The 49ers will open their last season at venerable Candlestick Park with a game against the Packers and they will play the final regular-season game there against the Falcons. (Obviously, the 49ers are hoping for another game -- or two -- there in the postseason). Below is a week-by-week look at the team's 2013 schedule.
There are five games in prime time, including two on Monday Night Football and one -- in Week 4 against St. Louis -- on Thursday. There are two 10 a.m. starts, including the Oct. 27 game in London. Four of the first five games are against playoff teams. but to me the toughest stretch is between Weeks 11 and 15 when they will travel more than 13,000 miles in a little more than a month.
Week 1 vs. Green Bay. Sunday, Sept. 8, 1:25 p.m.
Mike McCarthy and his staff went back to school this offseason to figure out how to stop the read-option. Professor Colin Kaepernick will administer their final exam.
Week 2 @ Seattle. Sunday, Sept. 15, 5:30 p.m.
Rumor has it that the Seahawks pump in artificial noise to raise the volume at their home stadium. Of course, Richard Sherman's mouth also could account for the increased decibel level.
Week 3 vs. Indianapolis. Sunday, Sept. 22, 1:25 p.m
Jim Harbaugh's most famous protege returns to the Bay Area to take on his old coach. Yup, tight end Coby Fleener and the Colts will be in town. Andrew Luck, too.
Week 4 @ St. Louis. Thursday, Sept. 26, 5:25 p.m.
The 49ers did not beat the Rams in 2012 but San Francisco has a big advantage this year - David Akers no longer is on the squad.
Week 5 vs. Houston. Sunday, Oct. 6, 5:30 p.m.
Has the 49ers pass defense improved since the playoffs? Matt Shaub, Andre Johnson and the Texans will give it a good test. (There is nothing funny to say about this game).
Week 6 vs. Arizona. Sunday, Oct. 13, 1:25 p.m.
Over/under on how many games new Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer remains standing? Eight. If new Cardinals guard Chilo Rachal is protecting him? Two and a half.
Week 7 @ Tennessee. Sunday, Oct. 20, 1:05 p.m.
Delanie Walker, who played second fiddle to Vernon Davis for six seasons in San Francisco, is now first chair in Music City.
Week 8 @ Jaguars in London. Sunday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m.
The 49ers return to Wembley Stadium, which will be Jacksonville's home away from home for the next four years. Isn't it pronounced 'Jag-yoo-aurs' over there?
Week 9 Bye.
Week 10 vs. Carolina. Sunday, Nov. 10, 1:05 p.m.
Colin Kaepernick feels like he was the best quarterback in the 2011 draft. A decisive win this week would go a long way toward proving him correct.
Week 11 @ New Orleans. Sunday, Nov. 17, 1:25 p.m.
The 49ers return to the scene of the crime. After thinking about the Super Bowl all offseason, Greg Roman has created an 18-inch binder titled, "Plays from Five Yards Away."
Week 12 @ Washington. Monday, Nov. 25, 5:40 p.m.
A pistol (offense) duel. Kaepernick and the 49ers will try to keep pace with Robert Griffin III, who should be back by now from his January knee injury.
Week 13 vs. St. Louis. Sunday, Dec. 1:05 p.m.
Danny Amendola, a thorn in the 49ers' side in recent seasons, is now with the Patriots. But will the Rams draft themselves a new, speedy slot receiver in Tavon Austin?
Week 14 vs. Seattle. Sunday, Dec. 8, 1:25 p.m.
Ravens-Steelers? Patriots-Broncos? Nah. The NFL's top rivalry is now found in the NFC West.
Week 15 @ Tampa Bay. Sunday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m.
For the first time since 2007, the 49ers will benefit from one of Dashon Goldson's signiature personal-foul penalties. The hard-hitting safety resides in Tampa Bay now.
Week 16 vs. Atlanta. Monday, Dec. 23, 5:40 p.m.
A rematch of the 2012 NFC Championship game and a reunion with longtime Rams nemesis Steven Jackson, who is now the running back with the Falcons. So long, Candlestick Park.
Week 17 @ Arizona. Sunday, Dec. 30, 1:25 p.m.
The 49ers wrap up the season against their division rival. The question is whether their starters will be able to rest before the start of the postseason.
vs. Denver, Thursday, Aug. 8, 6 p.m.
@ Kansas City, Friday, Aug. 16, 5 p.m.
vs. Minnesota, Sunday, Aug. 25, 5 p.m.
@ San Diego, Thursday, Aug. 29, 7 p.m.
-- Matt Barrows