With training camp underway and the preseason in full swing, Last Word on Pro Football is analyzing the schedules of all 32 NFL teams. Each team’s 16-game slate will be split into its most difficult (1-8) and easiest games (9-16). For this article, the San Francisco 49ers most difficult games of 2019 will be discussed.
San Francisco 49ers Most Difficult Games of 2019
Week 14: at New Orleans Saints
Even though I believe that the Saints won’t be as good as they were last year, there’s still something to be said about going into New Orleans and winning a game there. No matter how good the Saints are, the Superdome is always one of the toughest places to win at in all of sports. It’ll be an interesting challenge for Kyle Shanahan as he and his team are hopefully making a push towards the playoffs.
Week Six: at Los Angeles Rams
This will be the first true road test of the 49ers season. Usually around Week Six is when a clearer picture will start to form of who the actual contenders are in the league. This will be the 49ers first matchup of the season against a divisional opponent, and it just so happens to be against the reigning NFC West champions. It’ll be important for the 49ers to make this a statement game and show the rest of the league that they’re finally ready to compete with the rest of the top-tier teams in the NFC.
Week 13: at Baltimore Ravens
Much like New Orleans, Baltimore is another place that’s extremely difficult to come into and leave with a win. Thankfully for the 49ers, this should be their only cold game of the regular season. They only have two more road games after Baltimore throughout the rest of the season; one against New Orleans and the other in Seattle. This will be a tough game for the 49ers simply given the fact that it’ll be the first week of December and the Ravens will more than likely be the most run-heavy team in the league. Not a team you want to play outside in the cold that’s for sure.
Week 17: at Seattle Seahawks
The 49ers last game of the regular season and it’s at a place that they haven’t won at since 2011. Both teams should be vying to clinch a playoff spot here, so the stakes will be about as high as they can get. The Seahawks are another team that loves to run the ball, so it’ll be important for the 49ers to get on the board early and not let Seattle control the time of possession.
Week 16: vs Los Angeles Rams
The 49ers last two games of the season are against divisional opponents. This exhibition against the Rams will be their last home game of the season, so it’ll be important for the 49ers to secure a win here. The NFC West figures to be much tighter this season, minus the Cardinals, and these 49ers vs Rams games might be some of the best matchups in the entire league. It’ll be important for Kyle Shanahan to finish this season strong, or some folks may start to question the strength of his job security.
Week 15: vs Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons, barring health, are on my early-season Super Bowl contenders list and my current favorite to represent the NFC in Miami. Thankfully for the 49ers, they get to play the Falcons in San Francisco. The last six weeks of the 49ers’ schedule is brutal, and this Falcons game is slapped right in the middle of it. The 49ers are going to have to display some real mental toughness and endurance if they want to come out of this stretch as a true Super Bowl contender.
Week 10: vs Seattle Seahawks
Week 10 will be the first time the 49ers match up with the Seahawks this season. The Seahawks don’t get their bye week until week 11, so they may be coming into this game with some serious mental fatigue. Week 11 is late in the season to have your bye week, so it’ll be important for the 49ers to come out firing. If they can get points on the board early, then the Seahawks might just pack it in and look towards their first week off of the season.
Week Three: vs Pittsburgh Steelers
This will be the 49ers first real test of the season. It will be the home opener for the 49ers, and it’ll be the first time these two teams have faced each other since 2015. Despite losing Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers still figure to be a playoff contender in the AFC. The 49ers will have to make sure that they don’t look past the Steelers in preparation for their by the following week. A game like this can set the tone early for the rest of the season.