficulty.

In 2015, the 49ers opened at home against the Minnesota Vikings in the latter half of the MNF doubleheader. The next week traveled to faced the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had lost the Thursday night opener to the New England Patriots. This season, the 49ers open at home against the Los Angeles Rams in the latter half of the MNF doubleheader. In Week 2, they travel to face the Carolina Panthers, who lost the Thursday night opener to the Denver Broncos.

I don’t think there is anything nefarious about this scheduling quirk, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. It could be worse if the 49ers had to travel in Week 1 AND Week 2, but either way, a short week against a team with extra rest is not a good thing. The Panthers are going to be plenty fired up at home, coming off a tough loss in Denver. We can talk about “any given Sunday” and the potential for a 49ers upset, but it’s going to be a tough turnaround.