Play-by-play 49ers predictions for 2023 too early originally appeared nbc sports birea
The 49ers knew the identities and locations of each of their 17 2023 regular-season opponents at the end of the 2022 season.
now, they know when are those games,
Here are early previews of each of the 49ers' games and our knee-jerk predictions for the upcoming season:
at Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Sept. 10, 10 p.m. PT (FOX).
The Steelers grabbed the first quarterback selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. The 49ers waited until the 262nd and final pick to get their quarterback.
San Francisco's Brock Purdy was the consensus All-Rookie quarterback and a finalist for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Kenny Pickett showed some promise as a rookie but has a long way to go.
Purdy still has a long way to play at the start of the season. Q: If not Purdy, then who? Trey Lance? Sam Darnold?
Prediction: 49ers 24, Steelers 14
Sunday, September 17 at 1:05 PM PT (FOX) Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are less than two seasons removed from a Super Bowl title. Still, you can feel the nostalgia from their fan base when the 49ers come to SoFi Stadium and their substantial fan base turns it south of Levi's.
Still, with the season early and the 49ers' quarterback position untenable, the Rams could pull off an upset.
Prediction: Rams 24, 49ers 21
Thursday, September 21 at 5:15 PM PT (Prime) vs. New York Giants
After two consecutive road games, the NFL did those who had Sunny Side tickets to Levi's Stadium a nice favor with a home-opening night game. The Giants signed Daniel Jones during the off-season, making him one of the highest-earning quarterbacks in the league. But how far can he take them?
It will be a struggle against Philadelphia and Dallas to finish in the top-two of the NFC East. And they may not have the firepower to go head-to-head against the 49ers. Also, this game doesn't bode well for a team that must travel cross-country on a short week.
Prediction: 49ers 27, Giants 13
Sunday, October 1 at 1:25 p.m. PT (FOX) vs. Arizona Cardinals
It could be a long season for the Cardinals with a depleted roster and quarterback Kyler murray coming back from a torn ACL. The new charge – coach Jonathan Gannon and GM Monty Ossenfort – face tough challenges to make this team competitive.
If the season plays out as expected, the Cardinals could be in a position a year from now to take a break from Murray and draft the next hotshot quarterback.
Prediction: 49ers 35, Cardinals 9
Sunday, October 8 at 5:20 p.m. PT (NBC) vs. Dallas Cowboys
The 49ers and Cowboys came together for the second season in a row. And the 49ers, again, came away with a hard fought victory.
Can't Miss Heavyweight Matchup in the first Sunday Night Football matchup between these teams since 1990.
Prediction: Cowboys 27, 49ers 24
Sunday, October 15 at 10 PM PT (FOX) at Cleveland Browns
The last time the 49ers visited Cleveland was in December 2015. Kyle Shanahan was on the other sideline as offensive coordinator, pulling the strings on possibly Johnny Manziel's best NFL performance ever.
The Browns won 24–10 that day, all but sealing the end of the Jim Tomasula “era” with the 49ers. Shanahan will be on the winning side in this head-to-head matchup.
Prediction: 49ers 27, Browns 17
Monday, October 23 at 5:15 p.m. PT (ESPN) at Minnesota Vikings
It's fun to think how things might have been different if the jimmy garoppolo trade had never happened and the 49ers signed Kirk Cousins in 2017. By the way, Cousins' contract is set to expire after this season, but he will be 36 years old when the 2024 season opens. It should be safe to say that ship has sailed.
Minneapolis is a tough place to play, and the place should be electric on Monday Night Football.
Prediction: Vikings 27, 49ers 21
Sunday, October 29 at 1:25 p.m. PT (CBS) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
With the new 17-game schedule, the 49ers and Bengals find themselves going up against each other for the second time in three seasons.
The 49ers' defense may face no greater challenge this season than going up against star quarterback Joe Burrows and 1,000-yard receivers Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.
