The NFL 2021 schedule will be released May 12 at 5 p.m. PST.
While the home and away opponents for the San Francisco 49ers are known, their primetime games are a mystery.
The 49ers were involved in three primetime games last season, but originally were slated for five games. It wasn't until the injuries starting piling up that caused the 49ers to be a losing product, so the league flexed them out of two primetime games. 2021 is expected to be different for the 49ers, especially if they can be just half as injured as last season.
When the schedule is released, how many primetime games will the 49ers have?
I expect the 49ers to have five primetime games. That is the maximum allotted games that a team can have in a season. By having five primetime games, the NFL would be saying that the 49ers are must-watch television. Now you may be thinking that the maximum of five games is nuts. The 49ers finished 6-10, so the league may not see them as competitive.
But that would be a pretty lazy judgement. The 49ers are not truly a losing team. They are a playoff caliber team. Even when they are not doing too hot, they are still a cash cow to the league. People love to watch the 49ers, and with Trey Lance waiting in the wings, everyone is going to want to pay attention to see when he gets his shot.
Plus, the current stars already make them an attractive watch. From George Kittle on offense, to the return of Nick Bosa on defense. The 49ers are certainly going to be a dangerous opponent in 2021. I have no doubt they will be playoff contenders, so five games in primetime for the second consecutive year would indicate how highly they are viewed.