Pulling data and rumors from around the league, it’s looking like the 49ers will receive five prime-time games for their 2021 NFL schedule.
We’ve long known which opponents the San Francisco 49ers will face in the league’s first-ever 17-game season.
But we won’t officially know what the weeks, dates and times will be until the league makes its 2021 NFL schedule announcement on Wednesday, May 12 at 8 p.m. ET.
Nevertheless, there have been enough rumors, leaks and substantiated reports to piece together a good chunk of the Niners schedule so far. We do know San Francisco opens up the regular season against the Detroit Lions on the road on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 1 p.m. ET, followed by yet another road bout against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m. ET.
The 49ers’ home opener, per David Lombardi at The Athletic, will be against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 8:20 p.m. ET.
This contest marks the first of what appears to be five prime-time games for the Niners this year, which was also reported by the Sacramento Bee’s Chris Biderman:
Which 49ers games are reportedly in prime time this year?
Again, there are only a handful of substantiated reports. But David Bonilla at 49ers Webzone reported San Francisco’s Week 13 road contest will be another Sunday Night Football tilt, and Bonilla also reported a Week 7 home game against the Indianapolis Colts also might take place on Sunday night:
Those are three prime-time bouts right there, and it’s also looking like San Francisco will visit the Tennessee Titans for Thursday Night Football on Dec. 23 at 8:20 p.m. ET.
As of now, the 49ers’ prime-time schedule is rumored to be as follows:
- Week 3 vs. Packers — Sunday Night Football
- Week 7 vs. Colts — Sunday Night Football
- Week 13 @ Seahawks — Sunday Night Football
- Week 16 @ Titans — Thursday Night Football
That leaves room for one more prime-time game, assuming Biderman’s report is correct. A guess could possibly be the reported Week 18 regular-season closer at the Los Angeles Rams, as a potential playoff-deciding NFC West matchup probably would gather a good deal of attention. And the league typically closes off Monday Night Football matchups the week before the final week of the season, meaning this game could be on Sunday Night Football instead.
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Flexed Saturday night games typically take place the two weeks prior to the final week of the season, Week 18 in this case.
Last year, the Niners had four prime-time games amid their 6-10 season. Usually, last-place teams don’t wind up receiving too many prime-time bouts, although the NFL and the respective networks representing the league never shy away from trying to take advantage of public-grabbing storylines.
From that perspective, it sure looks as if San Francisco isn’t lacking for attention.
The full 2021 NFL schedule will be officially announced on Wednesday, May 12 at 8 p.m. ET.