As a football fan it’s always exciting when new schedules are released—particularly for the 49ers as we all know I’m a huge fan. For me, it’s a chance to not only size up a teams competition, but it’s also a time to draw absurdly early predictions. Last year after looking at the Niners schedule, I thought—“well this year is going to suck.” Turns out, many of the teams that I though were going to give the 49ers trouble were any good –see Detroit, Green Bay, New England (even though they almost came back to win). This goes to show you can put too much clout in preseason predictions and a schedule hot off the press doesn’t really tell you much. Nonetheless, I can’t help but to look at the 2013 schedule with some of the same anticipation as I did in 2012.
To sum up 49ers 2013 schedule in one word–OUCH! Last year started off tough, but this year starts out like a punch in the face. San Francesco will open the season with a divisional round playoff rematch against the Packers at Candle Stick. Then it’s off to Seattle for a HUGE division rivalry and after that, the Niners will host Indianapolis. The 49ers first 3 games are against 2012 playoff teams. Theses games are huge in terms of setting the tone for the 49ers in 2013. They have to get off to a good start. If San Francisco fans want to know where there team stands compared to their division and the other elite teams in the NFL, they will have a good idea by the end of week 3.
If you are thinking the second half of the seasons is going to get any easier for the 49ers, you’re wrong. In fact, the second half of the season is even more daunting then the first. Weeks 10-16 are definitely going to test the 49ers as they play Carolina, New Orleans, Washington DC, Seattle, and Atlanta. To make that impressive stretch of games against playoff caliber teams even more impressive during weeks 11 and 12 the 49ers will play back to back road games, on the east coast, during the prime time, in New Orleans and in DC—that kids, is what we call brutal!
On the bright side, San Francisco has a total of 5 prime time games in 2103. Although 3 of these games are away and 2 are on the east coast, I can’t blame the NFL for avoiding another blackout like last season’s Monday Night game against the Steelers. I applaud their efforts to get the 49ers in from of the National stage.
I think this division could be very competitive with Seattle of course, but also St. Louis–Jeff Fishers is doing good things there. I love the Niners, but they gotta be on their game all season long. Close games, tough opponents, and adversity can either destroy a team, or straighten a team. Can’t wait to see how Harbaugh and the boys respond to it this year