Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Top 5 most-anticipated 49ers games of the 2022 season

May 11, 2022 at 5:40 PM--

After posting a 10-7 record and winning two playoff games in the 2021 season, expectations for the San Francisco 49ers for the 2022 season have only gotten bigger. The 49ers opponents for next season have already been revealed and they have the fifth toughest schedule this season when looking at the combined teams 2021 win percentage (.533).

With the schedule looking to be quite challenging, there should be a plethora of epic 49ers games this season. In turn, let's take a look at the five games 49ers fans should have circled on their calendar this season.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. 49ers

Tom Brady will march into Levi's Stadium for the first time since 2016 in Week 11 with the New England Patriots. Brady and the 49ers have had plenty of drama between the two of them after plenty of trade rumors, both before and after Brady was traded. Nonetheless, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be a team that is in contention in the NFC, returning most of their most important pieces.

This game will be a crucial home game for the 49ers, who face some of their toughest opponents at home including the Chiefs, Chargers, Rams, and Dolphins this season. The 49ers haven't faced the Bucs since kickoff of the 2019 season when Jameis Winston tossed the 49ers three interceptions. Obviously, this Bucs team is a totally different machine, bringing back Brady with WRs Chris Godwin and Mike Evans in the mix is always going to be a problem for secondaries across the league.

Speaking of secondaries, this game will give the 49ers the opportunity to show off newly acquired cornerback Charvarius Ward and the rest of the secondary. A glaring weakness in the 2021 season, the pass defense will be something to watch in this game, with the Bucs elite passing attack.

4. Los Angeles Rams vs. 49ers

The defending Super Bowl champs will be coming to town for their annually scheduled meeting with the 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Fresh off a 20-17 NFC Championship loss, this home game will be massive for San Francisco and their season.

The Rams will look a little different this season after departing with longtime wide receiver Robert Woods and adding Allen Robinson. However, most pieces return, with Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp coming off an unbelievable season.

Last season, the 49ers went 2-0 against Los Angeles during the regular season before falling in the NFC Championship game. Both games against the Rams will be pivotal but securing that win at home would be a big boost for the 49ers and their season.

3. 49ers vs. Las Vegas Raiders

The 49ers will play the entire AFC West this season, which is arguably the most competitive and complete division in football.

Vegas may have the most explosive offense on paper, featuring Darren Waller, Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, and Josh Jacobs. With a capable quarterback like Derek Carr, the Raiders will likely fight for a playoff spot.

Where the Raiders have question marks are up front on the offensive line. According to PFF the Raiders had the 28th best offensive line in the NFL last season. Although they made some off-season acquisitions, the 49ers should be able to exploit them there.

San Francisco is the much better team in the trenches and winning this one on the road would bold well for the rest of the season. In what will likely be a prime time game, the 49ers should shine on the national stage against a less physical opponent.

2. 49ers vs. Denver Broncos

Russell Wilson and San Francisco will meet again, this time with his new team in Empower Field at Mile High stadium. The Broncos have a reloaded roster after a busy off-season, and they will be one of the more formidable opponents on the schedule this year.

The cream of the crop appears to be in the AFC this season, with the bulk of roster movement happening there. This will be a huge game for the 49ers regardless of where it's at on the schedule.

Most of the 49ers' games on the road this season are against weaker opponents. This game presents the opportunity for the 49ers to knock off possibly the toughest road opponent they have on the schedule this year.

1. Chiefs vs. 49ers

Third straight AFC West matchup, but no doubt the most anticipated matchup on the entire schedule. The last time the 49ers saw Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, it was in Super Bowl LIV where the Niners fell 31-20.

This should be an electric atmosphere at Levi's Stadium, as the Niners will look to seek revenge for the first time since the loss. The Chiefs will now be without Tyreek Hill, after trading him to the Miami Dolphins this off-season which should help the 49ers.

Nonetheless, Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs are the top dogs in the AFC until proven otherwise.
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