How would things change this time around, coming off a disappointing 6-10 year? Not much. The 49ers are a cash cow, and the NFL knows this. San Francisco is featured in five primetime games. If there’s any “gauntlet” this year, then it’s likely the December stretch.
Here’s the full schedule with times, dates, and TV channels. All times listed are Pacific.
Update: Here is who the 49ers will play in their three preseason matchups (dates have not been finalized):
Preseason Week 1 (Aug. 16-20): vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Preseason Week 2 (Aug. 19-23): @ Los Angeles Chargers
Preseason Week 3 (Aug. 26-30): vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Week 1: @ Detroit Lions, Sunday, September 12, 10 a.m. (FOX)
- You can run, but you can’t hide, Mr. Goff.
- The 49ers have won four of their past five matchups against Detroit, dating back to 2009. This version of the Lions is a rebuilding team. San Francisco should handle business.
- The last two times the 49ers opened the season in Detroit (‘81/’84), they won the Super Bowl. No pressure.
Week 2: @ Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, September 19, 10 a.m. (FOX)
- Back-to-back road games in the first few weeks, just like in 2020.
- The 49ers have to have a sour taste in their mouth after losing at home to Philly last season.
- The Niners defense will face a mobile quarterback early in the year, as Jalen Hurts should be the starter in Philadelphia. The defense has had issues with quarterbacks who can run during the past couple of seasons.
Week 3: vs. Green Bay Packers, Sunday, September 26, 5:20 p.m. (SNF on NBC)
- The home opener at Levi’s Stadium should be a good one. The question is, will we see Aaron Rodgers or Jordan Love?
- A healthy Niners squad in ‘19 made Green Bay look like a Pop Warner team. Even last year, when these two teams matched up against each other, the game was closer than the score indicated.
- This will be the first test of the season for the 49ers.
Week 4: vs. Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, October 3, 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
- An early-season matchup against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.
- Will Ahkello Witherspoon be starting for Seattle? If so, it will be interesting to see how Shanahan targets him in coverage.
Week 5: @ Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, October 10, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
- Back-to-back games against NFC West rivals.
- Kyler Murray has done well rushing the ball against the 49ers. Will DeMeco Ryans be able to formulate a game plan to slow him down?
Week 6: vs. BYE
- The Niners get an early bye in 2021
Week 7: vs. Colts, Sunday, October 24, 5:20 p.m. (SNF on NBC)
- DeForest Buckner’s welcome home. Something tells me the 49ers are going to do a lot of double-teaming against Buck.
- Indy has a terrific roster, and I’m intrigued to see what Carson Wentz looks like in their offense.
- I picked these two teams to make the Super Bowl in 2020. Welp.
Week 8: @ Chicago Bears, Sunday, October 31, 10 a.m. (FOX)
- We’re all rooting for Trey Lance vs. Justin Fields come midseason, right?
- If Andy Dalton is still starting, I’d be shocked.
- If Jimmy Garoppolo is still starting, that means the 49ers' ideal scenario (presumably) came true.
Week 9: vs. Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, November 7, 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
- The 49ers play the Cardinals for the second time in four weeks.
- San Francisco and Arizona split their two regular season matchups in 2020.
- The Niners’ offensive line could have its hands full with J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones.
Week 10: vs. Los Angeles Rams, Monday, November 15, 5:15 p.m. (MNF)
- The 49ers take on Matthew Stafford and the Rams for their only Monday Night Football matchup of the season.
- San Francisco swept both matchups against L.A. last season.
Week 11: @ Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, November 21, 10 a.m. (FOX)
- The 49ers won’t be playing an international regular season game and avoid a trip to London.
- Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence will have had plenty of time to give us an indication of which level they’re at during their inaugural NFL season.
Week 12: vs. Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, November 28, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
- It’s Kirk Cousins vs. Kyle Shanahan.
- The 49ers blew out the Vikings in the Divisional Round of the 2019 season.
Week 13: @ Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, December 5, 5:20 p.m. (SNF on NBC)
- The second-and-final regular season showdown against the Seahawks.
- The last time the two teams met on Sunday Night Football came in the 2019 regular season finale, which was an instant classic.
Week 14: @ Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, December 12, 10 a.m. (CBS)
- The 49ers take on QB Joe Burrow for the first time.
- Will the Bengals be much-improved from last season?
Week 15: vs. Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, December 19, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)
- The Falcons upset the 49ers in Week 16 of the 2019 season.
- It will be an intriguing matchup of tight ends between George Kittle and rookie Kyle Pitts.
Week 16: @ Tennesse Titans, Thursday, December 23, 5:20 p.m. (TNF on NFLN)
- We have the final primetime matchup of the season unless Week 18 gets flexed.
- I have a sneaky suspicion that the Titans aren’t anywhere near as good as they were a season ago, so the 49ers should be in good shape when they travel to Tennessee.
- Stopping Derrick Henry doesn’t sound like any fun, though.
Week 17: vs. Houston Texans, January 2, 2022, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)
- No way Deshaun Watson is playing for Houston, right?
- The Texans are widely viewed as one of the worst teams in the NFL. This should be an opportunity for San Francisco to earn a win.
Week 18: @ Los Angeles Rams, January 9, 2022, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
- The 49ers meet the Rams for the season finale in a game that could be for the division or even the No. 1 seed in the NFC West.
- What will change the second time these two teams play?
- How much of Trey Lance will we see?
A reminder that you can order your official San Francisco 49ers apparel from Fanatics.
What are your thoughts on the schedule?