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A look at 49ers 2018 opponents and the first strength of schedule number

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The 49ers face a decently tough-looking schedule, but free agency and the draft could change plenty.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers season is a wrap, and while the full schedule does not arrive for three and a half months, we do know the full list of opponents the 49ers will face in 2018.

The NFL has a formula that determines which divisions and teams the 49ers will face each year. In 2018, they play their six divisional games, four games against the AFC West, four games against the NFC North, and one game apiece against the NFC East and South team that joined the 49ers in the cellar.

Here’s their full list of home and away opponents for 2018.

Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks

Away: Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks

Now that the regular season is complete, we now know that the 49ers “strength of schedule” is .500. We’ll hear a lot about SOS, but as always it is a number that is not exactly super helpful. It tells us how good (or bad) 49ers opponents were in 2017, but it says nothing about how they’ll perform in 2018. Rather, it’s just an initial bench-mark figure until we get a better handle on things. After all, the 49ers were 6-10 this year, but I don’t think teams will look at this as an “easy” matchup for 2018.

The first real decent option for assessment will come when Super Bowl odds are released, followed by win totals after the schedule is released. They at least offer a look to 2018 rather than a look back at 2017.

A year ago, the 49ers strength of schedule was .502, so it is fairly similar a year later. A year ago, they faced six opponents who won nine or more games. This year, they face eight such opponents. That includes two games each against the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams. A year ago, the 49ers opponents had a point differential of -6. This year, the point differential is +83.