Tue, 03 Aug 2021

NFL.com's Adam Rank Highlights Three Key Games for 49ers in 2021

San Francisco 49ers
24 Jun 2021, 23:44 GMT+10

Keiana Martin

NFL.com writer Adam Rank has sifted through where all 32 teams currently sit at this point on the NFL calendar and provided his own "State of the Franchise" look at each club, zeroing in on the key figures to watch and setting the stakes for the season to come.

While San Francisco certainly wants to leave 2020's woes in the rearview, Rank believes the 49ers roster is front loaded with one of the most complete NFL rosters and should be regarded as "one of the front-runners to reach the Super Bowl" in 2021.

In order to do so, the 49ers have several orders of business to maneuver throughout the regular season, including facing six teams who made playoff appearances in 2020.

Optimistically for San Francisco, the 49ers are tied for the 19th-toughest schedule in the league (.489), with their upcoming opponents owning a 132-183-2 record in 2020. Just five of their 14 opponents possessed a record greater than .500 last season.

Rank highlighted three key dates on San Francisco's schedule that could have a lot of implications on the 49ers postseason aspirations. Here's what Rank sees as notable matchups for San Francisco's quest back atop of the NFC.

Week 3 vs. Packers: I feel like every time I put down something with Green Bay, I have to ask myself who is going to be the Packers' starting quarterback. But let's say it's Aaron Rodgers. Remember that the 49ers dismantled the Pack twice in 2019. And I would say one of the key reasons Green Bay earned the No. 1 seed last year was because San Francisco had so many injuries.

Heading into the 2021 season, San Francisco was awarded the max-allotted five primetime contests for the second-straight season. Three of those matchups, including this Sunday night showdown, will be held at Levi's® Stadium. This marks the fourth-consecutive year the 49ers and Packers have met in the regular season, and one of the earliest matchups between the two clubs as the game is slated for San Francisco's home opener in Week 3.

Of note, the 49ers have won six out of the last nine overall games against the Packers.

Week 8 at Bears: Another contest where we can only speculate who the quarterbacks are going to be at this point of the season. Justin Fields and Trey Lance will always be tied together.

Beyond the hoopla behind two first round quarterbacks potentially going head-to-head in their rookie seasons, it's too early to project if and when Lance will earn his first start as the 49ers quarterback. Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have remained dedicated to Jimmy Garoppolo as the team's starter, barring any impediments.

Nonetheless, there were ample ties between Fields and the 49ers brass during the pre-draft process, with many national pundits projecting San Francisco to select the Ohio State product No. 3 overall. Having had the option for a number of prospects third-overall in the draft, Week 8 makes for an enticing "would've, could've, should've-type" matchup.

Week 18 at Rams: The Rams come to Santa Clara in Week 10. To me, these are two of the top three teams in the NFC, along with the world champion Buccaneers. I expect the NFC West race to come down to this final game. No disrespect to the Seahawks or Cardinals, but these are my top two in a brutally tough division.

The addition of Matthew Stafford to the NFC West only adds to the intrigue of this season's divisional matchup. The 49ers have won four of their last five matchups in Los Angeles since the Rams returned to Southern California in 2016, and with the potential of the division on the line in the season finale, they'll aim to continue that success in 2021.

Fans interested in purchasing single game tickets to a 49ers home game should visit 49ers.com/tickets/single-game to purchase. Ticket prices and availability are subject to demand.

Up Next Latest Videos Channel George Kittle Lands at No. 3 on James Jones' Top 5 TEs List Latest Videos Channel 49ers CAO Hannah Gordon Highlights Impact of Carl Nassib and Pride Month Latest Videos Channel Cynthia Frelund Predicts 49ers to Win the NFC West in 2021 Latest Videos Channel 49ers Celebrate Pride Month: Meet Faithful Pearl Teese Latest Videos Channel George Kittle Shares His First Impressions of Trey Lance Latest Videos Channel Bobby Turner Awarded PFWA's Paul Zimmerman Lifetime Achievement Award Latest Videos Channel 49ers Celebrate Pride Month: Meet Faithful Kady, Maryanna and Mason Latest Videos Channel Joe Montana's Top 50 Plays Latest Videos Channel Mike McDaniel Praises Kyle Shanahan's 'Collaborative' Coaching Style Latest Videos Channel Kyle Shanahan 'Feels Great' About OTA Practices and Player Turnout Latest Videos Channel Congratulations to the 2021 Follow Your Bliss Award Winners Latest Videos Channel 49ers Players and Alumni Discuss Mental Health Awareness Latest Videos Channel 49ers Celebrate Pride Month: Meet Faithful Colby M Latest Videos Channel DeMeco Ryans Aims for 'Fast, Attacking, Aggressive Defense' in 2021 Latest Videos Channel Samson Ebukam Highlights the 49ers Attack-First Mentality Latest Videos Channel Javon Kinalw Discusses the Benefit of 49ers Offseason Program Latest Videos Channel Jimmie Ward Discusses His Comfortability and Veteran Leadership Latest Videos Channel Jason Verrett: 'I'm Ready to Play Lights Out Football' Latest Videos Channel Alfredo Gutierrez Says He's a 'Good Fit' for the 49ers Offense Latest Videos Channel GMFB Unveil the 2021 49ers PRIDE Retail Collection  Latest Videos Channel DeAngelo Hall Says Brandon Aiyuk is Primed for Breakout Season Latest Videos Channel George Kittle: 'I'm Excited to See Nick Bosa Back on the Football Field' Latest Videos Channel Fred Warner: 'We Have Huge Aspirations and Goals for This Season' Latest Videos Channel Jimmy Garoppolo Says Ankle 'Feels Great' and He's 'Ready' for Football Latest Videos Channel Kyle Shanahan Shares Updates During Week 1 of OTAs Latest Videos Channel Luke Kuechly Talks Advantages of 49ers Offensive Personnel Latest Videos Channel LaDainian Tomlinson Says 49ers are Primed to Go Worst-to-First in 2021  Latest Videos Channel Peter Schrager Says 49ers are 'NFC Contenders' in 2021 Latest Videos Channel GMFB Calls Verrett One of the 'Most Underappreciated' CBs in the NFL Latest Videos Channel NFC West Team Reporters Break Down the Upcoming Season Latest Videos Channel Trey Lance Says Learning 49ers Playbook Has Been 'Fun' Latest Videos Channel Aaron Banks: 'I'm Going to Be the Best I Can Be' Latest Videos Channel Alfredo Gutierrez Shares His Goals for the 2021 Season Latest Videos Channel Trey Sermon on What He Learned From Watching 49ers Film at Ohio State Latest Videos Channel Peter Schrager Calls 49ers vs. Packers a 'Sneaky Awesome' Matchup Latest Videos Channel 49ers Live Update: Breaking Down the 2021 Schedule Latest Videos Channel S Talanoa Hufanga Hopes to 'Make His Mark' Like GM John Lynch Latest Videos Channel Jaylon Moore: 'I Feel Like I'll Fit in Perfectly' on 49ers O-line Latest Videos Channel Elijah Mitchell Details his Eagerness to Play Under Coach Bobby Turner Latest Videos Channel Ambry Thomas: 'I'm Looking Forward to Being A Part of this Family'

More San Jose News

Access More

Sign up for Silicon Valley News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!