The NFL will announce the 2018 regular season schedule at 5 p.m. PT on Thursday, which means we finally figure out when the 49ers will be playing their 16 games.
We know they will get at least one prime-time game. Every NFL team is required to play a Thursday Night Football game. Given the 49ers turnaround late last season and high expectations already for the coming season, it’s safe to say they will get more than one prime-time game.
49ers senior reporter Joe Fann offered up his predictions on the 49ers prime-time slate. These are predictions not what he is hearing, but he hits on some games that make sense.
I'll solidify my prediction.#49ers will get 4 prime time games in 2018:— Joe Fann (@Joe_Fann) April 18, 2018
There is a lot of chatter about the 49ers facing the Raiders under the lights. Although the Raiders took a step back last year, the arrival of Jon Gruden brings plenty of buzz. I would not be surprised if ESPN worked to get their old employee on TV. I pray it’s not the Week 1 Monday Night Football doubleheader, but we’ll see.
Below is the 49ers full list of opponents for the coming season. One of their divisional games will almost assuredly be on prime-time, but how many games and who else beyond that? Feel free to drop your predictions in the comments.
I’ll go on the record with Raiders (home), Vikings (road), Rams (road), and Seahawks (road). I explained my thoughts on the Raiders above. The Vikings emerged as a contender and now have former Shanahan disciple Kirk Cousins in the house. Cousins vs. Garoppolo on prime-time would not surprise me. The 49ers and Rams could do battle for the division this season, so that makes some sense. And the Seahawks? The return of Richard Sherman and a potential changing of the guard between these two teams could justify a prime-time affair.
What are your picks?