SF 49ers represented 5 times in FanSided’s top 30 games of 2020

Jacob Hollister #48 of the Seattle Seahawks stopped by Dre Greenlaw #57 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Jacob Hollister #48 of the Seattle Seahawks stopped by Dre Greenlaw #57 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

The 2020 NFL schedule is officially kicking off, and the SF 49ers are well represented on FanSided’s list of the top 30 games for the upcoming season.

While we’ve all circled Sunday, Sept. 13 on the calendar for the SF 49ers‘ 2020 season opener against the visiting Arizona Cardinals, it probably didn’t hit all of us until last weekend that football was actually back and about to be in full swing.

That’s what an abbreviated and odd offseason can do to fans amid a global pandemic where nothing appears to be as usual.

At any rate, this time next week we’ll be digesting what happened in the Niners’ inaugural game as defending conference champions this season and why head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad started off the year 1-0, 0-1 or the weird-but-possible 0-0-1.

Regardless, San Francisco’s upcoming schedule is going to be a challenging one. And while parity across the league is always wide open, particularly in the context of 2020, it’s not too hard to identify some key games that’ll be worth watching when they kick off.

And with the season beginning, it’s sure fun to think of which games will be the best ones to watch, including quite a number from the SF 49ers.

FanSided just released its top 30 games to watch this season, and your Niners are listed five times on the upcoming slate of games:

  1. Week 4: Eagles @ 49ers
  2. Week 7: 49ers @ Patriots
  3. Week 8: 49ers @ Seahawks
  4. Week 10: 49ers @ Saints
  5. Week 17: Seahawks @ 49ers

Just like it was last year, the regular-season finale between the two NFC West rivals should be epic as it was last year when linebacker Dre Greenlaw ensured the Niners would retain the division and their hold on the No. 1 seed in the conference by stopping Seahawks linebacker Jacob Hollister just short of the goal line with seconds to spare in the fourth quarter.

And FanSided’s rationale for this renewed Week 17 grudge match is no less enticing:

"What a way to finish out the regular season.As for the analysis, it’s a wash-rinse-repeat of the Week 8 matchup. Only this time, the teams meet in San Francisco. The NFC West crown, like 2019, might be on the line. If that’s not enticing enough, sprinkle in a home-field advantage stipulation for some sizzle.That’s if we have fans in stadiums."

FanSided listed Week 8, which was a San Francisco overtime loss at Levi’s Stadium. But there will be much more on the line in Week 17, just as there was a year ago.

Jimmy Garoppolo reunion when SF 49ers visit Patriots

Niners fans need no introduction to the Hawks-Niners rivalry that’s been at the forefront of 49ers’ minds for the better part of the previous decade.

But one matchup from the upcoming schedule will certainly draw nationwide attention when San Francisco visits the New England Patriots in Week 7, meaning quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will get to go back to face off against the team that drafted him and subsequently traded him back in 2017.

The Pats, of course, are going through their own changes in the post-Tom Brady era, meaning Jimmy G’s return won’t be accompanied with quite as much flair as it otherwise would have been in the context of the latter being an understudy of the former.

Still, seeing head coach Bill Belichick embrace, at least COVID-19 style, his one-time presumed heir apparent for Brady will be something fans will watch once the game is finished.

Next. Power ranking each 49ers position post roster cuts. dark

Not sure the Niners and Philadelphia Eagles need to be on this list, though. There’s not much of a longstanding rivalry there, although Philly could surprise the league a bit this year if people stay healthy.