The most intriguing part about the NFL schedule release is the primetime games.
Everyone wants to know how many a team will get and who the opponents will be. Primetime games are the moneymaker.
This past weekend, I wrote about how many primetime games the 49ers will be awarded. Tomorrow on Wednesday at 5 p.m. PST, we will find out exactly how many games they will be featured in. But which games on the 49ers' schedule will be in primetime?
Since I believe five will be the amount of primetime games for the 49ers, I'll work under that premise.
This is practically a given. The 49ers versus the Seahawks in primetime never fails to be an enormous eye-grabber. Anytime these two teams face, it is almost always a battle for high stakes. Last year didn't go as planned since half of the 49ers were backups. 2021 should hopefully be a refresher to what these two teams can do in a matchup.
Los Angeles Rams
Another given here. Rams versus 49ers was in primetime on Sunday Night Football in their first matchup last season. That game certainly was enjoyable and a battle. The past two seasons, Kyle Shanahan has owned Sean McVay. That is a storyline that can be easily pushed. Not to mention that McVay will have Matthew Stafford to help break his losing streak. 2019 and 2020 saw impressive primetime matchups between these two. I am sure the league will want to maintain what is working.
Green Bay Packers
Speaking of maintaining what is working, the 49ers and Packers always face off in primetime. It only makes sense. The two teams have had the most intense games since 2011. Last season's primetime matchup between these two was abysmal. Injuries were already piling up for the 49ers along with a bunch of star players missing due to COVID-19. 2021 is the time to make up for that and let these two duke it out. There is also the trade rumors of Aaron Rodgers requesting San Francisco that can be used a talking point as well.
Primetime games usually involve teams in the same conference, especially the division. It is not common to get an AFC versus NFC team. However, this time the league has to make an exception. 49ers versus Colts would be phenomenal. This matchup has everything. An elite offense versus elite defense, quarterback storylines, and of course the DeForest Buckner return to Levi's Stadium. This is the one game that HAS to be featured in primetime, or else it will be a huge whiff by the NFL.
Revenge for the 2019 NFC Divisional Round is the most obvious sell for this primetime game. Both the Vikings and 49ers had a ton of misfortune last season that led to them missing the playoffs. They're each still playoff caliber and would make for an excellent matchup. There is also the obvious storyline of Shanahan's infatuation with Kirk Cousins and the potential comparison to his fondness for Trey Lance.