The 49ers’ season is getting closer and closer. It’s almost always the draft that nudges things along, but this year is different.
The NFL released schedules for all 32 teams Wednesday evening, and it looks like the 49ers will be playing Seattle on Thanksgiving. A big rematch? Oh, the irony.
The quick reaction to the schedule is simple. The 49ers should do 12-4 or better.
Hedging on the better, they’d have to beat the Seahawks in Seattle. Tough. But the grit they showed during last year’s NFC Championship game surely created some believers.
No doubt, there’s reason to believe that Seattle got considerably worse after losing wide receiver Golden Tate in free agency.
But they’ve never been an offensive team anyway. They win by rushing the quarterback.
Meanwhile, the 49ers have upgraded, despite losing Donte Whitner in free agency. They nabbed a quality backup lineman, might be receiving solid compensation if they trade running back LaMichael James, but the most important is Whitner’s replacement.
Antione Bethea (pronounced an-ton) was the only starting safety of last year to not get flagged at all last year. Whitner, particularity after he announced a potential name change to “Hitner,” was the total opposite.
And however good that Whitner is and was, however many interception yards he had and pass breakups he racked, those penalty yards negate a lot of it. Which brings things back around to his importance pertaining to the schedule.
It’s probably pretty safe to say that the 49ers should get four wins against their AFC West opponents, even Denver. The Broncos line is a sieve, and the 49ers will pound it down their throat.
The 49ers also have one of two defenses in the league that can totally dominate Peyton Manning. So long as Bethea can get it done.
The most interesting game on the schedule is the home matchup against Seattle on Thanksgiving. Not a whole lot to be thankful for, seeing as how they’re going to be bloodied as hell.
But hey, that turkey is huge.
That’s the one must-win game out of them all.
Santa Clara San Francisco needs to wash their hands of Seattle. If they don’t, well, there goes the first seed in the NFC.
So maybe they can be thankful that every other NFL team will be rooting for them.
San Francisco 49ers
2014 Regular Season Schedule
|Preseason||Opponent||Time – PT|
|Thur. 8/7||at Baltimore||4:30 p.m. KPIX-5|
|Sun. 8/17||Denver||1:00 p.m. KPIX-5|
|Sun. 8/24||San Diego||1:00 p.m. FOX|
|Thur. 8/28||Houston||5:00 p.m. KPIX-5|
|Sun. 9/7||Dallas||1:25 p.m. FOX|
|Sun. 9/14||Chicago||5:30 p.m. NBC|
|Sun. 9/21||Arizona||1:05 p.m. FOX|
|Sun. 9/28||Philadelphia||1:25 p.m. FOX|
|Sun. 10/5||Kansas City||1:25 p.m. CBS|
|Mon. 10/13||St. Louis||5:30 p.m. ESPN|
|Sun. 10/19||Denver||5:30 p.m. NBC|
|Sun. 10/26||B Y E|
|Sun. 11/2||St. Louis||1:05 p.m. FOX|
|Sun. 11/9||New Orleans||10 a.m. FOX|
|Sun. 11/16||N.Y. Giants||10:00 a.m. FOX|
|Sun. 11/23||Washington||1:25 p.m. FOX|
|Thur. 11/27||Seattle||5:30 p.m. NBC|
|Sun. 12/7||Oakland||1:25 p.m. FOX|
|Sun. 12/14||Seattle||1:25 p.m. FOX|
|Sat. 12/20||San Diego||1:30 p.m. NFL Network
5:15 p.m. or FOX
|Sun 12/28||Arizona||1:25 p.m. FOX|