The San Francisco 49ers preseason schedule has been released alongside that of every team in the National Football League earlier on Wednesday. Though the dates are not completely set, the schedule is, roughly, as follows:
Week 1: At Baltimore
Week 2: Home vs. Denver
Week 3: Home vs. San Diego
Week 4: At Houston
Week 3 is a nationally televised game on Fox and will be the only preseason matchup between Californian teams this year, as the annual 49ers-Raiders Battle of the Bay was put on hold after violence following the 2011 preseason game.
Week 1 provides an interesting opportunity for the Harbaugh brothers. First off, it is a lengthy cross-country trip for the 49ers–something Jim Harbaugh and company have gotten used to, as has Youngstown, Ohio, host to the 49ers for pre-game preparations between midwest and east-coast trips on more than one occasion in Harbaugh’s three years at the helm. More importantly, the 49ers and Ravens have an excellent opportunity for some scrimmages midweek, as it would make sense for the 49ers to fly out a few days in advance for a preseason game almost as far away as it could possibly be.
Denver, of course, will be the 49ers’ first opponent in Levi’s Stadium. The Peyton Manning courtship may gain some press coverage, as will Colin Kaepernick‘s potential development, but the big game will be week 3. The 3rd week already is the one where starters typically play the most. Having the opponent be San Diego–and be on national television–makes it about as exciting as a pre-season game can possibly get (which means it is really exciting if you want to analyze roster cuts).
I know we are excited to see the regular season schedule, but this will have to suffice for now.