The San Francisco 49ers announced their 2022 regular season schedule last Thursday.
The 49ers will face the NFC South and AFC West in cross-divisional play, while continuing to face their NFC West opponents twice a year. San Francisco will also host the Miami Dolphins and Washington Commanders and visit the Chicago Bears.
The visit to Chicago will mark the fourth time in five seasons that San Francisco has opened the season on the road. This will be fourth time the 49ers and Bears have faced each other to open the season, however, the first three taking place in San Francisco. San Francisco defeated Chicago 49-7 to open the 2003 season, the last opening day matchup in this series.
The team is scheduled to play in five prime time games during the regular season in 2022, including two at home, with two on NBC’s Sunday Night Football (Week 3 at Denver & Week 10 vs. Los Angeles Chargers), two on ESPN’s Monday Night Football (Week 3 vs. Los Angeles Rams & Week 11 at Arizona – Mexico City) and one on Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football (Week 15 at Seattle).
Here’s a look at the 49ers 2022 schedule, along with all-too-early game predictions:
Week 1: at Chicago, 9/11, 10 am
The 49ers are the better team on paper, but crazy things can happen during the first couple weeks of the season. This game will feature a battle between 2021 first-round draft picks, Trey Lance and Justin Fields
Week 2: Seattle, 9/18, 1:05 pm
The Seahawks have swept the 49ers the last two years and are 8-2 during Kyle Shanahan’s tenure in San Francisco. This time around however, there is not Russell Wilson to deal with. Advantage 49ers.
Week 3: at Denver, 9/25, 5:20 pm, Sunday Night Football
The Broncos had a solid defense in 2021, but their offense could not generate points. Landing Russell Wilson in an offseason trade and Nathaniel Hackett as head coach could help generate points.
Despite the additions, it’s hard to see a team with a first-year head coach and two first-year coordinators getting the better of Kyle Shanahan and DeMeco Ryans.
Week 4: Los Angeles Rams, 10/3, 5:15 pm, Monday Night Football
The 49ers had won six straight over their longtime NFC West rivals until falling 20-17 in the NFC Championship Game.
The addition of veterans Allen Robinson and Bobby Wagner were solid, however the Rams also lost Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr.
If Kyle Shanahan can get open receivers for Trey Lance, the first-year starter will find them.
Week 5: at Carolina, 10/9, 1:05 pm
The Panthers have a solid defense, but they also have Sam Darnold and rookie Matt Corral at quarterback. Unless they make a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo, the Panthers will be lucky to win five games for the third consecutive season with Matt Rhule at the helm.
Week 6: at Atlanta, 10/16, 10 am
This will be the 49ers second and final early start of the season. San Francisco will likely stay on the East Coast to limit travel.
Atlanta traded Matt Ryan and replaced the veteran quarterback with Marcus Mariota.
Week 7: Kansas City, 10/23, 1:25 pm
While staying on the East Coast has helped with the back-to-back games, it’s led to sluggish play from the 49ers when they return home.
Facing Patrick Mahomes and the explosive Chiefs offense requires the defense to be at its best, and the Super Bowl LIV rematch does not go the 49ers way.
Week 8: at Los Angeles, 10/30, 1:25 pm
San Francisco continues its regular season dominance over the Rams, winning on a late field goal at Levi’s Stadium South.
Week 9: Bye
Having the bye week fall as close to the middle of the season as possible sets up well for the 49ers.
Week 10: Los Angeles Chargers, 11/13, 5:20 pm, Sunday Night Football
San Francisco is 2-3 coming off their bye week under Kyle Shanahan. Facing a defense featuring Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack coming off the edge with J.C. Jackson and Derwin James in the secondary will create problems for the 49er’s offense.
On the other side of the ball the Chargers have Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams who will give the 49ers defense trouble.
Week 11: at Arizona (Mexico City), 11/21, 5:15 pm, Monday Night Football
The 49ers nearly defeated Arizona last season in Trey Lance’s first NFL start. It took consistently shooting themselves in the foot offensively to ultimately come up short.
Without Chandler Jones coming off the edge, Lance and the 49ers offense gets it done this time around, and the 49ers improved pass rush keeps Kyler Murray in the pocket.
Week 12: New Orleans, 11/27, 1:25 pm
The Saint’s defense is formidable, but don’t forget they have Jameis Winston at quarterback. San Francisco has shown they can get the better of Winston in the past, and without Sean Payton the 49ers are too much in a tight contest.
Week 13: Miami, 12/4, 1:05 pm
This game marks the return of Mike McDaniel to Levi’s Stadium. The former 49ers offensive coordinator is trying to build the Dolphins in the same mold as San Francisco.
Miami has tried to upgrade along the offensive line while adding speed to the backfield and at wide receiver.
This game coming later in the year gives the Dolphins time to come together and figure things out, leading to a much tougher game than it would have been earlier in the season.
Week 14: Tampa Bay, 12/11, 1:25 pm
Many pundits predicted Tom Brady would look to finish his career out in the Bay Area. While they were wrong, Brady still gets to return to face his childhood team one final time in the regular season.
Week 15: at Seattle, 12/15, 5:15 pm, Thursday Night Football
As if playing in Seattle isn’t already difficult enough for San Francisco, they need to do it on a short week. Despite having the talent advantage, the 49ers can’t overcome the schedule.
Week 16: Washington, 12/24, 1:05 pm
The Commanders may be able to give Dallas a challenge for the NFC East title in 2022.
San Francisco comes into this game off a mini bye week, making them the fresher team. After losing to Carson Wentz last season, the 49ers defense takes advantage of Washington’s new signal caller this time around.
Week 17: at Las Vegas, 1/1, 1:05pm
San Francisco opens the new year with a challenging contest in Sin City. Good thing George Kittle and Trey Lance have already spent some time there together.
Both teams will be fighting for playoff positioning in this contest, and the 49ers offense proves too tough for the Las Vegas defense.
Week 18: Arizona, 1/7/8, TBD
Arizona is known for collapsing late in the season under Kliff Kingsbury. That won’t change this season.