My take on the 49ers' schedule -- even if their 2008 final record didn't demand that they be in prime time, their charasmatic head coach did. Mike Singletary was perhaps the most memorable part of the 2008 campaign -- "I want winners!" -- and he and his team will be featured at least twice on national television: at home against Jay Cutler and the Bears Thursday Nov. 12 and on Monday night Dec. 14 at home against another QB the 49ers considered adding in the offseason, Kurt Warner and the Cardinals. The 49ers and Cardinals have played the last two seasons on Monday night and the two teams have opened the season together four straight times. The Chicago game, of course, will reunite Singletary with his former team.
Three of the first five teams the 49ers play -- the Cardinals, Vikings and Falcons -- made the playoffs a year ago. The team has an early-ish bye in Week Six -- players prefer it later in the year -- and then three straight games against AFC South opponents before the home game against Chicago. The 49ers will head to Green Bay to face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in a potential bad-weather game the following week. They'll close out the season against two of the worst teams in 2008, Detroit and St. Louis.
Friday, August 14 vs. Denver 7:00 PM
Saturday, August 22 vs. Oakland 5:15 PM
Saturday, August 29 @ Dallas 5:00 PM
Friday, September 4 @ San Diego 7:00 PM
September 13 @ Arizona 1:15 PM
The last time the 49ers were in Arizona, Mike Martz called for a fullback dive from 2 1/2 yards away. I think we all remember how well that turned out. The game also will reunite Kurt Warner with the team he
used considered joining this offseason.
September 20 vs. Seattle 1:05 PM
The last time the 49ers had an early-season home game against the Seahawks, Alex Smith left with a badly separated shoulder.
September 27 @ Minnesota 10:00 AM
Patrick Willis got the better of Adrian Peterson the last time these teams played.
October 4 vs. St. Louis 1:15 PM
This should be the 49ers' easiest game early in the season. The Rams will be without mainstays Torry Holt and Orlando Pace this season.
October 11 vs. Atlanta 1:05 PM
Like looking in the mirror? Last year the Falcons were the type of team the 49ers want to be this season.
October 18 BYE
October 25 @ Houston 10:00 AM
The 49ers have never played the Texans in Houston. Barrows has never been to Houston.
November 1 @ Indianapolis 10:00 AM
The second 10 a.m. start in a row for the 49ers. Thank goodness it's against a patsy like Peyton Manning. Oh wait ...
November 8 vs. Tennessee 1:15 PM
Another team the 49ers will try to emulate this year. The game reunites receiver Brandon Jones with the Titans, who used him as their No. 3 wideout last season.
November 12 (Thursday) vs. Chicago 5:20 PM
Lots of storylines with this one -- Singletary-Bears reunion, Jay Cutler, Tampergate. Seems like a pretty good game to put on in prime time.
November 22 @ Green Bay 10:00 AM
A potential bad-weather game and the first regular-season affair Aaron Rodgers has had with the team that passed over him in 2005. The 49ers will have a few extra days to prepare.
November 29 vs. Jacksonville 1:05 PM
Maurice Jones-Drew returns to the Bay Area. Will Mark Sanchez be throwing passes for the Jags?
December 6 @ Seattle 1:15 PM
The 49ers have won in Seattle two out of the last three seasons.
December 14 (Monday) vs. Arizona 5:30 PM
The 49ers nipped the Cardinals on Monday night in 2007; Arizona returned the favor last season in one of the best prime-time games of the year.
December 20 @ Philadelphia 10:00 AM
The 49ers won an overtime game here in 2003. They haven't fared as well in the games since.
December 27 vs. Detroit 1:05 PM
If you're going to write in a "W" anywhere on the schedule, it's here. If Matt Stafford really hates the 49ers, he'll have his chance to show it.
January 3 @ St. Louis 10:00 AM
Playing in front of his family in December '08, Shaun Hill needed a heroic second-half to pull out a win. Will he be the 49ers' quarterback as 2010 gets going?
-- Matt Barrows