49ers asked for back-to-back Weeks 2 and 3 road games, per report

Shane Vereen #34 of the New York Giants past Tramaine Brock #26 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Shane Vereen #34 of the New York Giants past Tramaine Brock #26 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

There appeared to be an interesting wrinkle in the San Francisco 49ers’ 2020 NFL schedule, featuring back-to-back road games at New York in Weeks 2 and 3. According to Peter King, the Niners specifically asked for this.

When the San Francisco 49ers‘ 2020 NFL schedule was released last week, one of the first curiosities about the travel arrangements the Niners would have to make was seeing back-to-back games on the East Coast against the New York Jets in Week 2 and the New York Giants in Week 3.

An initial reaction would be understandable: How could the NFL possibly ask a West Coast team to travel twice in back-to-back weeks all the way across the country? That’s a lot of flight time and some massive taxation on the players’ internal body clocks, right?

Except for the reported suggestion, San Francisco asked for this.

NBC Sports’ Peter King reported such in his Football Morning in America piece, stating the 49ers were one of eight teams requesting long-distance games to be paired in back-to-back weeks:

"I heard that eight teams asked to have two distant games paired so those teams could take one long road trip instead of two. The Chargers (at Bucs, Saints), Rams (at Eagles, Bills), Jets (at Seahawks, Rams), Dolphins (at 49ers, Broncos), Cardinals (at Panthers, Jets) and Raiders (at Falcons, Jets) all got their road requests answered. My favorite two: San Francisco plays in MetLife Stadium in Weeks 2 and 3—at Jets on Sept. 20, at Giants on Sept. 27, both 10 a.m. PT body-clock games."

Well, there you go.

In case you were unaware, and it’s OK if this applies to you, both the Jets and Giants share the same home venue, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. San Francisco, like a number of other teams forced to travel extensive distances, is almost assured to secure an out-of-state go-between to play hosts between these two contests.

Case in point, last year the Niners opened up the regular season on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 49ers stayed in Youngstown, Ohio before their Week 2 road contest against the Cincinnati Bengals.

A few weeks later, when San Francisco visited the Baltimore Ravens before traveling to take on the New Orleans Saints, the team made Florida its temporary home in between games.

So it shouldn’t take too much effort to draw a conclusion this year’s travel context is even better than a year ago. Between Weeks 2 and 3, the Niners won’t have to go anywhere. They’ll be playing at the same venue, albeit against two different opponents, and will enjoy the same accommodations and facilities in between contests.

Oh, and there’s the body-clock benefits, too.

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Good thinking, San Francisco. Asking for these back-to-back road contests provides a nice little bonus despite having to face off in two games clear across the country.