San Francisco 49ers Schedule 2014: Win-Loss Predictions for Every Game

Tyson LanglandNFC West Lead WriterApril 23, 2014

San Francisco 49ers Schedule 2014: Win-Loss Predictions for Every Game

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    The much anticipated 2014 regular-season schedule was just released for the San Francisco 49ers and 31 other NFL organizations.

    Even though the 49ers' regular-season opponents have been known since January, the dates, times and network coverages were released Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

    Here is a complete look at the 2014 schedule with game-by-game predictions, information and analysis.

Week 1: 49ers at Dallas Cowboys

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    Kickoff Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

    Network: Fox

     

    On an annual basis, the Dallas Cowboys always possess one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. Yet, that's definitely not the case this year. 

    Because of past salary-cap troubles, Dallas is depleted on the defensive line and barely treading water on the offensive line. It sounds like Tony Romo and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will both be in for long days when the Cowboys play the 49ers. 

    Corey Lemonier and Ahmad Brooks better get their sack dances ready. They will have plenty of opportunities to use them when they are blowing by Dallas' bookend tackles on their way to a victory.

     

    Prediction: Win

Week 2: 49ers vs. Chicago Bears

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Kickoff Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

    Network: NBC

     

    The last time these two teams played in San Francisco, Colin Kaepernick was making the first start of his career, the 49ers were embarking on their second straight NFC Championship Game and Randy Moss was still catching passes at 35 years of age. 

    Things will be a little bit different in 2014. The Chicago Bears will be trying to make it back to the playoffs, the 49ers will be looking to make it to their fourth straight NFC Championship Game and Jay Cutler will be taking snaps under center for the Bears. 

    Even though the variables will be different, the 49ers will still come away victorious. Without a doubt, the Bears defense will be the weakest link. It won't have an answer for Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin or Vernon Davis.

     

    Prediction: Win

Week 3: 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

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    Rick Scuteri

    Kickoff Time: 4:05 p.m. ET

    Network: Fox

     

    The 49ers know that winning on the road is much tougher than winning at home. This, in turn, will ultimately spell bad news for San Francisco. The Arizona Cardinals were 6-2 at home in 2013 and nearly knocked off the 49ers in Week 17. 

    Arizona won't let its home game against San Francisco slip away this year. The Cardinals will attack the 49ers the same way they did last year (through the air). This will give them the results they desire and help them notch their first win over the Niners since the 2011 season. 

    The loss will force the 49ers to regroup and get back to the basics. The biggest question coming into the season was their secondary. And I have a feeling it will continue to be their biggest question mark all season long. 

     

    Prediction: Loss

Week 4: 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles

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    Julio Cortez

    Kickoff Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

    Network: Fox

     

    The Philadelphia Eagles were one of the surprise teams in the NFC under head coach Chip Kelly. They bounced back after a disappointing season in 2012 and won the division outright with a 10-6 record.

    Yet, winning the division wasn't Philadelphia's biggest feat in 2013. Its biggest feat was finding its franchise quarterback, turning Riley Cooper into a star and improving its defense on a weekly basis.

    The Eagles will need that improved defense when they travel to San Francisco. Why? Because the 49ers backfield has posted monster games against the Eagles in recent memory. In 2011, Frank Gore rushed for 127 yards on 15 carries and scored one touchdown. 

    San Francisco's potent run game will answer the call again and lead the 49ers to victory.

     

    Prediction: Win

Week 5: 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

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    Ed Zurga

    Kickoff Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

    Network: CBS

     

    Much like the Philadelphia Eagles, the Kansas City Chiefs rose from the ashes in 2013. They hired Andy Reid in the offseason, traded for Alex Smith and cruised to an 11-5 record. That 11-5 record was good enough to get them into the playoffs, yet the Chiefs couldn't do anything once they got into the playoffs. 

    However, that doesn't mean they won't be able to do anything against the 49ers. This showdown will offer up two of the best defenses in the league and two of the best running games. Unfortunately, there can only be one winner. And that winner will be Kansas City.

    Smith will get the better of San Francisco's secondary, and Justin Houston will make Colin Kaepernick's life miserable. 

