Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Do the 49ers have a favorable 2nd half schedule?

Rohan Chakravarthi
Nov 3, 2022 at 3:30 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers currently stand at 4-4 at the midseason mark, earning them the 7th seed in the NFC playoff picture as they head into their bye week.

Coming into the season, the assumption was that the 49ers had an easier schedule in the first half of the season, given they played the Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, and Atlanta Falcons over the first six games of the season.

However, San Francisco went just 2-2 in those games, leaving them at .500 following their Week 8 win against the Los Angeles Rams.

Looking forward to the second half of the season, do the 49ers have a favorable schedule moving forward?

Preseason prediction

When the NFL revealed the schedule for the 2022 season, I initially predicted that the 49ers were going to finish 11-6, while highlighting two specific trap games: the Miami Dolphins in Week 13 and the Seattle Seahawks in Week 15.

Thus far, I've missed my prediction on three of the eight games this season. Now, let's evaluate the remainder of the schedule and whether my thoughts on the matchup have changed from the middle of the summer.

Week 10: vs Los Angeles Chargers

The 49ers host the Chargers following the bye week, with the latter currently standing at 4-3 on the season.

The Chargers are set to face the Falcons in Atlanta before traveling to San Francisco in Week 10, which could be a factor as the 49ers look to regain health and rest during the bye week.

However, the Chargers still possess a strong offense with a dual-threat quarterback, although their defense isn't as vaunted as believed due to several injuries to vital players.

With that said, this should still be one of the tougher matchups that San Francisco faces this season.

Week 11: @ Arizona Cardinals

The 49ers will travel to Mexico City to face the Cardinals in Week 11, marking as the lone road game in a five-game stretch between Weeks 10 and 14.

The Cardinals currently stand at 3-5 and likely will be without wideout Marquise Brown, who suffered a foot injury recently that will keep him out for 4-6 weeks.

Arizona has been the weakest team in the NFC West thus far, as their defense has given up the 3rd-most points per game, which San Francisco will look to exploit as they potentially return Deebo Samuel from a hamstring injury.

However, look out for Kyler Murray's impact on the ground, as San Francisco struggled to contain both Justin Fields and Marcus Mariota when facing their respective teams this year.

Week 12: vs New Orleans Saints

The Saints appeared as a potential dark-horse playoff team in the offseason, given their close push last year with a backup quarterback at the helm, as well as a strong defense.

But, that strong defense has given up 25 points per game, which is the eighth-worst mark in the NFL, while the offense has faced significant injuries to Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas.

While they've shown a propensity to score, this team is not nearly as strong as perceived in the offseason.

Week 13: vs Miami Dolphins

This game was one that I highlighted as a potential trap game at the beginning of the season, and it seems that prediction is currently hitting, as the Dolphins have started the season 5-3.

Additionally, the Dolphins made a splash at the trade deadline, acquiring star edge rusher Bradley Chubb from the Denver Broncos to bolster their weakened pass-rush, while obtaining Jeff Wilson Jr. from the 49ers as well to back up starter Raheem Mostert.

The Miami offense has shown a propensity to be explosive, deeming them a threat against a weakened 49ers defense, especially if their secondary doesn't return Jason Verrett this season.

Week 14: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Earlier in the year, this game was marked as a highly anticipated matchup, given the swirling Tom Brady rumors in the offseason, as well as the high stakes between the two potential playoff teams.

However, the Buccaneers have significantly struggled this season, starting off at 3-5, while the offense has looked inefficient, scoring just 18.3 points per game, while rushing for the least yards in the NFL.

Tampa Bay should figure out their offensive woes, but this matchup isn't looking as tough as previously anticipated, given the Buccaneers' woes offensively and the injuries they've faced this season.

Week 15: @ Seattle Seahawks

At the beginning of the season, I highlighted this matchup as the biggest trap game of the season, which is currently living up to the billing.

For the 49ers, they'll have to travel on a short week in colder temperatures to face the Seahawks, while Seattle hosts Carolina during the previous week, giving them time to acclimate.

Additionally, Seattle's offense has looked much better than anticipated with Geno Smith at the helm, scoring 26.3 points per game, although their defense has encountered its fair share of struggles in limiting opposing offenses.

The 49ers blew out the Seahawks in Week 2, but this matchup could be a closer bout given the circumstances.

Week 16: vs Washington Commanders

When the schedule was released, this bout against the Commanders appeared as one of the easiest matchups on the schedule, given the extended rest following a Thursday game, in addition to the competition.

So far, that prediction seems to be true, as Washington has struggled for the majority of the season with Carson Wentz at the helm, ranking amongst the worst-scoring offenses in the NFL.

While Taylor Heinecke has led the Commanders to two straight wins at quarterback, the 49ers should be able to win this matchup with ease, however; the simplest games are often the ones where San Francisco makes the most mental mistakes.

Week 17: @ Las Vegas Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders were one of the most-hyped teams in the offseason, as they revamped their coaching staff and front office, which led to the massive trade for Davante Adams and the signing of edge-rusher Chandler Jones from the Arizona Cardinals.

However, they've been a disappointment thus far with a 2-5 record, with their defensive woes not being fixed despite the addition of defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, while their offense has been inconsistent.

The Las Vegas environment should be a loud stadium, especially on New Year's Day, but the Raiders are yet another disappointing team that the 49ers will encounter over the second half of the season.

Week 18: vs Arizona Cardinals

Surprisingly, I had the 49ers sweeping the Cardinals in the regular season, which could come true this season, as it doesn't currently appear that the 49ers will easily have a high seed in the playoffs to the point where they rest their starters in Week 18.

In each of their contending years, the 49ers have had a highly-anticipated Week 18 matchup, as they faced off against the Seattle Seahawks in 2019, while going up against the Rams in 2021.

Could there be a similar environment for Week 18 this season?
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

1 Comment

  • BigAl
    Most ppl including myself had Miami down as a playoff team. Not exactly a 'trap game'. ATL was what I called going in a trap game, and it sure was. Miami and Seattle are Division leader and Wildcard teams, not trap games. Thats like saying look out guys we got the Eagles this weekend, trap game!!! Any Divisional game is obviously going to be tough and ARZ matches up well vs us. If you saw the last time JV came back from injury, I dont think you'd have such expectations for him. Especially if hes out there vs Miami, that could be ugly. We need Arnstead and the pass rush back. The Raiders are the obvious trap game. Especially if they continue to play poorly. Davante Adams and Chandler Jones historically shred us, especially if Jones is over Mcglinchey. This is not an easy schedule and while we could win out we could also lose our next 3 of 4. Im never comfortable vs ARZ anymore and we absolutely need the DL to step up vs Miami. The Chargers is a big game and the defense be prepared to play 4 downs instead of 3. They have more crucial injuries than we do so I think we can be ok but those divisional games are. They are divisional games, not trap games lol
    Nov 3, 2022 at 5:35 PM


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