49ers schedule: Ranking the 5 toughest games in 2023

Drake Jackson, Jordan Willis and Tashaun Gipson Sr. of the San Francisco 49ers hit Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks
Drake Jackson, Jordan Willis and Tashaun Gipson Sr. of the San Francisco 49ers hit Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
1 of 5

The 49ers don't have a tremendously tough schedule in 2023, but there are some awfully tough games on the docket. Here are the five most challenging.

After months of waiting, San Francisco 49ers fans can finally start planning their fall and early winter calendars.

The 2023 NFL schedule is finally here, and after knowing for a while which teams the Niners would play this season, we finally have a breakdown of when those games will take place.

Read More: Here is the 49ers schedule for the 2023 season

Each schedule has its own unique perks, and San Francisco has a few of them this go-around, including having to play not one but two Thursday Night Football games (Week 3 vs. New York Giants, Week 12 @ Seattle Seahawks) will probably make a few players and coaches grumble.

Overall, though, the 49ers don't appear to have an overly difficult schedule, as their strength of schedule ranks 15th on the year despite having to travel the second-most miles out of all 32 teams, trailing only the Seahawks.

That'll make for some challenging matchups when the Niners are on the road, and kicking off our list of most difficult games on San Francisco's schedule this season is a shorter road trip but also on a short week.

. Week 12: 49ers @ Seahawks. *Thursday Night Football. 5. . . . 36

Week 12 -- 49ers @ Seahawks: Thursday, Nov. 23

Perhaps the NFL schedule makers are realizing that it's easy to put the 49ers up against the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football, as they did it last year in a game the Niners won 21-13 in Week 15.

This year, however, the Thursday night class will take place on Thanksgiving and will be on the road.

Fans of both teams are likely to recall what happened the last time San Francisco and Seattle squared off on Thanksgiving, and it's pretty forgettable from the 49ers' perspective.

As far as the matchup is concerned, the Seahawks certainly exceeded expectations last year and managed to make the playoffs as a Wild Card team. With a revamped offensive line and strong NFL Draft class, the Hawks could potentially threaten the Niners for the NFC West crown this season.

And this late-season game in a hostile environment will help determine if San Francisco is still the top contender within the division.