The NFL will release the 2012 schedule just after 4 p.m. today amid rumors that the 49ers will kick off the season against the Green Bay Packers. Among those fanning the flames is Fox sideline reporter Chris Myers, who suggested on Twitter that the 49ers-Packers could be a Week 1 matchup. Myers would know - he's part of the crew that would cover Fox's marquee game in the opening week.
As you'll recall, this was the playoff matchup everyone was relishing until the New York Giants unexpectedly beat the Packers in the divisional round. The game - it will be played at some point, even if the Week 1 rumors are false - will pit Green Bay's offense against the 49ers' defense. And it will be another rematch between 2005 draft picks Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith.
The 49ers' 2012 opponents are known. What we'll find out later today is when the games will be played and how many will be on national television.
Home: Arizona, St. Louis, Seattle, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Miami, Giants
Road: Arizona, St. Louis, Seattle, Green Bay, Minnesota, New England, Jets, New Orleans
Meanwhile, the 49ers released the times and dates for their first two exhibition games. The team will begin the preseason on Aug. 10, which means training camp can begin as early as July 26th. Rookies and quarterbacks can report a few days earlier than that.
Friday, Aug 10: vs. Minnesota, 6 p.m. (CBS 5)
Saturday, Aug. 18: at Houston, 5 p.m. (CBS 5)
Sunday, Aug. 26: at Denver, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Thursday, Aug. 30: vs. San Diego, 7:05 p.m. (CBS 5)
Want to chat about the schedule, the upcoming draft, the new stadium, who should win American Idol? I'm all ears (and typing fingers). Join me for an 11 a.m. chat. If you're worried about chatting at work, just squint at the computer screen, grimace and mutter a few times. Your boss will think you're working on a particularly thorny issue. Log onto www.sacbee.com/live for the chat.
-- Matt Barrows