The NFL is a year-round content machine. The annual schedule release has turned into a huge event. Fans book flights to see their favorite teams in different locations or visit their home stadiums. This season, the NFL has made the release even bigger, with several networks releasing games before the official release on May 11th at 5 PM PST.
The 2021 opponents have been known for some time. Opponents are determined by a team’s record and rotating different divisions to face, year to year. The 49ers will face the NFC West (obviously), but this year the 49ers will face the NFC East and AFC North.
As fans wait for the sequence of opponents, let’s take a look at the three most anticipated matchups:
A rematch of the NFC championship game is the obvious answer. Both teams have continued to chirp at each other, even months after the matchup. Add in Deebo Samuel’s recent comments during his complex interview and Javon Hargrave switching sides, and this is easily the most anticipated opponent.
Depending on which week the Eagles are scheduled will matter. Hopefully, it is with a healthy team and Brock Purdy at quarterback for the 49ers.
One of the storied rivalries in NFL history is also a rematch from last year’s playoff run. Dallas returns to Levi’s, where Ezekiel Elliott took his last snap as a Cowboy. Whenever these two teams meet, it conjures up memories of matchups past, but Dallas and San Francisco are both considered among the NFC’s best.
Dallas will look to avenge their loss, but the matchup will be a good litmus test for the 49ers.
The Bengals have appeared in two consecutive AFC Championship games and one Super Bowl in the past two years. These two teams matched up in 2021, with the 49ers coming out on top in overtime in Cincinnati.
Again, this will be a great test for the 49ers, and there will be no shortage of star power between the two teams.
I couldn’t resist. Kyle Shanahan will get a chance to face his “quarterback that got away” and possibly avenge the 2018 season-opening loss. All eyes will be on Shanahan and Kirk Cousins embracing before or after the game.