ESPN’s John Clayton was on 93.7 The Fan Wednesday afternoon discussing the NFL Schedule, which is scheduled to be released Thursday at 5 PM PT. Clayton reported that “the NFL schedule will be NFC vs. AFC for the first four weeks of the season.” The San Francisco 49ers play the AFC East, so their first four games would be against the Patriots, Bills, Dolphins, and Jets.
There were reports in April that there would be a schedule similar to college sports where you play your out of division games first, and Clayton’s report backs that up. Is this the NFL’s concession in order to start the season on time? The worst possible scenario here is if the 49ers had to play at home against the Dolphins, on the road against the Patriots, at home against the Bills, then again on the road against the Jets that would follow another road trip in Week 5. Talk about racking up miles. San Francisco would probably prefer to play both home games back to back so they can stay on the east coast.
If you’re looking at this glass half full, you like the idea of the 49ers getting their travel out of the way to begin the season. That avoids a Week 13 trip to New England that’s sandwiched in between games against Arizona and Los Angeles. There’s also the AFC East quarterbacks. Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Jarett Stidham, and Tua Tagovailoa. The 49ers feast on young quarterbacks. There are a lot of moving parts with the schedule. How do you feel about playing the AFC East to start the season? Does it even matter?