Prediction: 49ers 31, Bengals 28
Sunday, November 12 at 10 PM PT (FOX) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the real deal. The Jacksonville Jaguars could be ahead of schedule after winning a post-season game and coming off a tough loss against Kansas City in the divisional round last season.
The game was a candidate to be played in London, but the NFL probably didn't want what could have been a marquee matchup starting at 6:30 a.m. PT.
Prediction: Jaguars 24, 49ers 21
Sunday, Nov. 19 at 1:05 p.m. PT (FOX) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It was a marquee game on the 49ers' schedule last season when Tom Brady came to town. There won't be nearly as much intrigue surrounding this game with Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask or John Wolford — or who will be the Bucs' quarterback when this game rolls around.
Prediction: 49ers 35, Buccaneers 10
Thursday, November 23 at 5:20 PM PT (NBC) Seattle Seahawks
The 49ers will have a chance to go turkey on the 50-yard line, but it certainly won't be easy. The 49ers don't win often in the Pacific Northwest. But when they do, it's memorable. In the past 11 seasons, the 49ers have won in Seattle only twice.
One was in the final week of the 2019 season, which clinched the 49ers the NFC West Championship and the playoffs with home field advantage. Last season, the 49ers clinched the division title on December 15 with a 21–13 victory.
Prediction: 49ers 28, Seahawks 17
Sunday, December 3 at 1:25 PM PT (FOX) at Philadelphia Eagles
Odds are very good that the 49ers will have an NFL-caliber quarterback for most of this game – unlike the NFC Championship Game. How would the 49ers have done last season with a healthy Brock Purdy? We'll never know.
But result of this game Might provide a big what-if to everyone. These powerhouses have strong rosters returning. The most significant change was defensive tackle Javon Hargrave leaving Philadelphia to sign with the 49ers as a free agent.
Prediction: Eagles 17, 49ers 14
Sunday, Dec. 10 at 1:05 p.m. PT (FOX) vs. Seattle Seahawks
These teams will clash for the second time in three weeks. The 49ers will be looking for their third win over the Seahawks in the last two seasons at Levi's Stadium. The 49ers made Seattle's task easy in the first round of the NFC playoffs with a 41–23 victory.
After losing three times to the 49ers last season, the Seahawks have reason to believe they can make a run at the defending division champs.
Prediction: 49ers 31, Seahawks 13
Sunday, December 17 at 1:05 PM PT (CBS) Arizona Cardinals
The last time the 49ers played the “At” the Cardinals, the game was a celebratory occasion in Mexico City. The atmosphere won't be nearly as electrifying this year, but you can still expect a strong showing from 49ers fans.
Prediction: 49ers 38, Cardinals 13
Monday, Dec. 25 at 5:15 p.m. PT (ABC) vs. Baltimore Ravens
The 49ers will play on christmas Day for only the second time in franchise history, and they're going up against the NFL's highest-paid quarterback.
Were there internal discussions among the 49ers about the possibility of acquiring lamar jackson? Sure. But it was never going to work. Jackson lives in Baltimore after a few tumultuous months, and has now set higher goals.
Jackson said he wants to throw for 6,000 yards this season. This means that in order to stay on pace, he must have at least 353 yards against the 49ers' defense. Don't expect him to receive any gifts from the 49ers' defense.
Prediction: 49ers 31, Ravens 24
Sunday, December 31 at 10 PM PT (FOX) at Washington Commanders
It could be a struggle for the Commanders with Sam Howell taking over at quarterback with Jacoby Brissett as their safety net. It's hard to imagine Washington being able to be strong enough offensively to be able to hang with the 49ers for much longer.
Prediction: 49ers 35, Commander 17
Saturday, January 6 or Sunday, January 7 vs Los Angeles Rams
The year before, the Rams were the unanimous pick to win the NFC West. As it turned out, they were entering a new phase. They finished 5–12. He still has some firepower, but it's hard to imagine the organization rebounding from last season. The 49ers would play for the playoff seeding.
Prediction: 49ers 35, Rams 7
Connected: Shanahan expects Purdy to be in training camp
49ers' 2023 record prediction: 12-5