If you like taking things one game at a time, this post isn’t for you, so turn back now.
For those that like a big picture perspective, here you go.
The Niners have achieved a 9-1 record in 2011 on the back of the fifth easiest schedule in the NFL.
They’ll most likely win the NFC West, and if they do, they’ll have to play the other division winners in 2012, and this is what their schedule will look like.
The Niners will play the winner of the NFC South (the New Orleans Saints, most likely) on the road.
They’ll also host the winner of the NFC East (the Dallas Cowboys or the New York Giants).
They’ll play the entire NFC North division, so they’ll get the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings at home, and they’ll travel to play the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears.
They’ll also play the entire AFC East division, so they’ll have to fly across the country to play the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. They’ll also get the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills at home.
That’s a much more difficult schedule than the 2011 version.
So, 49er fans, enjoy the ride this year. You never know how things will shake out next year.