The way you view the San Francisco 49ers' 2012-13 campaign depends on whether you look at the proverbial glass as half-full or half-empty.
On one hand, the 49ers made it one step further than in 2011-12, following up a trip to the NFC Championship Game with a trip to the Super Bowl.
On the other hand, both campaigns ended in heartbreaking fashion, whether it was Kyle Williams fumbling the ball twice on returns in the 2011-12 NFC title game or the 49ers just coming up short against the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.
There's also the fact that the fast-rising Seattle Seahawks have loaded up this offseason as they attempt to take control of the division and make a statement of their own behind Russell Wilson and Co.
The 49ers will have competition in the NFC West this year, but should still be considered the favorites to remain champions in their division.
Now that San Francisco's full 2013 schedule has been released, here are the dates and times of each matchup, complete with analysis.
|2013 San Francisco 49ers Schedule|
|1||Sept. 8 ||vs. Green Bay Packers||4:25 p.m.||FOX|
|2||Sept. 15 ||@ Seattle Seahawks||8:30 p.m.||NBC|
|3||Sept. 22 ||vs. Indianapolis Colts||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|4||Sept. 26||@ St. Louis Rams||8:30 p.m.||NFLN|
|5||Oct. 6||vs. Houston Texans||8:30 p.m.||NBC|
|6||Oct. 13||vs. Arizona Cardinals||4:25 p.m.||FOX|
|7||Oct. 20||@ Tennessee Titans||4:05 p.m.||FOX|
|8||Oct. 27||@ Jacksonville Jaguars||1 p.m.||FOX|
|9||Nov. 3||BYE WEEK||TBA||TBA|
|10||No. 10||vs. Carolina Panthers||4:05 p.m.||FOX|
|11||Nov. 17||@ New Orleans Saints||4:25 p.m.||FOX|
|12||Nov. 25||@ Washington Redskins||8:40 p.m.||ESPN|
|13||Dec. 1||vs. St. Louis Rams||4:05 p.m.||FOX|
|14||Dec. 8||vs. Seattle Seahawks||4:25 p.m.||FOX|
|15||Dec. 15||@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1 p.m.||FOX|
|16||Dec. 23 ||vs. Atlanta Falcons||8:40 p.m.||ESPN|
|17||Dec. 29 ||@ Arizona Cardinals||4:25 p.m.||FOX|
Note: For a complete look at San Francisco's 2013 schedule, check out NFL.com.
On the other hand, the 49ers face most of the top teams from last season at home this season. They visit just two teams (Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins) that finished above .500 last season.
The 49ers' 2013 schedule includes seven teams that they didn't play in 2012: the Redskins (away), the Carolina Panthers (home), the Houston Texans (home), the Indianapolis Colts (home), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (away), the Jacksonville Jaguars (neutral) and the Tennessee Titans (away).
San Francisco went 6-1-1 at home last season and 5-3 in road games.
Of course, the 49ers have to watch out for Jeff Fisher's St. Louis Rams. Despite finishing 7-8-1 last season, the Rams were 1-0-1 against San Francisco. They held the 49ers to 24 points on Nov. 11 and 13 points on Dec. 2, despite both games going into overtime.
The Rams also added a left tackle with a history of being dominant in Jake Long, which could prove to be a sigh of relief for quarterback Sam Bradford. The Rams haven't had much talent at the position for a while.
Most Pivotal Matchup
Given the Seahawks traded for electric receiver Percy Harvin and signed defensive linemen Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett this offseason, it's hard to imagine they won't give the 49ers a run for their money in the NFC West.
The 49ers play the Seahawks at raucous CenturyLink Field once during the 2013 campaign.
As you may remember, the 49ers were scorched by the Seahawks at the same field in Week 16 of the 2012 season. In the Seahawks' 42-13 victory, Marshawn Lynch rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown, Russell Wilson passed for four touchdowns (to one interception) and Richard Sherman returned a blocked field goal 90 yards for a score.
The 49ers barely edged Seattle for the NFC West crown last season, as the Seahawks won five straight games to end the regular season. It figures to be another hotly contested campaign. If the 49ers can win in Seattle, that could be huge.