49ers Catch Tough Road Draw, Early Bye Week in 2021 NFL Schedule (2024)

49ers Catch Tough Road Draw, Early Bye Week in 2021 NFL Schedule (1)

Getty Images49ers Levi's Stadium will host eight home games in 2021, while the 49ers will be on the road nine times.

For the first time ever, the San Francisco 49ers will play a 17-game regular season. The NFL released the official schedule for the historic campaign on Wednesday, May 12.

The headlines from the schedule include the 49ers playing nine games on the road — including Weeks 1 and 2 — as opposed to eight at home, a dangerously early bye week in the newly extended regular season, and four primetime matchups on Sunday and Monday nights, several of which are subject to change. They will also play one Thursday night primetime game.

According to the cumulative 2020 record of their upcoming opponents (132-138-2), the 49ers sit in a tie for the league’s 19th hardest schedule.

Success Away From Home Will be Paramount to 49ers Postseason Chances

49ers Catch Tough Road Draw, Early Bye Week in 2021 NFL Schedule (5)

GettyGeorge Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers.

The new 17-game regular season will disadvantage half the league’s teams each year on a revolving basis. The 49ers drew the short straw in year one, saddled with nine road contests against only eight home games.

San Francisco opens its 2021 season on the road against the Detroit Lions followed by a game against the Eagles in Philadelphia. The 49ers have owned the Lions, winning 10 of the last 11 matchups between the teams, which bodes well for a Week 1 victory away from home against one of the league’s worst teams in 2020.

The 49ers have been less dominant against the Eagles, though they still own the series by a tally of 19-14-1. Ten of those victories have come on the road, though San Francisco has not won in Philadelphia since October of 2011.

Though the 49ers open with back-to-back road contests and play nine of 17 games away from home, at no other point in the season will San Francisco be subject to consecutive matchups outside the Bay Area. The team will play back-to-back home games on two occasions — in Weeks 3 and 4 against the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks, and in Weeks 9 and 10 against the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams.

49ers Slotted For Five Primetime Matchups Following 6-10 Season

49ers Catch Tough Road Draw, Early Bye Week in 2021 NFL Schedule (6)

GettyHead coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers.

Despite a difficult and injury-riddled run through 2020, the NFL and its broadcast partners clearly believe the 49ers will remain a ratings draw, and a competitive one at that, initially setting the team up for four primetime matchups on either Sunday or Monday Night Football, plus a Thursday Night game.

The first such contest will come in Week 3 and is not subject to change based on its position early in the schedule. It will be the 49ers first home game and it will be against the vaunted Green Bay Packers.

The Sunday night matchup is of significant interest, as the 49ers reached out to Green Bay prior to the 2021 NFL Draft in an attempt to trade for Aaron Rodgers, the Packers’ MVP quarterback. Rodgers, too, expressed interest in relocating to the Bay Area, from where he hails originally. The deal never happened and the resulting showdown will pit the two storied franchises against one another in a rematch of the 2019 NFC Championship Game, which the 49ers won.

San Francisco is also scheduled to face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football in Week 7. Indianapolis finished 11-5 in the AFC last season on its way to a playoff berth and is expected to be tough again in 2021.

The 49ers are slated to make their first appearance on Monday Night Football three weeks later on Nov. 15 against the division rival Rams. The fourth primetime game of the year is set for Week 13 (Dec. 5) against the Seahawks. San Francisco will also play a Thursday Night Football game against the Tennessee Titans in Week 16, two days before Christmas.

Early Bye Week Could Hurt 49ers Down the Stretch in 2021

49ers Catch Tough Road Draw, Early Bye Week in 2021 NFL Schedule (7)

Getty Images49ers defensive end Nick Bosa tore his ACL in the second game of the 2020 NFL season against the New York Jets.

San Francisco was ravaged by injuries in 2020. Injuries are more likely for every team this season with an extra game on the schedule. As such, bye week positioning is key, and the 49ers got a rough draw in that regard.

The team will get Week 6 off before having played even a third of their regular season games. A war of attrition, breaks from play in the middle or near the end of the year tend to play more favorably for teams, though that does not always prove the case.

San Francisco will have to do an expert job managing injuries throughout the year if they hope to return to the playoffs somewhat healthy and ready to contend for a Super Bowl title.

The entire 2021 schedule is as follows:

Sept. 12 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Sept. 19 at Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Sept. 26 vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Oct. 3 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 10 at Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 17 — BYE

Oct. 24 vs. Indianapolis Colts, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)*

Oct. 31 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Nov. 7 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Nov. 15 vs. Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Nov. 21 at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Nov. 28 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Dec. 5 at Seattle Seahawks, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)*

Dec. 12 at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Dec. 19 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)

Dec. 23 at Tennessee Titans, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network)

Jan. 2 vs. Houston Texans, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)

Jan. 9 at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

*Sunday night games in Weeks 5-17 subject to change; Week 18 game TBD

**NFL Network and Amazon simulcast subject to change

Max Dible covers the NFL, NBA and MLB for Heavy.com, with a focus on the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and Golden State Warriors. He covered local and statewide news as a reporter for West Hawaii Today and served as news director for BigIslandNow.com and Pacific Media Group's family of Big Island radio stations before joining Heavy. More about Max Dible

49ers Catch Tough Road Draw, Early Bye Week in 2021 NFL Schedule (2024)


Who are the 49ers opponents in 2024? ›

49ers 2024 Schedule Features Playoff Rematches with Packers, Lions and Chiefs. The San Francisco 49ers are set to play each of the three teams they faced during their 2023 playoff run, the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs, in the upcoming season.

Who was the first San Francisco 49er to finish his career with more than 50 interceptions? ›

1: Ronnie Lott. At No. 1 on this list, to no surprise, is Ronnie Lott. During his 10-year career with the Niners from 1981 to 1990, he earned 10 Pro Bowl selections and six All-Pro selections.

Who is the 49ers all time passing leader? ›

The San Francisco 49ers player with the most passing yards in franchise history is Joe Montana with 35,124 yards. This all-time passing yards leader is followed by John Brodie and Steve Young with 31,548 yards and 29,907 yards respectively.

How many preseason games are in the NFL in 2024? ›

For the fourth consecutive season, all but two teams will play three preseason games before the regular season kicks off on Sept. 5. The Chicago Bears and Houston Texans each play an additional preseason game due to their participation in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 1.

Who has the most interceptions in 49ers history? ›

Ronnie Lott has made the most career interceptions for the 49ers, with 51 interceptions.

Who has the most sacks in 49ers history? ›

Bryant Young has the most career sacks for the 49ers, with 89.5 sacks.

Who has thrown the most interceptions in the NFL all time? ›

Brett Favre has the most career intercepted passes in the regular-season and playoffs, with 366 interceptions. StatMuse has season-level data for intercepted passes going back to the 1932 season.

Who holds the record for most interceptions? ›

Paul Krause+812TM
Emlen Tunnell+792TM
Rod Woodson+714TM
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Who threw the most interceptions in NFL history? ›

Brett Favre has thrown the most career interceptions by a quarterback, with 336 interceptions.

How many interceptions did Deion Sanders have? ›

In all, he recorded 53 career interceptions including five with the Ravens when he returned to the field after a three-year retirement.

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