The San Francisco 49ers finished as the No. 1 seed in the NFC this season, and their schedule in 2020 will reflect their first-place results. While their 2019 season is still going strong, with the Minnesota Vikings coming to town Saturday, San Francisco’s 2020 opponents are already known.
The 49ers will have the most difficult schedule in the NFC next year, and the fourth-most difficult one in the entire NFL. Their opponents next year had combined records of 134-120-2 this season. Here’s a look at who the Niners will play next year, both home and away.
Per usual, the 49ers will play the Cardinals twice. San Francisco went 2-0 against the Cardinals this season, although Kyler Murray and company played them tough both games. The 49ers won both contests by a combined score of 64-51.
The Niners haven’t played the Cowboys since October of 2017, and they got blown out in that game, 40-10. Both teams have undergone drastic changes since that game, and the Cowboys will be very different next year, after having just hired Mike McCarthy to be their new head coach. It’s early, but this could be one of the biggest matchups for the Niners on the road next season.
Los Angeles Rams
The 49ers will visit LA Memorial Coliseum to take on the Los Angeles Rams in an NFC West showdown. The 49ers swept the Rams this season, winning first in October, 20-7, and again on December 21, 34-31. The Rams swept the 49ers in 2018, however, so this series has been back and forth over the past few years.
New England Patriots
Whether Tom Brady will be under center for the Patriots remains yet unknown, but regardless, this promises to be one of the most exciting games of San Francisco’s 2020 season. These two teams last met in 2016, when Colin Kaepernick was quarterback. The Patriots won, 30-17. The Pats have won three of the last four, dating back to 2005.
New York Giants
The 49ers will visit Daniel Jones and the Giants next year, and the Giants will likely have a different look under their new head coach, Joe Judge. The series between these two teams has gone back and forth over the last few years, with the Giants leading the all-time series, 21-20. These two teams last played in 2018, when Eli Manning beat Nick Mullins.
New York Jets
The Jets have been a team loaded with ups and downs over the last few seasons, and with head coach Adam Gase actively fueling trade rumors surrounding star running back Le’Veon Bell, they are currently on a down swing. The Niners lost the last time these teams played back in 2016, when Bryce Petty and Colin Kaepernick were the starters.
As with the Rams and Cardinals, the 49ers will play the Seahawks twice in 2020. The two rivals split their two games this season, with Seattle winning in overtime in November and San Francisco winning an extremely close one Week 17, 26-21. It was the first time San Francisco had won in Seattle since 2011.
New Orleans Saints
In a rematch of one of 2019’s most thrilling games, the 49ers will head to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to face the Saints. The two teams met this season on December 8 in a thrilling, back and forth showdown that the 49ers ultimately won, 48-46. Next year should be more of the same, and this game should be one that the team and their fans mark on their calendars.
49ers 2020 HOME OPPONENTS:
As noted, the Cards and Niners will see each other twice, but 49ers fans should be wary of Arizona in 2020 — Kyler Murray seemed to save his best ball for San Francisco. Murray had three games in 2019 in which his rating was over 100, and two of them were against the 49ers. Murray had four touchdowns and no interceptions against this tough 49ers defense, so look for more of the same in 2020.
Los Angeles Rams
The 49ers and Rams will also see each other twice next year, which the San Francisco defense can’t be too upset to hear. In 2019, Rams quarterback Jared Goff did not play his best against the Niners. In two games, Goff had two touchdowns, an interception, and one fumble lost (two were forced) against San Francisco.
Rounding out the NFC West divisional repeats, the 49ers will also face the Seahawks in what promises to be a compelling series, as always. The Seahawks lead the all-time series, 26-17.
This should be a promising NFC showdown featuring two of the best tight ends in the game. These two teams last met in 2017, in a game the Eagles won handily, 33-10. Carson Wentz out-dueled C.J. Beathard that day, but will he have the same results against Jimmy G?
This Washington team promises to look quite different under new head coach Ron Rivera. The Redskins lost a 9-0 matchup against the Niners this season in a game that was sloppily played all around. The 49ers are 4-1 in their last five games against Washington, however, so whether or not Rivera can turn that around will be intriguing to see.
The Bills made an early exit in the playoffs this season, falling on the road to the Houston Texans, but they should be one of 2020’s more promising teams, and heading into Levi’s Stadium will be a tough challenge. Expect Josh Allen and company to bring the juice, however, in what should be one of the more exciting games on the 49ers schedule next year.
Whether Tua Tagovailoa will be the starting quarterback for the Dolphins next season remains an interesting topic of debate around the league, but the young quarterback out of Alabama would certainly be a fascinating matchup for the 49ers defense. The 49ers and Dolphins last met in 2016 in Florida, and the Dolphins won, 31-24.
Green Bay Packers
This will be a matchup between the NFC’s top two seeds in 2019. The 49ers soundly defeated the Packers at Levi’s Stadium this season, 37-8. The Niners sacked Aaron Rodgers five times and forced the Packers quarterback to fumble once in a humbling defeat. The Packers may be looking for payback in this one, so another blowout may not be in the cards.