The San Francisco 49ers' 2020 schedule has been released--pending any sort of changes, of course. Games may be subject to change during this particular time with COVID-19; it's possible some games could have little to no attendance or perhaps they will be delayed altogether. Nonetheless, I wanted to give my initial thoughts on the 49ers' schedule. They currently have the fourth toughest schedule (.527) with five prime time games along with some interesting tidbits:

The 49ers will face six playoff teams in seven matchups during the upcoming season—the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, and twice against the Seattle Seahawks. Four of those seven matchups will be at Levi's Stadium, assuming the full 17-week schedule is played and the 49ers are allowed to host games in Santa Clara.

The 49ers don't get the heavy gauntlet of road games like last year.


Week 1 – Sunday, September 13 vs. Arizona Cardinals


It's their first home opener since 2017 and this divisional matchup could be a potential trap game. The Cardinals were competitive in both outings last year and had a stellar offseason revamping the defense. I'll be intrigued by the improvement from Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray in his sophomore season as the offense now gets a new toy in a recently acquired wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins.


Week 2 – Sunday, September 20 at New York Jets


With the 49ers' first road trip of the season, it's worth noting that this two-game East Coast trip will be the only 10 AM PST games of the season. The New York Jets aren't quite there yet with their current roster but it's worth noting their newest acquisition, Frank Gore, will face off against his former team. This will be only the second time Gore has played against the 49ers since 2014. All the feels.


Week 3 – Sunday, September 27 at New York Giants


In what was once a classic NFC matchup in years past, this will be the 49ers' first time playing the Giants since 2015. The 49ers shouldn't be frazzled in back-to-back New York games.

Week 4 – Sunday, October 4 vs. Philadelphia Eagles


It's their first primetime game of the season for Sunday Night Football! I've been seeing many NFL pundits picking the Eagles to hand the 49ers their first loss of the season. The Eagles always field a competitive team; the 49ers' secondary should have its hands full defending an upgraded (and healthy) receiving corps.

Week 5 – Sunday, October 11 vs. Miami Dolphins


A quarter of the way into the season, will the 49ers' pass rush get to test Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa? Similar to the 49ers, the Dolphins are making an aggressive haul with their rebuild and finally get their quarterback of the future. This current Dolphins' roster is probably better suited to compete in 2021 but their secondary featuring Xavier Howard, Byron Jones, and rookie Noah Igbinoghene is noteworthy.

Week 6 – Sunday, October 18 vs. Los Angeles Rams


The teeth of the schedule will start here in Week 6. With the Rams forced to reshuffle their roster this offseason due to salary cap issues, just how good are they in 2020? It's always a fun divisional matchup between Rams head coach Sean McVay and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. Both coaches experienced early success taking their teams to the Super Bowl--with similar outcomes.


Week 7 – Sunday, October 25 at New England Patriots


If a certain quarterback was still on the Patriots' roster, I would've imagined this being a potential primetime game but here we are. At this point, the 49ers are the better team versus the Patriots' new signal-caller, Jarett Stidham. Still, it's a tough East Coast road game against Bill Belichick--who will have his team amped and ready.

Week 8 – Sunday, November 1 at Seattle Seahawks


Halfway into the season, the 49ers travel cross-country from Boston to Seattle to play their "favorite" divisional rivals. The 49ers finally ousted them on their turf last year but it's always a tough place to get a win. Last season's road victory was their first win at Seattle since 2011.

Week 9 – Thursday, November 5 vs. Green Bay Packers


The 49ers have had their number the last couple seasons and on paper, it looks like the Packers didn't get that much better this offseason. Having said that, the 49ers have the challenge of facing the Packers on a short week having just played the Seahawks a couple days prior.

Week 10 – Sunday, November 15 at New Orleans Saints


Arguably the best regular game of the season last year, the 49ers once again travel back to the Big Easy to face the Saints. The 49ers narrowly came out on top last time but this time the Saints have an X-factor. Former 49ers receiver Emmanuel Sanders is now playing for the opposition--what can we expect this time around?


Week 11 – Sunday, November 22 – BYE


It's probably better for the 49ers to get their BYE week late into the season versus Week 4 in 2019. By this point, the 49ers should be in immediate need for a refresher after a tough five-game stretch against the Rams, Patriots, Seahawks, Packers, and Saints. We should know a lot more about the 2020 49ers team by this point in the season.

Week 12 – Sunday, November 29 at Los Angeles Rams


Depending on where we are with COVID-19, this could be a great game for both 49ers and Rams fans alike at the new SoFi Stadium. The 49ers could really make a statement coming off their BYE week by handing it to the Rams.

Week 13 – Monday, December 7 vs. Buffalo Bills


Could this be a potential trap game late in the season? Not likely as the Bills travel coast-to-coast to play the 49ers for Monday Night Football for the first time in NFL history. Bills quarterback Josh Allen isn't Russell Wilson but he's a mobile quarterback who should make this matchup intriguing.

Week 14 – Sunday, December 13 vs. Washington Redskins


Not only is this another Kyle Shanahan revenge game, but the 49ers can also now add another factor into the equation with tackle Trent Williams. Both head coach and player would love nothing better than to dominate their former employer. Hopefully the weather is much better than last year's mud fight.


Week 15 – Sunday, December 20 at Dallas Cowboys


The Cowboys present a tough matchup with a solid draft class that includes wide receiver CeeDee Lamb to pair up with Amari Cooper. It's a classic rivalry that deserves the primetime spotlight on Sunday Night Football. They haven't played each other in primetime since 1990.

Week 16 – Saturday or Sunday, December 26 or 27 at Arizona Cardinals


It's interesting to look into this matchup right now in May when evaluating those Cardinals. They could be a middling .500 team or perhaps they take that next step for playoff contention by this point? If the latter happens, this game becomes increasingly popular to get flexed to primetime Saturday.

Week 17 – Sunday, January 3 vs. Seattle Seahawks


Got to give the people what they want. What a photo finish last season as the NFL enjoyed two rivaled franchises fighting for the division to end the season. Depending on where both teams are at this point, this would be an ideal flex option for the league to treat all NFL fans.

  • Justin Wong
  • Written by:
    Justin Wong has been writing for the 49ers Webzone since 2017 while also running an NFC West blog and podcast called Just The West. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to @JustTheWest on Twitter.