Examining the Toughest Stretch of Games on the 49ers 2021 Schedule

The 2021 schedule is officially set in stone for the San Francisco 49ers.
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The 2021 schedule is officially set in stone for the San Francisco 49ers.

With the schedule being released, plenty of fans and pundits are taking a stab at predicting the win/loss record of the 49ers. 

Rather than engaging in that drivel, I am going to examine the toughest stretch of games on the 49ers 2021 schedule. It is easy to get lost in the win/loss predictions, or even the fact that the 49ers once again will be featured in the maximum five primetime games.

So what is the toughest stretch of games for the 49ers?

There are two stretches that you could argue. The most glaring and easiest one to latch onto is Weeks 7-10. San Francisco will have to take on the Colts, Bears, Cardinals, then Rams. Each of those opponents must not be overlooked as they can provide serious punches against the 49ers. Plus, the defenses of three of these teams are top notch, so it will take a strong plan from Kyle Shanahan for those games.

This stretch of games is definitely going to be challenging, but I do not think it is THE toughest for the 49ers. I would lean more towards Weeks 3-5 being the toughest for the 49ers. The opponents for the 49ers will be the Packers, Seahawks, then Cardinals. I know that the 49ers have owned Green Bay when they are actually playing at a high level, but this is not the same Packers team. Had the 49ers faced the 2020 Packers in 2019, they would not have blown them out in either game.

There is also the tight games that almost always go down to the wire with the Seahawks and the Cardinals. These are going to be crucial games for the 49ers, especially since they will be coming off a two-week East Coast trip to start the season. If the 49ers are not up to the challenge, then they will be in a bad spot when they have to go into Weeks 7-10. This three-game stretch is going to batter the 49ers and truly put them to the test. Thankfully, they will have the bye week to go into following that treacherous stretch. 

That Week 6 bye week is actually a benefit to the 49ers. While having one Weeks 9-12 would be ideal considering the addition of an 18th game, the 49ers are sandwiched between two stretches of difficulties. At least when they take on the Colts and the rest of those opponents, they will be rested emerging from the bye. When they take on the Packers, they will be coming off of two East Coast games. It is essential for the 49ers to blow out the Eagles in Week 2 to get their starters out as soon as possible.

In the grand scheme of things, Weeks 3-10 is the key part of the schedule. The 49ers have to take care of business from the start of the season to increase the room for margin of error.