A look at the 2015 regular season schedule for the San Francisco 49ers.
- In this Friday edition of Niners Daily, we look ahead to the fall of 2015 and the gauntlet of strong opponents that the San Francisco 49ers will face.*
If the 49ers are to return to the playoffs next season after falling short last year for the first time since 2010, the team will certainly have to earn it.
John Breech of CBSSports.com recently broke down every NFL team's strength of schedule in 2015, and the 49ers will play the third-toughest slate of games.
San Francisco's 16 opponents next year had a .561 winning percentage in 2014, finishing with a combined record of 143-112-1.
The only two teams with a tougher schedule on paper in 2015 are the Pittsburgh Steelers (.579) and Cincinnati Bengals (.563).
So how did the 49ers end up drawing the proverbial short straw?
Well, based on the NFL's rotating schedule, the NFC West is due to play against the NFC North and AFC North next year.
Of the eight teams in those divisions, five of them made the playoffs in 2014 (Green Bay, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Baltimore).
Combine those tough games with the home-and-away divisional contests with the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks and the 49ers will play nine games versus playoff teams from a year ago.
Consider that in 2014, of the 12 teams that made the postseason, only four of them owned a strength of schedule higher than .500.
The good news is that the 49ers divisional rivals will face stiff competition as well.
Below is the full strength of schedule list.
(Note: The dates for the 49ers 2015 schedule will be revealed sometime in late April.)
- Pittsburgh Steelers: 147-107-2, .579
- Cincinnati Bengals: 144-112, .563
- San Francisco 49ers: 143-112-1, .561
- Seattle Seahawks: 142-112-2, .559
- Arizona Cardinals:142-113-1, .557
- St. Louis Rams: 141-114-1, .553
T-7. Oakland Raiders: 139-116-1, .545
T-7. Kansas City Chiefs: 139-116-1, .545
- Cleveland Browns: 138-116-2, .543
- Denver Broncos: 138-117-1, .541
- Baltimore Ravens: 137-117-2, .539
- Minnesota Vikings: 138-118, .539
- Chicago Bears: 136-120, .531
- Green Bay Packers: 135-120-1, .529
- Detroit Lions: 135-121, .527
- San Diego Chargers: 132-123-1, .518
- Miami Dolphins: 126-130, .492
- New York Jets: 125-131, .488
- Buffalo Bills: 124-131-1, .486
T-20. Washington Redskins: 122-133-1, .478
T-20. New York Giants: 122-133-1, .478
- New England Patriots: 122-134, .477
- Philadelphia Eagles: 121-134-1, .475
- Dallas Cowboys: 119-136-1, .467
- Jacksonville Jaguars: 118-137-1, .463
- Tennessee Titans: 111-144-1, .435
- Carolina Panthers: 111-145, .434
- New Orleans Saints: 109-145-2, .429
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 108-146-2, .425
- Houston Texans: 106-148-2, .417
- Indianapolis Colts: 106-149-1, .417
- Atlanta Falcons: 104-150-2, .409