49ers schedule 2024: game-by-game predictions for upcoming season

Hopefully, these predictions don't wind up on a feature of Freezing Cold Takes.
Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers
Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Niner Noise goes through the now-official 2024 regular-season schedule and predicts the outcome of each contest.

The San Francisco 49ers' 2024 regular-season schedule is now official.

Months removed from a tough overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl last February, the Niners' upcoming campaign will be highlighted by a KC grudge match that could potentially be a Super Bowl preview for this year, assuming both teams retain their hold on being a championship contender.

But that's only one of 17 regular-season tilts both squads will play.

San Francisco will have a challenging schedule in 2024, yes, but the path to win the NFC West is pretty clear, and it wouldn't be a shocker to see head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad sweep the division en route to another first-place finish.

Instead of just predicting the divisional standings, though, let's go through the full schedule and predict the 49ers' wins and losses for their upcoming regular-season campaign.

The full list of dates for each game can be viewed here.

Week 1 vs. New York Jets (Monday Night Football)

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers makes his return from a Week 1 torn Achilles suffered last year in his New York Jets debut.

Week 1 games can always be weird, but it's a fitting start on Monday Night Football, and the home crowd at Levi's Stadium figures to give quarterback Brock Purdy and Co. the boost they need against a tough Jets defense to open up the season.

Prediction: 49ers 24, Jets 17

Week 2 @ Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco faces off against an old friend, quarterback Sam Darnold, who went from Purdy's backup last year to replacing now-Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins as the Minnesota Vikings' new starter.

It's a stopgap measure for the Norsemen, sure. And while Darnold has arguably the best wide receiver in the league at his disposal, Justin Jefferson, that chemistry won't be enough to offset a potent 49ers pass rush.

The Niners have to travel on a short week, but the Vikings are still an inferior team.

Prediction: 49ers 28, Vikings 21

Week 3 @ Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams might be the Niners' biggest challenge to winning the division, but LA is still stuck in the middle of playoff contention and a significant rebuilt following the retirement of future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Can quarterback Matthew Stafford deliver despite the Faithful taking over SoFI Stadium in Los Angeles?

Probably not.

Prediction: 49ers 28, Rams 24

Week 4 vs. New England Patriots

It's going to be odd seeing the New England Patriots sans former head coach Bill Belichick. With first-year head coach Jerod Mayo now calling the shots, the Pats are inevitably going to experience some serious growing pains, especially on offense where the quarterback situation is still very much in flux.

While New England's defense remains somewhat formidable, look for San Francisco to make easy work of the Patriots at home.

Prediction: 49ers 24, Patriots 10

Week 5 vs. Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon showed his team is potentially moving in the right direction last year despite a 4-13 finish. Plus, adding the best wide receiver in this year's NFL Draft, Marvin Harrison Jr., could make for a perennial thorn in San Francisco's side for years to come.

The Cardinals frequently give the 49ers fits, but look for Purdy and the offense to deliver big in a high-scoring home game.

Prediction: 49ers 35, Cardinals 27

Week 6 @ Seattle Seahawks (Thursday Night Football)

Beating the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving in Seattle last season was sweet revenge for what happened between these two teams on the same holiday at Levi's Stadium back in 2014.

Playing at Seattle is always tough, though, and it wouldn't be surprising to see nasty weather impact both teams' efforts amid a hostile crowd that thoroughly hates the Niners.

Expect a low-scoring affair, even if San Francisco still comes out on top on the short week.

Prediction: 49ers 17, Seahawks 13

Week 7 vs. Kansas City Chiefs

This game could have been the regular-season opener, and fans across the globe would have loved to see the year kick off with a Super Bowl rematch between San Francisco and Kansas City.

Alas, it won't happen.

Unfortunately, the Chiefs have been a bane for Shanahan and the 49ers ever since 2018. And there's little reason to suspect that quarterback Patrick Mahomes will have trouble defeating the Niners one more time yet again.

Prediction: Chiefs 28, 49ers 21

Week 8 vs. Dallas Cowboys (Sunday Night Football)

A year ago, the 49ers continued their recent dominance over the Dallas Cowboys with a 42-10 primetime beatdown at Levi's Stadium.

That was fun.

While Dallas always seems to be tossed into the discussion about NFC contenders, look for the Niners to reestablish that dominance again on Sunday Night Football, albeit not by as big a margin as last time.

Prediction: 49ers 31, Cowboys 21

Week 11 vs. Seattle Seahawks

Can Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith recapture the magic he had back in 2022 when he earned the Comeback Player of the Year award? Or will Smith emulate his less-than-impressive 2023 campaign under first-year head coach Mike Macdonald?

