FanPost

2022 49ers Schedule Predictions

On Thursday, the NFL will release the schedules and that's when we will all know when the 49ers are playing each of their games. So as I do every year, I will give my predictions as to what the schedule is going to look like. We know when the 49ers are playing one of their games, and I plan to make small changes should the leaked games by FOX tomorrow and NBC on the Thursday involve any of the 49ers opponents.

New to this year's predictions, I list all of the possible games that won't be happening each week either due to conflicts with other teams and events or because they are already scheduled for a game that week (as well as the logistics leading up to or following that week, such as bye weeks following games across the pond). So as a reminder of what those conflicts are, the 49ers play the Seahawks and Chiefs, whose stadiums are adjacent to a MLB ballpark and thus they can't play home games the same week their MLB counterpart does (and likely they will play home games when the MLB team is on the road, though that's not always true). There are six other teams in that situation (Bengals, Ravens, Steelers, Cowboys, Eagles, and Lions), but those are the only two they 49ers play this season. Also, MLS teams play in the same stadium as the Seahawks and Falcons, so that has to be taken into consideration as well. In addition, there are college bowl games around New Year's Day, and that means the 49ers won't be playing in Atlanta or Carolina that weekend, and likewise there are the conference championship games in Atlanta and Carolina to consider (Las Vegas also hosts the Pac-12 championship game, but college games are not played on the same surface the Raiders play on).

As for the primetime games, the 49ers road game against the Cardinals in Mexico City will be on MNF. For possible TNF games, we can cross off the Chargers and Chiefs games since they are already scheduled for TNF, as well as both Cardinals games since one of them is on MNF and both meetings of a division game cannot be in primetime. The Falcons, Panthers, Bucs, Dolphins, and Commanders are too far away to play a TNF game, while it's possible for the 49ers to play the Bears or Saints games on a short week since they are both in the central time zone. So that leaves them with home games against the Rams, Seahawks, and Saints, along with road games against the Rams (the 49ers will play two Thursday games if they open the season in LA), Seahawks, Broncos, Raiders, and Bears as possible games for Thursday. I'm expecting two SNF games, two MNF games, and one TNF game for the 49ers seeing that they always have a home game on Monday.

Week 1: at Carolina Panthers
Can't play this week: @SEA (Mariners are home), LAR (The Rams are hosting this week), LAC (Chargers play a road game the following Thursday)
To kick off the season, the 49ers once again start off the season with two on the road as the 49ers have been requesting to have two cross-country road games scheduled back-to-back road games in the early part of the season so that they can spend the week in Youngstown, IMG Academy in Florida, or the Greenbrier in West Virginia. It just so happens that Carolina and Atlanta are the only games in the Eastern Time Zone the 49ers play this season.

Week 2: at Atlanta Falcons
Can't play this week: KC, LAC (Chargers and Chiefs playing each other in week 2), SEA (Seahawks likely home)
See above as the 49ers would stay on the East Coast between games.

Week 3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (MNF)
Can't play this week: SEA (Seahawks likely home with the Mariners on the road), NO (playing in London next week)
In their home opener, the 49ers host Tom Brady as he makes only his second appearance at the home of the team he grew up rooting for. With Levi's Stadium ill-equipped to handle the heat from early-season afternoon games that it would need to be a primetime game. The 49ers generally will have at least one home MNF game seeing that they are a big sell, and this would be it.

Week 4: Seattle Seahawks
Can't play this week: @SEA (Mariners are home), KC (Chiefs likely home with Royals on the road), NO (playing Vikings)
The 49ers get what is hopefully a breather against a Seahawks team that is no longer led by Russell Wilson, who has tormented the 49ers for years. With the 49ers playing a Monday game the week before that ideally another home game or a game against a team not expected to be good would be nice, and this game is both.

Week 5: at Los Angeles Rams (SNF)
Can't play this week: All home games (Elton John concert), @SEA (Sounders home game), @ATL (Atlanta United home game)
The 49ers will definitely be on the road this week since the Elton John farewell tour concert will be happening at Levi's Stadium this weekend. In addition, the Sounders and Atlanta United are playing home games, so that narrows down the possibilities to five road games against the Rams, Panthers, Raiders, Broncos, or Bears. One of the meetings against the Rams will be in primetime, and this is a SNF game here.

Week 6: Arizona Cardinals
This would mark the last week that DeAndre Hopkins is suspended, and it would be a good time to have the home game against the Cardinals.

Week 7: New Orleans Saints
Can't play this week: @DEN (likely on the road on the East Coast before leaving for London)
The Saints come into town this week, and it doesn't figure to be anything more than a game on the singleheader network as with Drew Brees and Sean Payton no longer running the show there that there's not much luster to this game.