     

    Prediction: Loss

Week 6: 49ers at St. Louis Rams

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Kickoff Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

    Network: ESPN

     

    Over the last couple of years, Jim Harbaugh and Jeff Fisher have had some pretty incredible battles. When no one expected the St. Louis Rams to beat the 49ers in 2012, Fisher's club did just that at the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis' defense forced overtime, and Greg Zuerlein hit the game-winning kick. 

    This particular game may not end the way that one did, but it will end up in the Rams' favor. St. Louis will attack the back end of San Francisco's defense with Tavon Austin and force Colin Kaepernick off his spot with Robert Quinn and Chris Long. 

    Obviously, a series split isn't ideal for the 49ers, but it's better than dropping both games to the Rams.

     

    Prediction: Loss

Week 7: 49ers at Denver Broncos

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    Jack Dempsey

    Kickoff Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

    Network: NBC

     

    You should never count the 49ers out. They are one of the most consistent teams in the NFL. But they always have a game where they lay an absolute egg. In 2013, it was the Indianapolis game. And in 2014, it will be the Denver game. 

    John Elway couldn't get the bad taste out of his mouth after the Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl, so he went on a spending spree. He brought in pass-rushing phenomenon DeMarcus Ware, Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib and hard-hitting safety T.J. Ward.

    Jack Del Rio's defense isn't perfect, but the recent additions will be enough to beat the best of the best. And the 49ers are the best of the best. 

     

    Prediction: Loss

Week 9: 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Kickoff Time: 4:05 p.m. ET

    Network: Fox

     

    The St. Louis Rams always manage to play the 49ers tough. It's like head coach Jeff Fisher knows how to prepare better for the 49ers than any other team. Yet, preparation only goes so far. In the end, talent can oftentimes trump preparation.  

    That's exactly what will happen to St. Louis when it travels to San Francisco. The 49ers are a more talented team than the Rams, and just like in years past, the Rams will struggle to contain Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. 

    Let's not forget, running back Frank Gore has made a mockery of St. Louis in the past as well, so the odds are in San Francisco's favor at home.

     

    Prediction: Win

Week 10: 49ers at New Orleans Saints

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Kickoff Time: 1 p.m. ET

    Network: Fox

     

    The New Orleans Saints and 49ers may play with different styles, but these two teams are evenly matched. Both teams play with an uptempo defense, inspired running games and dangerous pass-catching targets. 

    The deciding factor in this game will be the home team. Home-field advantage plays more of a role than people think, which means the Saints will squeak out a victory over the 49ers in overtime. 

    Clearly, the game will be close from start to finish, yet with the home crowd behind him, Drew Brees will seal the 49ers' fate with the 35th game-winning drive of his career.

    It's not like he hasn't burned San Francisco before.

     

    Prediction: Loss

Week 11: 49ers at New York Giants

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    Associated Press

    Kickoff Time: 1 p.m. ET

    Network: Fox

     

    You have to applaud the New York Giants for completely overhauling their roster. They added key pieces in the secondary, beefed up the offensive line and strengthened the run game with former Oakland Raiders running back Rashad Jennings.

    Pundits loved the moves New York made. But the plethora of moves the Giants made didn't faze the 49ers. San Francisco knows its roster is head and shoulders above that of New York's.

    Winning in a different time zone across the country won't be easy, but Coach Harbaugh will have his men prepared. The 49ers will shorten the game by running the football. Expect Frank Gore to have a huge game as San Francisco will ride him from start to finish.

     

    Prediction: Win

Week 12: 49ers vs. Washington Redskins

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Kickoff Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

    Network: CBS

     

    Last year, the Washington Redskins and 49ers got well-acquainted with each other in Week 12. On Monday Night Football, San Francisco showed no mercy. It attacked Robert Griffin III until he was hobbled, torched Jim Haslett's defense through the air and marched up and down the field with ease. 

    Will things be different for the Redskins this time around? No. Despite the additions of DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts at wide receiver, Washington doesn't have enough ability on defense to slow Greg Roman's offense down.

    I have a feeling his unit will put on an offensive clinic in this game. That's how bad Haslett's defense is. Plus, the Redskins haven't done anything to bolster their roster on that side of the ball.

