The 49ers released their 2021 schedule on Wednesday. Here are five things you should know about it:
1. The 49ers should stay in Youngstown, Ohio between Weeks 1 and 2.
That's because they play in Detroit for the season opener, then in Philadelphia a mere seven days later. If they fly back to San Jose between those games, they'd have to fly more than 9,000 miles in a week, and then they might lose to an Eagles team they absolutely should beat. So the 49ers need to stay in Youngstown, which they probably will.
2. Rookie defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans will face a big test Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers.
This will be Ryans' third game as a defensive coordinator, and he'll have to face Aaron Rodgers, assuming he's still on the Packers by then. Ryans will have to make key in-game adjustments for the 49ers to win this game, and Ryans might not be ready to make those just yet. Robert Saleh took years to perfect that part of his craft.
3. The 49ers got a unfortunate bye week.
It's Week 6, which means the 49ers will have to play 12 games in a row to finish the season. And then if they make the playoffs, they'll have to play more games in a row, assuming they don't earn the No. 1 seed, which gets a bye week. So it will be extremely difficult, although not impossible, for the 49ers to advance to the Super Bowl.
4. The Thursday Night road game against the Tennessee Titans is a scheduled loss.
That's Week 16. The 49ers will have to fly nearly 2,000 miles to play on just three days of rest to face an established playoffs contender. Usually when the 49ers play road games on Thursday night, they travel short distances, such as Seattle, Phoenix or Los Angeles. Even then, the home team usually wins. Thursday Night football is a joke.
5. The 49ers have the easiest schedule of the NFC West teams.
All four NFC West teams have to play the Packers, Colts, Titans and Vikings, who are are tough opponents. But those are the only quality non-divisional teams the 49ers will face, while the Seahawks have to play Pittsburgh, Washington and New Orleans, the Rams have to play Tampa Bay and Baltimore, and the Cardinals have to play Cleveland and Dallas.
The 49ers should finish 11-6, while the Rams, Seahawks and Cardinals each should finish 9-8.