Schedule Run Down 2000
After last seasons quick demise the 49ers will be looking to rebuild. The process will likely take a year or two (possibly more), during which time the 49ers are set to face some tough competition. One of the greatest problems the 49ers will face in the future is the NFC West, a division that in the past has been a push-over, but now even the Saints are spending top dollar to bring there team up to speed. With any luck though, the 49ers will be back at the top of the NFL before the divisions are re-aligned, and once again claim the crown they have grown accustomed too.
The season opens in Atlanta, where the 49ers will look to seek revenge for last season's final defeat. Atlanta is looking to return to 1998 form, when they went to the Super Bowl. Atlanta will also welcome the return of star running back Jamal Anderson, a force the 49ers will have to strategize against. Coincidentally the 49ers are hoping their star back Garrison Hearst will be back for this game too.
The 49ers will then proceed to Carolina where they will take on former 49ers coach George Seifert in his second year with the Panthers. Carolina may also be playing former 49ers linebacker Lee Woodall and possibly strong safety Tim McDonald. Carolina also has other former 49ers on the team including Eric Davis, and Wesley Walls.
In week, three the 49ers will head to last season's Super Bowl champions home, St. Louis. This test will give the 49ers a very good idea as to where they stand in the grand scheme of things and will be a good test to see if the team has in fact improved it's over-all speed.
Week four will see the 49ers take on the rival Cowboys, a team much hated by most 49ers fans. The rivalry stems way back, prior to Dwight Clarks reception now commonly known as "The Catch". The 49ers will as usual be up for this game, and expect allot of emotion in this one.
Week five has the 49ers facing Arizona. Bill Walsh will have the opportunity to see Jake Plummer, the man he so highly touted prior to the 1997 draft, live in action. Plummer struggled for most of last season due to injury, and it will be interesting to see what the 49ers attempt to do on defense to stop him.
The 49ers face their cross-the-Bay rivals in week six, when Oakland comes to town. In the first of two consecutive, and the second of three rivalry games this season the 49ers will once again be filled with emotion. One notable link between the teams is 49ers RB Charlie Garner and Raider's coach Jon Gruden. Gruden suggested to Steve Mariucci that Garner is "instant offense".
In the third and final rivalry game of the season, the 49ers face Green Bay, their nemesis of the late 90's and early 2000 apparently. Similarly, to the other two rivalry games this season there will be lots of emotion in this game.
The following two weeks the 49ers play their second games against NFC West rivals, Carolina, St.Louis. It will be interesting to see how the teams adapt based on the previous match-ups early in the season. Follow that with a third NFC West game versus New Orleans. The Saints will be featuring quarterback Jeff Blake, a player the 49ers considered pursuing this off-season.
In week eleven the 49ers will face the Kansas City Chiefs. Former 49ers quarterback Elvis Grbac will be starting for the Chiefs, and he will be looking to show the 9ers just what they passed on when they didn't increase his contract.
The 49ers follow this game up with their second match-up against Atlanta followed by a off-week in the thirteenth week of the season.
The 49ers come back from their off week to face the San Diego Chargers. It will be interesting to see if the Chargers start Ryan Leaf at quarterback and how that quarterback situation errupts. In the following week the 49ers face New Orleans for their second time in the season.
In week sixteen the 49ers face the Chicago Bears. This game should be an interesting test to see what the 49ers have left in them by the end of the season. The Bears will likely feature a strong defense that the 9ers will have to look out for.
In the final game of the regular season, the 49ers will face the Denver Broncos. The Broncos are likely to start third year quarterback Bryan Griese. The Broncos will be without star player Shannon Sharpe who departed to Baltimore earlier this off-season.
This season's schedule is a very interesting one. With the increase in power of the NFC West and the three rival games set up this season should be exciting to follow regardless of the power of 49ers.