The 49ers may face a relatively difficult NFL schedule in 2022, but that also means the bulk of the NFC West is going to face similar challenges.
In 2021, the San Francisco 49ers went 2-4 within the NFC West yet still somehow managed to get all the way to the NFC Championship game.
That’s not an ideal formula.
Unlike 2021, this year isn’t shaping up for the Niners’ own division to be a massive gauntlet. The once-powerful Seattle Seahawks are a shell of their former selves, while the Arizona Cardinals have floundered down the stretch two years in a row now.
Even the team that beat San Francisco in the conference championship, the eventual-champion Los Angeles Rams, are going to be at risk of the ever-present Super Bowl hangover.
A lot will change between the announcement of the 2022 NFL schedule and the start of the regular season this September, and even more will change as the year drags on. For the 49ers, they are tied for the fifth-toughest schedule in 2022 based on last year’s win-loss percentage (.533), which doesn’t necessarily mean anything except for the fact the teams they face this year were generally good a year ago.
Still, winning the NFC West would go a long way towards the Niners facing less uphill a battle once the postseason arrives, and they can look at other scheduling quirks their division rivals have to endure, as well as doing their best to overcome their own.
Let’s break down one key takeaway from each of San Francisco’s division rival’s schedules in 2022.