The San Francisco 49ers had a slow start to the 2022 season that cost them any shot at the No. 1 seed. The 2023 fixture gives the team a chance to not repeat that same mistake.
With the NFL schedule released, fans of all 32 teams are now endlessly poring over the 17 games and circling the big ones on the calender that they either plan to attend or plan to sit at home and host watch parties for.
Read More: What is the 49ers schedule for the 2023 NFL season?
Speaking of watch parties, if you're invited to one, do not show up empty-handed no matter how many times the host says they got it covered. Even if you bring some cheap beer that slides down the throat like a jagged knife, bring something.
Back to the schedule, we already knew who the Niners would be facing of course but the order it's in and the amount of primetime games are always interesting offseason events while we wait endlessly for training camp to begin.
In 2022, the 49ers finished the season 13-4 and with the No. 2 seed in the NFC, making it to the NFC Championship game before falling to the No. 1 seed Philadelphia Eagles. It was a great season overall even if it ended in disappointment, but it sometimes gets lost that the 49ers started the season poorly and derailed their shot at home-field advantage.
After the first three games, the 49ers were 1-2. After seven, they were 3-4. That the Niners even had a shot at the No. 1 seed until the final week of the season was a testament to how well they improved as the season went on despite the injuries at quarterback, but the truth is the team cost itself early on.
The 49ers have an excellent chance to hit the ground running in 2023 and avoid this problem after the release of the schedule.
The first month in particular is promising:
- Week 1: @ Pittsburgh Steelers
- Week 2: @ Los Angeles Rams
- Week 3: vs. New York Giants
- Week 4: vs. Arizona Cardinals
Starting on the road for two weeks is always tough, and the Pittsburgh Steelers will be a challenge, but the 49ers should have the defense to contain young quarterback Kenny Pickett. The Rams and Cardinals are two of the worst teams in the NFL (although no NFC West matchup can be taken for granted), while the Giants are a playoff-caliber team but must travel to Levi's Stadium on a short week for Thursday Night Football.
If the Niners play to their strong level of play, it should be a 3-1 or 4-0 start to get them running off the bat.
The 49ers are looking for that overdue sixth Lombardi Trophy that's eluded the franchise for nearly three decades. Homefield's advantage over the Eagles or any other NFC team that shows itself as a contender would be a significant leg up from last season.
Given the first month of the schedule, they'll have the opportunity to give themselves a shot at an advantage they weren't able to get last year.