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Game-by-game Storylines for 49ers 2016 Regular Season Matchups

With the announcement of single-game tickets being available for the San Francisco 49ers upcoming 2016 campaign, the first with Chip Kelly as head coach, it's only right to take a sneak peak at what lies ahead.

Here's a quick game-by-game preview of all 16 contests on the '16 schedule.

Week 1: 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams on "Monday Night Football" on Sept. 12 @ 7:30 p.m. PT| BUY TICKETSQuestion to ponder: How long will it take for #BeatLA to start trending in the Bay Area? Opponent to watch: Rams running back Todd Gurley rushed for 1,105 yards and 10 touchdowns as a rookie.Bottom line: Jared Goff vs. Case Keenum. Blaine Gabbert vs. Colin Kaepernick. Both teams have yet to declare who will start at quarterback Week 1. The football world will be watching how each signal-caller performs.Week 2: 49ers at Carolina Panthers on Sept. 18 @ 10:00 a.m. PT

Question to ponder: Road games were a detriment to the 49ers last season. Will the Kelly-led squad rise to the occasion against the NFL's defending MVP and player-voted No. 1 player, Cam Newton?

Opponent to watch: Bene Benwikere will be in line to replace Josh Norman as Carolina's top cornerback.

Bottom line: San Francisco will get a chance to test itself right off the bat against a Super Bowl contender.

The 49ers and Seahawks have a long history, going back to 1976. Here are photos from their 38 meetings.

Week 3: 49ers at Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 25 @ 1:05 p.m. PT

Question to ponder:Back-to-back road games against two of the NFC toughest defenses, how will the 49ers respond?

Opponent to watch:As always, Russell Wilson. Seattle's top offensive weapon will have more schemes created to stop his rushing ability now that Marshawn Lynch has hung his cleats up.

Bottom line:* *San Francisco aims for its first win in the Pacific Northwest since 2011. That surely doesn't sit well.

Week 4: 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 2 @ 1:25 p.m. PT| BUY TICKETS

Question to ponder: Can Dwight Clark be the honorary game captain?

Opponent to watch:Tony Romo's injury-shortened 2015 season caused the Cowboys to plummet in the NFC East standings. A healthy No. 9 makes Dallas a different squad.

Bottom line:* *The modern day triplets of Romo, Dez Bryant and Ezekiel Elliott (and the rest of San Francisco's throwback rivals) will make their Levi's® Stadium debut.

Week 5: 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals on "Thursday Night Football" on Oct. 6 @ 5:25 p.m. PT| BUY TICKETSQuestion to ponder: Can Larry Fitzgerald continue to build on the fountain-of-youth-like season he had in 2015?

Opponent to watch:Chandler Jones, whom the Cards aquired in an offseason trade, is the new threat in this divisional rivalry. The fifth-year pro has 36 sacks in 55 career games for the Pats.

Bottom line:* *Two games in five days for the 49ers? Yes. A game against the defending division champions? That will surely get your attention, indeed.

Week 6: 49ers at Buffalo Bills on Oct. 16 @ 10:00 a.m. PT

Question to ponder: Rex Ryan, what will you have up your sleeve for Kelly and the 49ers?

Opponent to watch:Sammy Watkins caught 60 passes for 1,047 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in just 13 games.

Bottom line:* *The second of four early, East Coast road trips for the 49ers will be a critical examination.

View every player currently on the San Francisco 49ers 2017 90-man roster.

Week 7: 49ers vs. Tamp Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 23 @ 1:05 p.m. PT| BUY TICKETS

Question to ponder: "Famous" Jameis Winston sets sail in the Bay Area for the first time ever. What can 49ers DC Jim O'Neil cook up to confuse Tampa Bay's young star?

Opponent to watch:Doug Martin and his ever-changing nicknames will bring his hard-charging running style to the Bay Area. Martin re-signed with the Bucs after a 288-carry, 1,402-rushing yard and six-touchdown season in 2015.

Bottom line:* *Teams who missed the 2015 postseason like the 49ers and Bucs need to win games like these in order to climb up the NFC playoff pecking order.

Week 8: Bye Week


Week 9: 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints on Nov. 6 @ 1:05 p.m. PT| BUY TICKETS

Question to ponder: Who dat?

Opponent to watch:Coby Fleener is the new tight end on the Bayou. After missing Jimmy Graham's Pro Bowl-level production in 2015, the former Colts pass-catcher (54 catches for 491 receiving yards and three touchdowns) was added to give Drew Brees another intermediate passing option.

