San Francisco 49ers 2011 NFL Schedule: Breaking Down Every Game

Ally Williams@@itsallyduhhCorrespondent IJuly 29, 2011

San Francisco 49ers 2011 NFL Schedule: Breaking Down Every Game

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    The San Francisco 49ers have been dealing with free agents, draft picks, and trade rumors now that the lockout has ended. Behind new coach Jim Harbaugh, the Niners are looking to make an impact in the NFC West this year.

    They’ll need to overcome some challenges to succeed. Whether it’s Frank Gore’s holdout, Michael Crabtree’s injury, and minimal time to really digest Harbaugh’s new system, San Francisco has some issues they need to work through. They’ll be facing some tough competition this season.

    This is a breakdown of the 2011 49ers’ NFL Regular Season Schedule.

Week 1: 9/11 vs. Seattle Seahawks

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    Seattle let Matt Hasselbeck go. To replace him, they brought in Tavaris Jackson—a major downgrade—and Charlie Whitehurst, who isn’t much better.

    The Niners will be tough to run on so Marshawn Lynch will be held in check.

    Outcome: 49er Win [1-0]

Week 2: 9/18 vs. Dallas Cowboys

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    The Cowboys will be an extremely challenging team to face. The Niners will have to score to win this game.

    Dallas' offense could be one of top in NFL. It could be hard to compete with them, especially if Frank Gore holds out and Michael Crabtree is injured.

    Outcome: 49er Loss [1-1]

Week 3: 9/25 @ Cincinnati Bengals

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    This season both the Bengals’ starting quarterback and wide receiver are rookies. They may have a new running back as well.

    This might be where the Niners defense will show its talent.

    Outcome: 49er Win [2-1]

Week 4: 10/2 @ Philadelphia Eagles

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    Few—if any—will be able to contain Michael Vick this year. The Eagles have plenty of weapons. The Niners will have to score to have a shot.

    Another disadvantage of the 49ers will be that they’ll be playing in Philly, so they might fall short.

    Outcome: 49er Loss [2-2]

Week 5: 10/9 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    This game could be a toss up. Tampa Bay is young and improving rapidly. The fact that Josh Freeman has been performing at a higher level than Alex Smith will make the difference.

    However the game will be in San Francisco. If the Niner defense shows up they could win.

    Outcome: 49er Loss [2-3]

Week 6: 10/16 @ Detroit Lions

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    The Lions might surprise people this year. Their secondary is weak, but Alex Smith might not be able to take advantage of it.

    Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best will put points on the board this year.

    Outcome: 49er Loss [2-4]

Week 8: 10/30 vs. Cleveland Browns

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    I’m not sure if I can see Cleveland being able to beat anyone this year.

    The 49er defense should be able to handle the young Browns.

    Outcome: 49er Win [3-4]

Week 9: 11/06 @ Washington Redskins

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    This is a game the Niners SHOULD win. The 10am start and Mike Shanahan leading Redskins always puts the outcome in doubt.

    San Francisco will squeak this one out, as long as Frank Gore is back leading the charge.

    Outcome: 49er Win [4-4]

Week 10: 11/13 vs. New York Giants

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    The Giants have tons of weapons and Eli Manning really took it up to another level last year. The Niners will score, too, but Hakeem Nicks might have a monster day in San Francisco.

    He’ll help New York get this one on the road.

    Outcome: 49er Loss [4-5]

Week 11: 11/20 vs. Arizona Cardinals

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    Arizona got a quarterback and they still have Larry Fitzgerald. I’ll have to see anyone else to truly believe they’ll have an impact.

    Fitzgerald should have a big day but expect Frank Gore to break a couple up the middle.

    Outcome: 49er Win [5-5]

Week 12: 11/24 @ Baltimore Ravens

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    This will be a good test to see how far the 49ers have really come. The defense should have some success slowing down Joe Flacco and Ray Rice.

    I wonder, though, if the Baltimore defense will be serving up Alex Smith on the Niners’ first Thanksgiving Classic since 1972.

    Outcome: 49er Loss [5-6]

Week 13: 12/04 vs. St. Louis Rams

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    I’m going to give this one to San Francisco cause they’ll be at home. Their defense should be able to stand up against Steven Jackson.

    I’m not sure Sam Bradford has enough weapons to throw the ball to.

    Outcome: 49er Win [6-6]

Week 14: 12/11 @ Arizona Cardinals

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    This could be a very important game this late in the season between two NFC West foes. The Niners could pull it out if they can cause Trent Cole to toss a couple ill-advised passes.

    If they can’t get pressure on him, a couple of long hookups to Larry Fitzgerald could allow the Cardinals to hold serve at home.

    Outcome: 49er Loss [6-7]

Week 15: 12/19 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    The Steelers are a Super Bowl team for a reason. The 49ers are improving, but they’re not there yet.

    Outcome: 49er Loss [6-8]

Week 16: 12/24 @ Seattle Seahawks

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    The Seahawks are taking a big step backward with the quarterback change. After the shellacking the Niners took from the Seahawks last year, they’ll be ready to play.

    By this time the players should be totally comfortable in Harbaugh’s offense.

    Outcome: 49er Win [7-8]

Week 17: 01/01 @ St. Louis Rams

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    If mediocrity rules the NFC West again this year, this game could have division title implications. The Rams defense should be much better by this point in time.

    Bradford should be entrenched as the Ram’s leader by now. They should be able to squeak this one out at home.

    Outcome: 49er Loss [7-9]