Editor’s note: In the lead-up to the NFL draft (May 8-10) bookmark this page to keep tabs on which players the 49ers have had reported contact
The NFL is scheduled to announce dates and times for the entire regular-season schedule at 5 p.m. (PT) on Wednesday. Each teams already knows its list of home and away opponets.
[RELATED: NFL scheudle to be announced Wednesday]
Here’s a ranking of the most intriguing games on the 49ers’ schedule:
1. Seattle: For as much that is made about the 49ers’ problems in Seattle, Pete Carroll has never won a road game against the 49ers. In fact, the Seahawks lost their final five games at Candlestick Park. This will not be a “glorified practice,” as Richard Sherman called it prior to last year’s 19-17 loss to the 49ers.
2. Kansas City: Alex Smith handled himself with class and dignity in good times and bad during his eight years with the 49ers after being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005. He was never as popular and appreciated as when he left a year ago in a trade for two second-round draft picks.
3. Washington: DeSean Jackson will face the 49ers for the first time with his new team. And, right now, the 49ers have no idea who will be covering him.
4. San Diego: The 49ers will be looking for their first victory over the Chargers since the 2000 season. Of course, that stretch includes only three games.
5. Philadelphia: Chip Kelly and Jim Harbaugh split their two Oregon vs. Stanford meetings. The winning team scored 52 and 51 points. Expect a little more defense in this NFL matchup.
6. Chicago: His two-year tenure as offensive coordinator with the 49ers ended when Eddie DeBartolo grabbed the microphone and stated, “He’s gone.” Now, Marc Trestman is back, as he faces the 49ers for the first time as a head coach.
7. Arizona: The Cardinals were the most active on the free-agent market of the NFC West teams, as they added tackle Jared Veldheer, cornerback Antonio Cromartie and receiver Ted Ginn to a team that finished 10-6 in Bruce Arians’ first season as head coach.
8. St. Louis: The Rams have not won a road game against the 49ers since 2007, but they did pull out a tie in 2012.
1. Seattle: How long will we have to wait to witness this matchup? Could the NFL send the 49ers to the Pacific Northwest for the season-opening game on Thursday, Sept. 4?
2. Denver: Finally, the 49ers will admit that they’re pursuing Peyton Manning. Yep, the 49ers’ pass rush will pursue him and hope to slow down the 2013 NFL most valuable player.
3. Oakland: The fascination with this game is based solely on the geographical element. The Raiders have not beaten the 49ers in Oakland since 1979. The only time the teams played in Oakland since the Raiders return from Los Angeles was Nov. 3, 2002.
4. New Orleans: So why have the 49ers played at the New Orleans Saints three consecutive seasons? It’s just a scheduling quirk. In 2011, the schedule called for teams from the NFC South to play host to the NFC West team that finished in the same place in the standings. Both teams finished first, so the 49ers traveled to New Orleans. Last season, as part of the rotating schedule in which one division plays all the teams in another division, it was the West’s turn to play the South. The previous time during this every-three-years setup, the Saints played at Candlestick. So last year’s 49ers-Saints game was in New Orleans. And this year it’s back to each NFC West playing the NFC South team that finished in the same spot. The 49ers play host to the same-spot-in-the-standings NFC North team for a second consecutive season. Last year, it was Green Bay. This year, it’s Chicago. And they’ll be traveling back to the NFC South, same as in 2012.
5. Arizona: The Cardinals always play the 49ers tough in the desert. This one could have implications within the division race and, possibly, in the playoff seedings.
6. N.Y. Giants: It seems like such a long time ago since we were all asking the question, ‘What do the 49ers have to do to get past the Giants?”
7. Dallas: How far along will the Cowboys be toward their annual 8-8 finish when these teams meet in Jerry’s Palace?
8. St. Louis: This could turn out to be a huge game, too. But, right now, there’s not a lot of intrigue when looking at the matchup on paper.