The 49ers have known who they would play in 2023 since the end of the 2022 regular season. On Thursday they found out when each of those games falls on the calendar.
Here’s a look at the 49ers 2023 schedule, along with my all-too-early game predictions:
Week 1: at Pittsburgh, 9/10, 10 am
Pittsburgh is a tough place to open the season. The Steelers are 8-1 in season openers at Heinz Field.
The 49ers offensive line will get tested by T.J. Watt, but their defense should be up to the task against second year quarterback Kenny Pickett
Week 2: at Los Angeles Rams, 9/17, 1:05 pm
The Rams are a team in transition. Even if Matthew Stafford plays, the 49ers should be able to extend their regular season win streak against the Rams to nine straight.
Week 3: New York Giants, 9/21, 5:15 pm, Thursday Night Football
Facing New York on a short week is a tough task. The Giants play in Arizona the Sunday prior and will likely stay on the West Coast to avoid the cross country travel.
Daniel Jones will provide the 49ers with their first challenge of stopping a mobile quarterback, something they’ve struggled with in the past. In the end, the 49ers depth will prove too much for New York to overcome.
Week 4: Arizona, 10/1, 1:25 pm,
The Cardinals are not a good team and their starting quarterback, Kyler Murray may not be back from a torn ACL.
Kyle Shanahan will look to embarrass Jonathan Gannon in this one. The new Arizona head coach was the defensive coordinator for Philadelphia last season.
Week 5: Dallas, 10/8, 5:20 pm, Sunday Night Football
The 49ers and Cowboys meet in prime time for the first time since 1990.
San Francisco has knocked Dallas out of the playoffs the last two seasons. Dallas has the talent on both sides of the ball to go toe to toe with the 49ers physical style of play.
The difference is the 49ers know how to take Dak Prescott off his game.
Week 6: at Cleveland, 10/15, 10 am
The Browns have a tough defense led by Myles Garrett, but their offense tends to sputter.
With Dashon Watson at quarterback over the last six games Cleveland was able to score more than 20 points just twice. That won’t be enough to keep up with the 49ers.
Week 7: @ Minnesota, 10/23, 5:15 pm Monday Night Football
Minnesota was 8-1 at home last season and switched defensive coordinators this offseason, fixing their biggest weakness.
Between the improved defense and the offensive firepower Kirk Cousins has at his disposal, Minnesota proves too much and hands San Francisco its first loss of the season.
Week 8: Cincinnati, 10/29, 1:25 pm
The Bengals are among the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Like Minnesota, Cincinnati has the offensive firepower and enough defense to stick with the 49ers.
The short week after consecutive road games and the Bengals talent proves too much to overcome.
Week 9: Bye
For the second consecutive season the bye week falls as close to the middle of the season as possible which sets up well for the 49ers.
Week 10: @ Jacksonville, 11/12, 10:00 am
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is coming into his own and the Jaguars are much improved from the last time the 49ers travelled to Jacksonville in 2021.
With two weeks to prepare, San Francisco is prepared for the cross country trip and their defensive line makes life miserable for Lawrence in a tough fought game.
Week 11: Tampa Bay, 11/19, 1:05 pm
The Buccaneers quarterbacks are Baker Mayfield, Kyle Trask and John Wolford.
Week 12: @ Seattle, 11/23, 5:20 pm, Thursday Night Football (Thanksgiving)
Seattle has done a good job of quickly reloading its roster, and playing in Seattle is always a challenge.
The last meeting between these two teams on Thanksgiving ended with Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson eating turkey legs on the 50-yard line at Levi’s Stadium.
This time around it will be Geno Smith and Jamal Adams enjoying the postgame feast.
Week 13: @ Philadelphia, 12/3, 1:25 pm
The 49ers will be looking to avenge their loss in last season’s NFC championship game when they lost their starting quarterback just six plays in.
From the way it sounds, San Francisco didn’t learn its lesson about leaving a backup tight end alone in pass protection against Haason Reddick.
In a smash mouth contest reminiscent of the epic Monday night game between the 49ers and Giants played on the same date in 1990, the Eagles eek out a close one.
Week 14: Seattle, 12/10, 1:05 pm
After losing the first matchup on the road and a tough loss in Philadelphia, San Francisco bounces back to take down their NFC West rivals.
Week 15: at Arizona 12/17, 1:05 pm
Even with Murray back for this one the Cardinals are no match for the 49ers.
Week 16: Baltimore, 12/25, 5:15 pm, Monday Night Football (Christmas)
The Ravens narrowly escaped with the win the last time these two teams met in 2019.
San Francisco struggles with mobile quarterbacks but Lamar Jackson has struggled to stay healthy the last couple seasons.
Baltimore has not been a good road team in recent years. The 49ers send their fans home with a present.
Week 17: at Washington, 12/31, 10:00am
Washington has Sam Howell, Jacoby Brissette and Jake Fromm at quarterback which should be enough for the 49ers to win.
However, a tough defense and early start on a short week make the difference late in this one.
Week 18: Los Angeles Rams, 1/6 or 1/7, TBD
By this point in the season the Rams will likely be more focused on setting their vacation plans in Cabo.