49ers NFL schedule: Power ranking each Niners opponent for 2022

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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The 49ers don’t know when the games will be in 2022, but they do know their opponents. As free agency begins to dissipate, let’s take a moment to rank the Niners’ opponents.

The San Francisco 49ers are like every other team in the league in terms of their NFL schedule. The who is clear, and has been now since the close of the regular season; but the when, and in some cases the where, isn’t totally ironed out.

San Francisco does know that it will benefit from an additional home game in 2022, with the new unbalanced 17-game slate meaning teams will seesaw between eight and nine home games depending on the year. In 2021, that meant a ninth road trip (to play and beat the eventual AFC champs, the Cincinnati Bengals), while in 2022, that means Levi’s Stadium receives that ninth contest.

For 2022, the Niners will face off against the following teams:

Home: Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Washington Commanders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Away: Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears

Based on Football Outsiders’ way too early projections on strength of schedule, Aaron Schatz didn’t see the easiest road to the Super Bowl for the 49ers, ranking them 20th in terms of schedule difficulty.

To be fair, these rankings were done right after the Rams won the Super Bowl, when Russell Wilson was still a Seahawk, Carson Wentz wasn’t a Commander, and Blaine Gabbert was used as the quarterback in Tampa, but it’s possible San Francisco’s schedule might even be more difficult as free agency comes to a close.

With that line of thinking to consider, let’s do an old fashion power ranking of the 49ers’ 2022 opponents. Obviously, things like when they play games (back-to-back road games, prime-time affairs, etc.) can factor heavily into wins and losses, but for this exercise, the goal is just to look at the teams in a vacuum.

We’ll start with the bottom, which features a couple of teams from the same division.