As soon as the clock from the last regular-season game struck zero, all 32 teams knew their upcoming opponents for the following season. Even though the dates and times aren't known until a later date, it still allows a team to start preparing as early as possible.
Every year, each team plays its divisional opponents twice, so that makes up six games right there, plus two other assigned conferences based on the NFL's annual scheduling. For example, the 49ers will square off against the NFC South and AFC South in 2013, just like this year where they took on the NFC North and the AFC East.
With the inclusion of the eight non-divisional opponents, the 49ers now have 14 games mapped out with just two remaining. The two remaining games are coordinated based on where you finish in the division. Considering San Francisco finished first in the NFC West, they will take on Green Bay and Washington, who both respectively finished first in their division.
Above is a full list of the teams both home and away. When the 49ers travel to Wembley Stadium on October 27 to take on the Jaguars, they will be considered the away team even though the game is being played at a neutral site. Because it's taking place across the pond, we know it will be a Week 8 game.
Based on San Francisco's opponents' records from 2012, Jim Harbaugh and company will be battling uphill all season long. They have the eighth-hardest schedule in 2013 by points, according to Blogging The Boys, and the third-hardest schedule in the league based on point differential.
A quality opponent is considered to be any team that has won nine or more games during the regular season. So, if you add up the quality opponents the 49ers have in 2013, it's exactly seven. The seven quality opponents are Seattle, Atlanta, Houston, Indianapolis, Green Bay, Washington and then Seattle again since they play them twice.
When at Candlestick, San Francisco will play teams that had a combined record of 77-51. When away from Candlestick, the 49ers will play teams that had a combined record of 55-73. As a team, you always want your more challenging games in front of your home crowd and your more winnable games on the road.
In addition to the home and away records of the opposition, San Francisco will take on seven different playoff teams. They will match up with five of the seven playoff teams at home, with the other two being on the road.
The 49ers will have to do all they can to stay on top of the division despite having one of the hardest schedules in the league.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!