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Thursday, April 18, 2013
San Francisco 49ers schedule analysis

By Mike Sando

NFC schedule analysis: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Breakdown: There's no easing into the schedule for the 49ers, but that was the case to some degree last season as well. This time, the 49ers open at home against Green Bay before visiting Seattle in a Sunday night game. A home game against Indianapolis follows, meaning the 49ers' first three games are against opponents that were playoff teams last season. A Thursday night game at St. Louis follows, a big challenge after the 49ers failed to defeat the Rams last season.

The opener against Green Bay is a rematch of the 49ers' divisional playoff game from last season. Can the Packers better contain 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who rushed for 181 yards against them last time? That will surely be a prevailing storyline for this one. The 49ers beat Green Bay at Lambeau Field in the opener last season, so this one becomes a double rematch for teams with playoff pedigrees.

The 49ers will spend Week 8 in London for their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, with a bye to recover the following week. The Jaguars are the home team, which means the 49ers will still play their usual eight regular-season games at Candlestick Park.

The trip to Seattle should be better this year. Last season, the 49ers visited the Seahawks following a draining road game against New England. The teams play at CenturyLink Field in Week 2 this season, with Seattle coming off a cross-country trip to Carolina for that one.

Complaint department: Nothing too egregious here. The 49ers have only one true 10 a.m. PT game on the schedule. (The London game kicks off at 10 a.m. PT, but the 49ers will have been in London for a while). They play in cold-weather markets early enough in the season to avoid frigid weather in most cases. If I had to single out one complaint, I'd point to back-to-back road games against the New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins, the latter one falling on a Monday night.

Lights-out schedule: The 49ers play three of their five prime-time games on the road. It's tough to fault the league for steering clear of additional night games at Candlestick Park, where the lights went out on a Monday night game against Pittsburgh last season.

49ers Regular Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 8, Green Bay, 4:25 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15, at Seattle, 8:30 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 22, Indianapolis, 4:25 p.m.
Week 4: Thursday, Sept. 26, at St. Louis, 8:25 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 6, Houston, 8:30 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 13, Arizona, 4:25 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 20, at Tennessee, 4:05 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 27, at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 10, Carolina, 4:05 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 17, at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m.
Week 12: Monday, Nov. 25, at Washington, 8:30 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 1, St. Louis, 4:05 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 8, Seattle, 4:25 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 15, at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Week 16: Monday, Dec. 23, Atlanta, 8:30 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 29, at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.