SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The NFL released its season schedule for all 32 teams for the coming 2020 season — so long as football is allowed to take place at some point this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The San Francisco 49ers now know their path if they are to contend for the NFC Championship and return to a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance.
The 49ers will open the 2020 season at home at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara when they host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, Sept. 13. It's the first time San Francisco will open their season at home since 2017 and the first time they'll begin their schedule against a division rival since 2016.
This year, the Niners will be facing opposition from the NFC and AFC East in cross-divisional play, while looking to take down familiar opponents in the NFC West. Additionally, the 49ers will host the Green Bay Packers and visit the New Orleans Saints, as both teams finished in first place of their respective divisions in 2019.
San Francisco will face six teams who reached the playoffs in 2019: Buffalo, Green Bay, Philadelphia, New England, New Orleans and Seattle.
Predictably, the year following a Super Bowl appearance puts the national spotlight directly on the 49ers as they look to duplicate the success of 2019.
The Niners are currently set for five games on primetime beginning in Week 4 when they host Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football on Oct. 4. The team went 5-1 last season in games appearing on primetime.
All but one of the primetime, nationally televised games will be played at Levi’s Stadium in 2020. The 49ers will host two of their three contests on Sunday Night Football, as well as lone appearances on Monday Night and Thursday Night Football.
Two of the 49ers' first three games will be played on the east coast, as they will visit the New York Giants and the New York Jets consecutively in week two and three. Both games will be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey and marks the first time since 1986 (weeks 13-14) that San Francisco visited both teams in consecutive weeks.
Flexible scheduling can occur as early as Week 5, meaning games can be moved into and out of Sunday Night Football, which would adjust kick-off times. There is a chance that Week 16’s game against the Cardinals also appears on primetime, since the game is presently scheduled for “Saturday or Sunday.”
The NFL is only allowed to flex no more than two games between Week 5 and Week 10.
Here’s the 49ers complete 2020 schedule with times (Pacific time zone), dates and television information.
Week 1: vs. Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Sept. 13, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
The 49ers are 18-12 at home against the Cardinals and have won seven out of their last 11 home games vs. Arizona.
San Francisco opens the season at home against the Cardinals for the first time since 2008.
Week 2: @ New York Jets Sunday, Sept. 20, 10:00 a.m. (FOX)
The 49ers are 10-3 overall against the Jets, including a 6-1 record on the road.
San Francisco travels to MetLife Stadium to take on the Jets for the first time since defeating the Jets, 34-0, in 2012.
Week 3: @ New York Giants Sunday, Sept. 27, 10:00 a.m. (FOX)
The 49ers are 20-21 overall against the Giants, but 8-11 record on the road.
San Francisco travels to MetLife Stadium to take on the Giants for the first time since 2015.
Week 4: vs. Philadelphia Eagles Sunday Night Football, Oct. 4, 5:20 p.m. (NBC)
San Francisco is 19-13-1 and 9-8 at home in matchups against the Eagles.
The Niners are hosting the Eagles on Sunday Night Football for the second time; the first since 2010.
The 49ers have won two of the last three overall meetings against the Eagles.
Week 5: vs. Miami Dolphins Sunday, October 11, 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
The 49ers are 6-7 in the overall series against the Dolphins.
The Dolphins are making their first ever trip to Levi’s Stadium. San Francisco last hosted Miami December 9, 2012.
The 49ers could get their first look against the 2020 NFL Draft’s top overall pick – former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagvailoa
Week 6: vs. Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football, October 18, 5:20 p.m. (NBC)
The 49ers lead the all-time series against the division rival Rams 71-67-3.
It’s the second consecutive season that the Niners are scheduled to host the Rams in primetime, having defeated L.A. 34-31 at Levi’s Stadium, on Saturday Night Football in Week 16 of 2019.
Both teams meet on Sunday Night Football for the first time since 2004.
Week 7: @ New England Patriots Sunday, October 18, 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
San Francisco owns the overall series record vs. New England, 8-5, including a 4-3 record versus the Patriots on the road.
The 49ers will travel to New England for the first time since 2012.
It will be the first time Niners’ quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will return to play a game in Foxboro since he was dealt to San Francisco back in 2017.
Week 8: @ Seattle Seahawks November 1, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
The 49ers are just 8-15 overall when playing in Seattle.
Both matchups in 2019 were highly anticipated games and two of the most memorable games in the entire season.
In 2019, San Francisco earned their first victory at Seattle since 2011 to clinched the NFC West, defeating the Seahawks, 26-21
Week 9: vs. Green Bay Packers on November 5, Thursday Night Football 5:20 p.m. (NFL NETWORK/FOX/AMAZON)
The 49ers face the Packers for the first time on Thursday Night Football and is 32-26-1 in the all-time series against the Packers.
However, San Francisco is 20-12-1 at home against Green Bay.
The Niners have won six out of the last eight overall games against the Packers, including last year’s NFC Championship Game to earn the Niners a trip to the Super Bowl, with a 37-20 victory.
Week 10: @ New Orleans Saints November 15, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
San Francisco is 49-26-2 all-time vs. New Orleans and 26-14 on the road.
The Niners have won three of the past four meetings against the Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, marking the first time they face-off in consecutive regular seasons since 2013-14.
Week 11: Bye Week
San Francisco has their bye week in Week 11 for the third time in four seasons.
Week 12: @ Rams, Sunday, November 29. 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
This will be the 49ers first game ever played at the new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
The 49ers have won three of their four matchups when visiting the Rams since their return to L.A. in 2016.
Week 13: vs. Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football, December 7, 5:15 p.m. (ESPN)
San Francisco is 6-6 vs. Buffalo, including a 4-3 record at home, winning three of the past five meetings.
The 49ers are facing the Bills on Monday Night Football for the first time, as San Francisco holds a 49-28 overall record on MNF. The Niners 49 victories on MNF are the most by any NFL franchise.
It will be the Bills their first trip to Levi’s Stadium; San Francisco hosting Buffalo for the first time since 2012.
Week 14: vs. Washington, December 13, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
The 49ers lead the overall series vs. Washington, 21-11-1, winning five of the previous six matchups.
Week 15: @ Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, December 20, 5:20 p.m. (NBC)
San Francisco has an all-time record of 17-18-1 against Dallas and is 8-8-1 in contests on the road against the Cowboys.
It’s just the first time the 49ers meet the Cowboys in primetime since 1990.
It will be the 49ers first trip to AT&T Stadium since opening the 2014 season with a 28-17 victory in Dallas in 2014.
Week 16: @ Arizona Cardinals — This game is TBD for “Saturday or Sunday”
San Francisco owns the overall series record vs. Arizona, 31-26, but are 10-10 in games played against the Cardinals on the road since 2010.
Week 17: vs. Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, January 3, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
The 49ers and Seahawks finish the season against each other for the second-consecutive season.
San Francisco is 17-26 in the all-time series vs. Seattle and 9-11 at home.
Each of the 49ers last two home games against the Seahawks have gone to overtime, with the team’s splitting the contests.
Follow Sean Cunningham on Twitter: @SeanCunningham
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