     

    Prediction: Win

Week 13: 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Kickoff Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

    Network: NBC

     

    It's a well-known fact that the 49ers don't play well against the Seahawks on the road. Fortunately for San Francisco, this game is at home. And the Niners have had success on an annual basis against the Seahawks at home. 

    In fact, Pete Carroll has never beat Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco. As good as Seattle has been in years past, its losing streak in San Francisco will continue in 2014. Frank Gore will pick up right where he left off in 2013 and put this game away late in the fourth quarter. 

    Obviously, the Seahawks will keep the game close (as they always do), but their defense won't be able to get a stop when its team needs it to the most. In true 49ers-Seahawks fashion, there will be bad blood. But that's to be expected when two teams play that don't care for one another. 

     

    Prediction: Win

Week 14: 49ers at Oakland Raiders

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez

    Kickoff Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

    Network: Fox

     

    The Oakland Raiders can't seem to get it right. They don't realize the value in building a team through the draft. They think aging, underperforming veteran free agents are the way to go. This is surprising based on the fact they haven't registered a winning season in over a decade. 

    Yet, the day will eventually come where they learn. Until then, the NFL's premier powerhouses (49ers, Seahawks and Broncos) will continue their dominate ways over the Raiders.

    In this game, it would be wise to expect San Francisco to put a beatdown on Oakland. There's no way Matt Schaub, Darren McFadden and Rod Streater score more than two touchdowns on Vic Fangio's defense.

     

    Prediction: Win

Week 15: 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

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    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Kickoff Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

    Network: Fox

     

    Aside from the NFC Championship Game in 2013, the Seahawks have made a habit of blowing the 49ers out in Seattle. There isn't a good reason as to why San Francisco keeps getting blown out. But if you had to pinpoint one specific area, you could say the Seahawks pass rush sets the tone early on in the game and forces the Niners into poor starting field position. 

    It's not fair to solely go off the past, yet I don't see the 49ers turning the tables on the Seahawks. Winning in the Pacific Northwest is no easy feat, and Seattle has mastered winning at home. Over the course of the last two years, the Seahawks have only lost one regular-season game at home. 

    Expect Seattle to keep its winning streak versus San Francisco at home alive in 2014. Dan Quinn's defense will make Frank Gore nonexistent, Michael Bennett will knock Colin Kaepernick off his game and Russell Wilson will torch the 49ers' leaky secondary.

     

    Prediction: Loss

Week 16: 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Kickoff Time: 4:30 p.m. ET

    Network: CBS

     

    The San Diego Chargers were a weird team in 2013. One week, they would tally a win over the Denver Broncos, and the next week, they would get blown out by a last-place team in the AFC. Nevertheless, the Chargers' inconsistent play didn't stop them from making some noise in the playoffs. 

    Like San Francisco, San Diego played its best football down the stretch. Unfortunately for the Chargers, they didn't do enough in free agency to help sustain their success. This, in turn, will hurt them when they square off against the toughest division in football. 

    The Niners will hurt San Diego's pride in San Francisco. They will show the Chargers that they should have done more in the offseason. Mike McCoy's club may be talented enough to compete in the AFC, but the NFC is a whole different ballgame. 

     

    Prediction: Win

Week 17: 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

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    Ben Margot

    Kickoff Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

    Network: Fox

     

    The 49ers handed it to the Cardinals twice last season. They beat them in front of their home crowd early on in the season and kept them out of the playoffs in Week 17. San Francisco would like to think it has the upper hand in 2014, but beating Bruce Arians' club twice will be easier said than done. 

    The Cardinals got better on both sides of the ball and will have key players return on the offensive line. This could prove to hurt the 49ers in Arizona, but not in San Francisco. The Niners are one of the best home teams in the NFL, and the Cardinals struggled on the road last season. 

    This year's game in San Francisco will be closer than it was last year, but the outcome will be the same. Frank Gore will wear Arizona's front seven down, and Colin Kaepernick will deliver a kill shot to Anquan Boldin late in the game to seal the Cardinals' fate.

     

    Prediction: Win

    Final Record: 10-6