Week 8: at Chicago Bears
Can't play this week: @DEN (playing the Jaguars in London)
It seems that the 49ers almost always play on Halloween weekend at Soldier Field.

Week 9: Kansas City Chiefs (SNF)
Can't play this week: @DEN (bye), SEA, @SEA, TB (Seahawks and Bucs are likely playing on the East Coast before their game in Germany)
Trey Lance vs. Patrick Mahomes ought to be quite a show, assuming that Lance plays as advertised after sitting out for almost all of last year to learn the playbook. This has the making of a prime time matchup.

Week 10: Washington Commanders
Can't play this week: SEA, @SEA, TB (Seahawks and Bucs playing in Germany)
Ideally, the 49ers are going to want to play in Denver this week to get used to the altitude the week in preparation for their game in Mexico City, but the NFL will likely not schedule either the 49ers or Cardinals to play in the Mile High City this week as that would give the team that does play there an unfair advantage. They accommodated that request for the Patriots back in 2017 while giving the Raiders a bye week and it resulted in a total shellacking, and more importantly in 2018 the Rams and Chiefs both requested to play in Denver the week before, and were both denied. Assuming the 49ers don't play in Denver this week, it will likely be a home game against a lesser opponent, which the Commanders are as long as they have questions at quarterback.

Week 11: at Arizona Cardinals (MNF in Mexico City)
This game has already been confirmed.

Week 12: Bye
Even though Mexico City is in the same time zone as the Central time zone, bye weeks have typically been given after the Mexico City game, though that's not always the case.

Week 13: at Denver Broncos
Assuming that the 49ers don't get their request to play in Denver before the Mexico City game, the next best thing is to have it be their next game after their Mexico City showdown.

Week 14: Los Angeles Chargers
Week 14 is usually an interconference game, and this sounds about the right time to play the Chargers.

Week 15: at Las Vegas Raiders (TNF)
Even though the Raiders no longer call Oakland home, it still has all the makings of a primetime game as the rivalry is still there. In this case, it's a TNF game that requires the 49ers to play a home game the week before as the road team.

Week 16: at Seattle Seahawks (Saturday)
Can't play this week: LAR, @LAR, @DEN (Broncos and Rams playing on Christmas)
The 49ers are usually on the road this week because of the Redbox (now just the San Francisco) Bowl being played at Levi's Stadium but the bowl game's future is in doubt with the lack of a TV deal. Even so, the 49ers are probably going on the road so that if the game is played, the turf won't be chewed up for the bowl game's participants. In any case, teams generally stay close to home when games are scheduled on Christmas Eve.

Week 17: Miami Dolphins
Can't play this week: @ATL, @CAR (hosting college bowl games)
This is the last game remaining, so this is pretty much by process of elimination with the way this prediction is set up. The 49ers play against Mike McDaniel as it's a battle between teams with the same offense. This figures to be a doubleheader week for CBS since the previous week is likely a doubleheader for FOX with CBS getting the late timeslot for the Christmas contest.

Week 18: Los Angeles Rams
Possible games this week: AZ, LAR, @LAR, SEA, @SEA
This will be a division game as the final week of the regular season is always a divisional matchup, and with the game at Arizona already announced, that leaves just five possible games. The 49ers-Rams game was quite a great way to end the regular season, so the NFL would love to do it again, this time the game happening at Levi's Stadium seeing that the game at SoFi Stadium is looking like it will be in primetime.

To summarize things up, the 49ers play five primetime games with two SNF games (@LAR, KC), two MNF games (TB, @AZ in Mexico), and the obligatory TNF game (@LV). Here is the schedule with dates, kickoff times, and primary TV network.

Sept. 11 at Carolina Panthers 10am FOX
Sept. 18 at Atlanta Falcons 10am FOX
Sept. 26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5:15pm ESPN (MNF)
Oct. 2 Seattle Seahawks 1:05pm FOX
Oct. 9 at Los Angeles Rams 5:20pm NBC (SNF)
Oct. 16 Arizona Cardinals 1:25pm FOX
Oct. 23 New Orleans Saints 1:05pm FOX
Oct. 30 at Chicago Bears 10am FOX
Nov. 6 Kansas City Chiefs 5:20pm NBC (SNF)
Nov. 13 Washington Commanders 1:05pm FOX
Nov. 21 at Arizona Cardinals (Mexico) 5:15pm ESPN (MNF)
Nov. 27 Bye
Dec. 4 at Denver Broncos 1:25pm FOX
Dec. 11 Los Angeles Chargers 1:25pm CBS
Dec. 15 at Las Vegas Raiders 5:15pm AMAZON (TNF)
Dec. 24 at Seattle Seahawks 1:25pm FOX (Sat)
Jan. 1 Miami Dolphins 1:25pm CBS
Jan. 8 Los Angeles Rams 1:25pm FOX

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.