Updated: May 9, 2020
The 49ers just released their schedule, here's a quick analysis of it, and my thoughts.
The Niners have the 4th toughest SOS in 2020 of .527.
The Patriots, Jets, Dolphins, and Bills are also in the top 5 for toughest SOS.
5 primetime games (MNF vs. BUF. SNF vs. PHI, LAR, and DAL. TNF vs. GB)
Bye week is Week 11
Avoiding bad winter East Coast weather with Sept/Oct NYJ, NYG, and NE games is huge.
Total travel miles are approximately 29,500.
Five road trips to NE, NYG, NYJ, NO, and DAL is absolutely brutal.
Will they stay on the East Coast (or Youngstown) for the Jets & Giants games, or return to CA?
No international games for the NFL is a relief. The Niners are overdue for an international game, and a game in Mexico City vs. the Cardinals made all the sense in the world for 2020. With three road games in the upper East Coast (NE, NYJ, and NYG), and two games in New Orleans & Dallas, their 2020 travel schedule was already tough enough as is.
In 2021, I expect an international game to happen. It will most likely be a Mexico City game vs. the Cardinals, or against the Jaguars in London.
Important to realize that the role COVID-19 plays in the 2020 season is very much TBD.
Week 1 vs. Arizona Cardinals (5-10 in 2019, SOS of .518 for 2020)
Week 2 @ New York Jets (7-9 in 2019, SOS of .533 for 2020) Jets were smart to draft a tackle high, as this is matchup heavily favors the Niners pash rush. See you all at Finnerty's.
Week 3 @ New York Giants (4-12 in 2019, SOS of .529 for 2020) If there's ever a time to go to New York twice, this is it. It's very a fortunate break to catch the Giants on the down swing.
Week 4 vs. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7 in 2019, SOS of .486 for 2020) Eagles are a tough read heading into the 2020 season, and I expect this to be a tough home game for the Niners.
Week 5 vs. Miami Dolphins (5-11 in 2019, SOS of .529 for 2020) For Miami,a lot of draft picks, a lot of turnover, and a lot of hope. Tua will obviously be the focal point of a rather pedestrian game.
Week 6 vs. Los Angeles Rams (9-7 in 2019, SOS of .516 for 2020)
Week 7 @ New England (12-4 in 2019, SOS of .537 for 2020) Jimmy G's homecoming. Wish Brady was still there, but this is still a big moment for Jimmy. Big changes in New England, but they still have a great defense, and he's playing against the coach who knows him the best. This is going to be a very tough game.
Week 8 @ Seattle Seahawks (11-5 in 2019, SOS of .508 for 2020) Going to Centurylink is never an easy task, nor is containing Russell Wilson. The Seahawks will be extra motivated this season with Arizona creeping up in their rear view mirror. This will be one extremely tough game.
Week 9 vs. Green Bay Packers (13-3 in 2019, SOS of .504 for 2020) A rematch of the NFC Championship, and a whole lot of drama around Aaron Rodgers. This game is going to get a lot of media hype, before and during the game, but the result will most likely be the same.
Week 10 @ New Orleans Saints (13-3 in 2019, SOS of .490 for 2020) This was easily the 2019 game of the year, and back the Niners are heading back to the Big Easy. If you were lucky enough to be there last season, you get to do it again...and if you missed out, book a flight to MSY for the rematch. That was the best game, and host city experience, I've ever been to...bar none.
Week 11 - BYE WEEK
Week 12 @ Los Angeles Rams (9-7 in 2019, SOS of .516 for 2020) Time for another Bay Area reunion in Los Angeles for us transplants, but this time at SoFi instead of The Coliseum. The stadium looks amazing, but the Rams are not in good shape.
Week 13 vs. Buffalo Bills (10-6 in 2019, SOS of .525 for 2020) I don't know if the Levis parking lot is ready for Bills Mafia. I think this is going to be one of the best home games of the season.
Week 14 vs. Washington Redskins (3-13 in 2019, SOS of .465 for 2020) Expect a homecoming for Alex Smith if he's on the roster, or travels with the team to Levis. Don't expect much of a game.
Week 15 @ Dallas Cowboys (8-8 in 2019, SOS of .459 for 2020) This is going to be the second most popular road game destination this season, and this rivalry could be resurrected this year.
Week 16 @ Arizona Cardinals (5-10 in 2019, SOS of .518 for 2020) Make no mistake about it, the Cardinals are trouble. They played the Niners exceptionally tough in both games, and they had a heck of an off-season.
Week 17 vs. Seattle Seahawks (11-5 in 2019, SOS of .508 for 2020)