Bottom line:*Brees took an "L" the last time he came to the Bay Area (2011 NFC Divisional Playoffs). It's unlike that the "Vernon Post" will be on his mind, but the Saints will want a "W" this time around.Week 10: 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 13 @ 1:25 p.m. PT*

Question to ponder: Will Tyrann Mathieu be back in the lineup and back to his Pro Bowl-playing ways by this point of the season? "The Honey Badger" suffered a torn ACL in his right knee while returning a kick last December.

Opponent to watch:Larry Fitzgerald embraced his newfound slot-receiving duties in 2015 and produced his first 1,000-yard season since 2011. "Fitz" is still capable of giving any slot defender "fits."

Bottom line:**All or nothing. San Francisco's standing in the NFC West race figures to depend heavily on critical mid-season games like this one.

Week 11: 49ers vs. New England Patriots on Nov. 20 @ 1:25 p.m. PT |BUY TICKETS**

Question to ponder: Which 49ers defender will be in charge of defending TD-machine-for-a-tight-end Rob Gronkowski?

Opponent to watch:If Tom Brady's suspension holds up, the 12 remaining opponents on New England's schedule should expect a determined quarterback.

Bottom line:Brady and Gronk vs. NaVorro Bowman and Co. I'm into it.

Week 12: 49ers at Miami Dolphins on Nov. 27 @ 10:00 a.m. PT

Question to ponder: What should 49ers fans do if traveling for this game? Oh wait, read this article.

Opponent to watch:Jarvis Landry caught 110 passes for 1,157 receiving yards and four touchdowns last season. Those numbers should continue to grow in a passing-friendly offense.

Bottom line:* *First-year head coach Adam Gase's offense will be on display when the 49ers head to South Beach for the first time since 2008.

Week 13: 49ers at Chicago Bears on Dec. 4 @ 10:00 a.m. PT

Question to ponder: Will the 49ers experience warm Midwest weather like they did this time last season? It definitely made a difference a year ago.

Opponent to watch:Kevin White was picked seventh overall in 2015, but didn't play in any games as a rookie due to injury. White is healthy now. Jay Cutler should be pumped.

Bottom line:* *Chicago's defense aims to serve a deep dish of revenge when the 49ers come back to the Windy City. A walk-off overtime win in 2015 makes this NFC matchup one to watch.

Week 14: 49ers vs. New York Jets on Dec. 11 @ 1:05 p.m. PT| BUY TICKETS

Question to ponder: Who will be the Jets starting quarterback? It's a fair question with Ryan Fitzpatrick still unsigned as we approach training camp.

Opponent to watch:Darrelle Revis is still a marquee defender in the NFL. Teams wisely throw away from the seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback who recorded five interceptions last season.

Bottom line:* *The 49ers have won three consecutive home games over the Jets dating back to 1983. Bulletin board material, for sure.

Week 15: 49ers at Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 18 @ 1:05 p.m. PT

Question to ponder: How will the Falcons look to avenge last season's loss in the Bay Area?

Opponent to watch:Julio Jones is arguably the best downfield weapon in today's NFL. Last season's 1,871 receiving yards for the sixth-year pro proves Jones is in the prime of his career.Bottom line:* *Bowman loves playing the Falcons. They passed on him in the 2010 NFL Draft, and so he makes them pay every chance he gets. Eyeball emoji on this one.

Week 16: 49ers at Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 24 @ 1:25 p.m. PT

Question to ponder: How many celebs will be on the field for pre-game festivities?

Opponent to watch:Aaron Donald has 117 tackles and 20 sacks in 32 career games. Center Daniel Kilgore and San Francisco's other interior linemen will get to test themselves once more against a perennial Pro Bowl talent.

Bottom line:* *Celebrate the holidays with this classic NorCal-SoCal clash on Christmas Eve. Egg nog sold separately.

Week 17: 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 1 @ 1:25 p.m. PT| BUY TICKETSQuestion to ponder: Will this year's meeting in Santa Clara have postseason implications on the line?

Opponent to watch:Doug Baldwin caught 11 of his 14 touchdown passes in the final six weeks of the 2015 regular season. He didn't catch any touchdowns against the 49ers last season, though.Bottom line:* *The 49ers-Seahawks matchup at Levi's® Stadium takes a break from its "TNF" status of the past two years. However, divisional games to end the regular season are always welcomed.

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