49ers schedule release: 3 games that should have been prime time
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers received five prime-time games in their 2021 NFL schedule, which is great, but these three games should have been national instead.
The San Francisco 49ers‘ 2021 NFL schedule is officially out now, and fans from across the Faithful ranks can now start planning their calendars appropriately for the tilt of games on Sundays, Mondays and the occasional Thursday (if you enjoy Thursday Night Football).
In total, the Niners received five prime-time games — three on Sunday Night Football, one on Monday Night Football and the obligatory Thursday night game:
- Week 3: vs. Packers on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 8:20 p.m. ET
- Week 7: vs. Colts on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 8:20 p.m. ET
- Week 10: vs. Rams on Monday, Nov. 15 at 8:15 p.m. ET
- Week 13: @ Seahawks on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 8:20 p.m. ET
- Week 16: @ Titans on Thursday, Dec. 23 at 8:20 p.m. ET
Five prime-time games for a team coming off a 6-10 season certainly isn’t bad. After all, losing teams rarely garner the interest of the entire league, and the networks typically don’t want to feature them because they’re not exactly the biggest money-makers.
Yet San Francisco stole the 2021 NFL Draft show with all that quarterback controversy, namely whether or not it would be Alabama’s Mac Jones at No. 3, Ohio State’s Justin Fields or the eventual selection, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
Lance will be a hot topic this season, too, particularly in the guessing game surrounding when he’ll get the nod over the current starter, Jimmy Garoppolo.
Perhaps that’s one reason the 49ers received so many prime-time bouts. That, as well as the realization the Niners roster is still of the playoff-caliber variety, despite last year’s finish in the wake of so many injuries.
All that said, there are three games that should have been in prime time, either swapping out some of the nationally televised bouts or adding additional ones.
Let’s take a look at those.