The 49ers and Seattle Seahawks play 12 common opponents, plus each other twice. Seattle plays the “first-place” schedule, while the 49ers get last year’s second-place teams in the NFC North and NFC South.
Certainly, no two schedules are created equal. Here are some ways the schedules of the NFC West's top teams differ this season:
--The 49ers road game vs. the NFC South is New Orleans on Nov. 9. It’s the beginning of back-to-back road games with the second half of that trip being against the New York Giants. The Seahawks play the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 26, and it’s the second consecutive week of the road with 10 a.m. (PT) starts. Seattle plays at St. Louis the previous week. Both Carolina and New Orleans lost some key players this offseason. New Orleans is a more-difficult place to play than Carolina. But Seattle’s travel makes their trip to face the Panthers even more difficult. DISADVANTAGE: Seahawks.
--Both the 49ers and Seahawks play their NFC North opponents early in the season. The Seahawks raise the flag Thursday, Sept. 4, against Green Bay. While the 49ers open Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 14, against Chicago. One team faces Aaron Rodgers. The other team faces Jay Cutler. DISADVANTAGE: Seahawks.
--The NFC West plays all four teams in the NFC East. The 49ers get Philadelphia and Washington at home. They travel to Dallas to open the season and the New York Giants as the back end of a two-game road trip. Seattle plays home games against Dallas and Philadelphia the Giants. Their road game against the Eagles comes 10 days after the Thanksgiving game in Santa Clara. DISADVANTAGE: 49ers
--The Seahawks play the defending AFC champion Denver Broncos in Seattle in Week 3. The 49ers play at Denver Sunday night in Week 7. That’s after the 49ers play a Monday night game at St. Louis six days earlier. DISADVANTAGE: 49ers.
--The other two playoff teams from the AFC West – Kansas City and San Diego – travel to Santa Clara. The 49ers host the Chiefs in Week 5, and the Chargers come calling in Week 16. Meanwhile, Seattle goes to San Diego in Week 2 -- 10 days after their season-opening Thursday night kickoff. The Seahawks are at Kansas City in Week 11 for a 10 a.m. kickoff. DISADVANTAGE: Seahawks.
--Both teams have four scheduled prime-time games. The 49ers play at home against Chicago and Seattle and on the road against St. Louis and Denver. Their Oct. 13 game against the Rams is their only appearance on “Monday Night Football.” The Seahawks are scheduled for four prime-time games, as well. After opening against the Packers, Seattle plays night road games at Washington (Week 5, Monday night), the 49ers (Week 13, Thanksgiving) and Arizona (Week 16, Monday night). DISADVANTAGE: Seahawks.
--The 49ers and Seahawks meet for the first time this season on Thanksgiving night. Both teams, obviously, will be playing four days after their previous game. The 49ers play Washington leading into the first Seattle game. The Seahawks play host to Arizona – the only team to win at Seattle last season. DISADVANTAGE: Seahawks.
--The 49ers and Seahawks play just two weeks later in Seattle. In between, the 49ers make the trip from the South Bay to Oakland, while Seattle travels across the country to face Philadelphia. DISADVANTAGE: Seahawks.
--The bye week for the 49ers comes in Week 8. That’s generally seen as advantageous because it breaks up the season and allows for a week of rest after playing seven games. The Seahawks’ bye week comes in Week 4 – after just three games. Moreover, the Seahawks finish the season playing the 49ers and Cardinals four times in their final six weeks. DISADVANTAGE: Seahawks.