For those of you who have been eagerly awaiting the San Francisco 49ers 2018 regular season schedule, your day is finally here. We've known who and where the 49ers play next season, but now we know when it's all going down.
Be sure to secure your seats at 49ers.com/tickets. Here are the top takeaways from what is a very intriguing 16-game slate.
1. Prime Time on Prime Time
Can you say "Jimmy Garoppolo Effect" five times fast?
The biggest question each year on schedule release day is how many prime-time games the 49ers received. San Francisco was awarded a whopping five appearances on prime time in 2018. That's the maximum any team is allowed at the time of schedule release which tells you all you need to know about the national perception of the 49ers.
At one point, San Francisco will play a stretch of four prime-time games in a five-week span. The full list of national TV contests goes as follows:
- Week 6 at Green Bay Packers on "Monday Night Football"
- Week 7 vs. Los Angeles Rams on "Sunday Night Football"
- Week 9 vs. Oakland Raiders on "Thursday Night Football"
- Week 10 vs. New York Giants on "Monday Night Football"
- Week 13 at Seattle Seahawks on "Sunday Night Football"
2. Road Warriors
The 49ers begin the year with three of their first four games away from Levi's® Stadium. San Francisco opens the season on the road against the Minnesota Vikings. That means that the Kirk Cousins era will start against the quarterback's former head coach, Kyle Shanahan. It's the first time since 2014 that the 49ers have started on the road. It's also the second time in four seasons that the 49ers have played the Vikings in Week 1. San Francisco topped the Vikings, 20-3, to begin the 2015 season.
Following a home game against the Detroit Lions in Week 2, the 49ers travel to play the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers in Weeks 3 and 4.
3. Time to Say Good-Bye
San Francisco will take its bye in Week 11 for the second-straight season. The 49ers have been very fortuitous in that sense. The team hasn't been given a bye before Week 8 since 2011.
4. Good Morning Football
The 49ers only play three early-window games (10:00 a.m. PT starts) next season – Week 1 in Minnesota, Week 3 in Kansas City and Week 12 in Tampa Bay against the Buccaneers. That's down from the five such contests that the 49ers played a year ago.
5. Home Cookin'
San Francisco's only stretch of three-consecutive home games will come from Weeks 14-16 when it hosts the Denver Broncos, Seahawks and Chicago Bears.
6. The Enemy to the North
San Francisco will have to wait until December to get it's first crack at Seattle. That prime-time showdown at CenturyLink Field will be followed by a second meeting just two weeks later at Levi's® Stadium.
Those two rivalry games against the Seahawks are sandwiched around a home matchup against the Broncos.
7. Old Friends, New Enemies
I just detailed above that Richard Sherman will have the opportunity to play against his old cohorts twice in a three-week span. I'm sure he wishes he didn't have to wait until December for that opportunity, though. Weston Richburg will also have to exercise some patience before playing the Giants on "Monday Night Football" in Week 10.
However, Jerick McKinnon won't have to wait nearly as long to face his former club. McKinnon's first game as a member of the 49ers will be at his old stomping grounds in Minnesota.
Jeremiah Attaochu will see the Chargers twice in 2018 – once in the preseason finale and again in Week 4.
8. Ending with a Bang
"The Faithful" have spent all offseason hearing about how the Rams are going to be a juggernaut this season. Well, San Francisco and Los Angeles will square off in Week 17 to close out the year. If everything goes according to plan, that could be a wild finish to the season with the NFC West crown on the line.
That game will mark the third time in four years that the 49ers and Rams have met in Week 17.
Take a look at the locations, coaches and some of the top players for the San Francisco 49ers 2018 opponents.