© Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The NFL invested in the 49ers in 2018, awarding them five primetime games (though a Sunday Night Football matchup was ultimately flexed). The Jimmy Garoppolo effect has worn off a bit, though not entirely, as the 49ers will have three primetime games in 2019.
The NFL released the schedules for all 32 teams Wednesday evening.
Here is how San Francisco’s 2019 schedule shakes out:
WEEK 1: Sept. 8 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
This is the second straight year the 49ers will spend Week 1 on opposing turf. Last year, they lost, 24-16, at Minnesota.
This is also the second straight season San Francisco will play at Tampa Bay. Last season, the 49ers lost to the Bucs, 27-9, but Reuben Foster’s pregame release — stemming from an alleged domestic violence arrest — overshadowed the result. The upcoming game will mark a homecoming for newly acquired linebacker Kwon Alexander, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Bucs. Alexander signed a four-year, $54-million contract with the 49ers in February. He should be ready for Week 1 as he continues to recover from an ACL tear.
WEEK 2: Sept. 15 at Cincinnati Bengals — 10 a.m. (FOX)
The 49ers will start the season with back-to-back road games for the first time since 1997. The Bengals are the first AFC North team the 49ers will play in 2019.
These two teams have played just eight times since the 49ers prevailed in Super Bowl XXII, seven years after beating the Bengals in Super Bowl XVI. Longtime Bengals fans loathe the 49ers for one reason: that the same team beat them in each of the franchise’s only two Super Bowl appearances.
WEEK 3: Sept. 22 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers — 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
The 49ers have not played the Steelers since the 2015 season. The teams have not squared off in the Bay Area since 2011.
WEEK 4: BYE
Week 4 is the earliest the 49ers have had a bye since 2002.
WEEK 5: Oct. 7 vs. Cleveland Browns — 5:15 p.m. (ESPN)
This is San Francisco’s first of two Monday Night Football 2019 matchups, and it has all the makings of a primetime game.
Two historic organizations that have struggled to win over the past two decades square off with high hopes behind young talent. This matchup features two of the NFL’s brightest, most marketable young quarterbacks in Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield. It also reintroduces Odell Beckham Jr. to the the 49ers, who made a strong push for him in free agency. Beckham Jr. scored two touchdowns last year against San Francisco.
WEEK 6: Oct. 13 at Los Angeles Rams — 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
The Rams are the new titans of the division. In Sean McVay’s second year as head coach, they reached the Super Bowl. They beat the 49ers twice, by a combined 87-42, last year. Garoppolo will get his first crack at the division rival.
WEEK 7: Oct. 20 at Washington Redskins — 10 a.m. (FOX)
The Reuben Foster game.
Foster, the 49ers’ No. 31 overall pick in the 2017 draft, will face the team that released him shortly after his second alleged domestic violence incident last year. The Redskins promptly picked up the talented linebacker. Foster’s only repercussion is handing over his first two game checks of the 2019 season. So, barring injury, he will be on the field for this Week 7 matchup.
WEEK 8: Oct. 27 vs. Carolina Panthers — 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
Carolina handed Shanahan his first loss as a head coach in Week 1 of the 2017 season. These two teams haven’t played since.
WEEK 9: Oct. 31 at Arizona Cardinals — 5:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)
These familiar foes meet, on Thursday Night Football, with some new faces. The Cardinals hired their version of Shanahan in Kliff Kingsbury, a 39-year-old offensive mind with no NFL head coaching experience. Last year, the 49ers lost both matchups to the Cardinals behind starting quarterback C.J. Beathard. Barring another injury, Garoppolo will face Arizona for the first time in his career. Will potential first-round pick Kyler Murray be the opposing quarterback?
WEEK 10: Nov. 11 vs. Seattle Seahawks — 5:15 p.m. (ESPN)
San Francisco broke Seattle’s 10-game winning streak in the series with a 26-23 overtime win in Week 15. The 49ers will look to build their own winning streak in this Monday night matchup.
WEEK 11: Nov. 17 vs. Arizona Cardinals — 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
The 49ers and Cardinals meet for the second time in three weeks. Last year, the 49ers handed the Cardinals two of their three wins on the season. They were two of the 49ers’ worst losses. In the first matchup, they turned the ball over five times and lost by 10 points. In the next, they relinquished a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter.
WEEK 12: Nov. 24 vs. Green Bay Packers — 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
The 49ers and Packers will meet for the second straight season. Last year, the 49ers gave away the game as Beathard threw a late interception, and Aaron Rodgers led a vintage comeback to steal the win on Monday Night Football.
This time, the matchup is located in Santa Clara, and Green Bay will be fresh off a bye.
WEEK 13: Dec. 1 at Baltimore Ravens — 10 a.m. (FOX)
The Super Bowl XLVI rematch is on. These teams have met just once, resulting in a 25-20 49ers win in 2015, since their Super Bowl matchup more than five years ago.
WEEK 14: Dec. 8 at New Orleans Saints — 10 a.m. (FOX)
For a young 49ers team, this game could measure how they stack up against the league’s best. They will travel to play one of the NFL’s most talented teams at a place in which they went 7-3 last season.
WEEK 15: Dec. 15 vs. Atlanta Falcons — 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
Kyle Shanahan faces his former team. After serving two years as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator, Shanahan joined the 49ers as their head coach shortly after the Falcons’ gut-wrenching Super Bowl loss in 2017.
WEEK 16: Dec. 21 or 22 vs. Los Angeles Rams
According to the 49ers, the dates and start times for Week 16 will be announced no later than following Week 8 contests. This game could be played either on Saturday or Sunday.
WEEK 17: Dec. 29 at Seattle Seahawks — 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
The 49ers will potentially have to earn their playoff spot with a win at Seattle to close the regular season.
Here is an easily digestible version of the 2019 schedule, via the 49ers’ official Twitter account.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) April 18, 2019