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Schedule Break Down Part 6 of 6
April 16 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
The 49ers schedule as broken down for you in this six part series of articles, is significantly harder than in the past two seasons. Not only is the new NFC West a more challenging division - the format of the schedule leave the 49ers with less 'easy' games. It is of course exactly what the NFL wants - more competition, and less travel miles for the teams.

The 49ers play four huge rivals, in the Raiders, Cowboys, Packers and Rams, but also play the Saints and Eagles two teams that always compete well with the 49ers. These games are sure to draw large audiences. The 49ers play at least five nationally televised games, and the maximum of four prime time games. It's quite clear, that the NFL believes that the 49ers are going to be a very interesting team this season.

The schedule format is much more difficult than in years past, and with that, it will pressure the 49ers to respond at a high level all season. The early bye week, will put the 49ers in a sticky situation if they suffer through an injury plagued season. The schedule does provide a ton of excitement however. I'm already excited for the season and we haven't even hit training camp yet. I believe that realignment is a good thing, I'm just amazed however at the strength of schedule the 49ers are up against.

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