Macdonald might be the right man for the job in the Pacific Northwest, and the Hawks quietly had a solid offseason.

Still, the 49ers have wholly turned the table on this NFC West rivalry and should walk away with an easy home victory here.

Prediction: 49ers 27, Seahawks 14

Week 10 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

One of two road games in Florida this season, the 49ers will hope that last year's surprising play from Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield was just an anomaly.

Defensive end Nick Bosa, no stranger to Mayfield, should have a bit more motivation for this contest, and that pass rush should factor into the Niners securing a commanding road win against, perhaps, the top team within the NFC South.

Prediction: 49ers 27, Buccaneers 17

Week 12 @ Green Bay Packers

San Francisco narrowly escaped the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round last year, engineering a late-game comeback led by Purdy.

Flipping the script, the 49ers having to travel to Lambeau Field bodes well for Packers quarterback Jordan Love, who'll get the edge over Purdy this go-around.

These two teams could easily meet again in the playoffs, but look for Green Bay to win this home tilt.

Prediction: Packers 25, 49ers 24

Week 13 @ Buffalo Bills (Sunday Night Football)

The Buffalo Bills have undergone some notable changes this offseason, highlighted by trading away superstar wide receiver Stefon Diggs and putting a bigger reliance on star quarterback Josh Allen.

If this game was played in the Bay Area, it'd likely be a hard-fought Niners victory.

Given it's on the road in Buffalo, a week after traveling to Green Bay, and at a time when the weather could easily be a factor, San Francisco struggles to keep pace and endures a tough loss.

Prediction: Bills 28, 49ers 13

Week 14 vs. Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Caleb Williams will be the talk of the 2024 season, and the Bears hope they've finally found their answer under center after what seems to be a decades-long search for "the guy."

Williams should enjoy a wide receiver room that Bleacher Report ranked No. 1 entering the season. A group that includes D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen and promising rookie Rome Odunze will threaten the 49ers' defensive backfield.

That said, Chicago is still likely a year or two away from serious contention, giving the Niners an upper hand here.

Prediction: 49ers 24, Bears 21

Week 15 vs. Los Angeles Rams (Thursday Night Football)

LA could legitimately threaten San Francisco's claim to the NFC West, but given the short week and it being a home game, the edge still goes to the 49ers here.

The Niners have a habit of dominating Los Angeles in regular-season bouts anyway.

Prediction: 49ers 23, Rams 17

Week 16 @ Miami Dolphins

East Coast road trips are always tough for any team playing on the Pacific coast, and it'll be even tougher knowing just how talented the Miami Dolphins are this season.

A legitimate AFC contender, the Dolphins will look to enact some vengeance on the Niners for a tough loss at Levi's Stadium in 2022, which featured then-rookie Purdy making his NFL debut.

It'll also be fun to watch Shanahan try to outsmart his protégé, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, but the travel ultimately works against San Francisco here.

Prediction: Dolphins 24, 49ers 17

Week 17 vs. Detroit Lions (Monday Night Football)

For nearly three quarters of the NFC Championship game last season, it seemed as if the Detroit Lions would be representing the conference in the Super Bowl.

Purdy and the Niners had other plans, of course, staging an epic comeback that'll be talked about for years.

Assuming Lions head coach Dan Campbell learned some lessons (especially not going for it so often on fourth downs), Detroit spoils this San Francisco Monday night home game by running the ball early and often against a still-questionable 49ers run defense.

Prediction: Lions 21, 49ers 17

Week 18 @ Arizona Cardinals

Purdy homecomings are always entertaining as he visits his home state of Arizona, and there should be no shortage of Niners fans at State Farm Stadium to see him take on a Cardinals team he watched growing up.

The red birds still have a long way to go to threaten San Francisco for the NFC West crown, but look for Purdy to take advantage of a rebuilding Cardinals defense.

Prediction: 49ers 25, Cardinals 14

49ers final record prediction for 2024

According to our highly tested prediction machine (our brains), San Francisco finishes its 2024 regular-season campaign with a 12-5 record, sweeping the NFC West and securing a divisional crown for a third consecutive year.

That might be enough to win the top seed in the conference, although it'd likely take 13 wins to do so, meaning the 49ers would have to turn around one of those aforementioned losses while avoiding any upsets elsewhere on their schedule.

They'll also have to avoid the storied and feared post-Super Bowl "hangover," too.

But, with a championship-caliber core of players, that's exactly what the Niners are expected to do.

49ers 2024 record prediction: 12-5

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