NFL: San Francisco 49ers 2010 Season Schedule Preview
Going into the 2010 season, we look at the San Francisco 49ers and their opponents. According to last year’s standings, the 49ers 2010 schedule appears very favorable and is rated as the fifth easiest schedule.
For Coach Mike Singletary and the rest of the staff, that is a great sign, considering this is the year they look to make a big run at the playoffs. The benefit that San Francisco has is playing in the NFC West. The Cardinals are without future Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, the Rams are in rebuilding mode, and the Seahawks are just a step above the Rams. The 49ers are certainly the favorite in my eyes to win this division. Let’s take a look at the schedule.
Note: (W) = Win and (L) = Loss
Week 1- @ Seattle Seahawks:
The Seahawks have quite a few question marks, but they still have Matt Hasselbeck. However, Hasselbeck will rely on the running game to make plays with his young wide receivers. San Fran’s ability to shut down the run will give them the big advantage in this game. (W)
Week 2- New Orleans Saints:
The 49ers get to come back home to face the Newest Show on Turf against Drew Brees and Company. This is going to be a tough game, and it should be, considering the Saints just won the Super Bowl. The key to this game will be getting pressure on Brees after stopping the run. Don’t give up big plays. However, until the Saints start showing weakness, I’m not optimistic. (L)
Week 3- @ Kansas City Chiefs:
It’s time to get back on the road and head out to face the Chiefs who are coming off of a disappointing season. Matt Cassel is destined to prove that he’s worth the $63 million he was signed to. Kansas City does have a scary tandem of running backs in Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. The 49ers will make Cassel beat them through the air and should handle the Chiefs. (W)
Week 4- @ Atlanta Falcons:
The Falcons are a team much like the 49ers who are looking to make a deep playoff run this year, and they are talented. But they do have weaknesses. They are deep at the running back position and will pass to set up the run. If they can shut down Matt Ryan and the passing game, then they can get more physical inside the box and focus more on stopping Michael Turner and Jason Snelling. This is going to be a close game, and I think the Falcons will pull it out in a close one. (L)
Week 5- Philadelphia Eagles:
This is going to be another tough game, much like the Falcons. However, I’m not completely convinced that Kolb will break out this year. I can see Kolb throwing a few interceptions and the 49ers taking advantage of the turnovers and pulling out this game for the home fans. (W)
Week 6- Oakland Raiders:
The Raiders, like the Chiefs, are another team that has struggled in recent years. Newly acquired quarterback Jason Campbell will look to lead them to a few more victories, but the offense still won’t be successful. The 49ers offense should handle the Raiders defense who struggles against the passing game, especially giving up big plays. Chalk up another home victory for San Francisco. (W)
Week 7- @ Carolina Panthers:
Despite the Panthers struggling, they still have one of the best running games in the NFL with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Luckily, the 49ers have one of the best rushing defenses in the league, with Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes leading the way. Shutting down the running game will force Matt Moore to make plays and prove himself as a legit NFL quarterback. (W)
Week 8- Denver Broncos:
Right before the bye week, San Francisco gets to face the Broncos who started hot in 2009 but regressed heavily. Another home game for the 49ers and they will take advantage as they will get pressure on Kyle Orton who I don’t believe will repeat his career best numbers from 2009. The game will not be easy, but if Alex Smith can have a productive game, the 49ers can cruise to victory. (W)
Week 9- Bye
Week 10- St. Louis Rams:
The Rams are still a work in progress, especially defensively. Assuming rookie Sam Bradford is still starting, the 49ers will be utilizing different blitz packages to get in his face to make bad decisions. They still have to account for Steven Jackson, however, which is never easy. However, as past years have shown, Jackson can’t do it by himself, and even if the 49ers don’t stop him, they’ll still find a way to grab a victory. (W)
Week 11- Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Before the 49ers go on a road trip for four of the next six games, they get to face the Bucs who are lead by second year quarterback Josh Freeman. The Buccaneers offense is quite limited in what it can produce, and their defense may be even worse. They are in just a bad situation, and there’s no reason for San Francisco not to pull out a home victory. (W)
Week 12- @ Arizona Cardinals:
After a nice string of wins, the 49ers head into week 12 to face the Cardinals for the first time. The Cardinals have Beanie Wells and Derek Anderson as their offensive leaders. While I don’t think that Anderson is that great of a quarterback, he knows how to get the ball down the field at times, and he has Larry Fitzgerald to throw to. It’ll be an interesting game. The Cards aren’t too bad defensively either. I think they take one away from the 49ers at home. (L)
Week 13- @ Green Bay Packers:
Now San Francisco has to follow up Arizona with the frozen tundra in Lambeau. It’s going to be cold, and it’s not going to be fun playing up there. Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and the Packers have it all figured out offensively. Add in a Top Five defense, as well as the cold, and you get a recipe for disaster. I think the 49ers can keep it close but come out short. (L)
Week 14- Seattle Seahawks:
It’s time to face the Seahawks again with a divisional rematch from Week 1. Not much has changed here as the Seahawks are still a struggling team. Their defense is quite inexperienced, but they do have some play makers. The 49ers should take this one again. (W)
Week 15- @ San Diego Chargers:
The San Diego Chargers are a Super Bowl-caliber team, who are going to be a tough opponent, especially on the road. They will have a balanced rushing attack and have one of the best up and coming quarterbacks in the league. This could spell trouble for the 49ers. (L)
Week 16- @ St. Louis Rams:
Just like the first game, the Rams will struggle heavily, because they are so young, and aren’t very talented. There isn’t much to talk about here, although the Rams will at least be at home. (W)
Week 17- Arizona Cardinals:
The 49ers will be looking for revenge and will try to get that 11th win and secure a potential first round bye. You can bet that they will be looking to grab their last divisional win, especially against the only other team that could compete for the NFC West. A home victory seems about right here. (W)
The final record ends up being 11-5, and this team is fully capable of it, assuming the defense plays no worse than last season, and Alex Smith comes out strong as well as the rest of the offense. The San Francisco fans have to be excited about this season.
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