San Francisco 49ers schedule 2024: Takeaways, predictions

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers' 2024 schedule was released along with the rest of the NFL slate Wednesday.

As the defending NFC champions, the 49ers will face all three teams they met last postseason: the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs. And, once again, the Niners will be on prime time plenty, with a pair of Monday night games at home (against the Jets and Lions), two Sunday night games (at the Buffalo Bills and at home against the Dallas Cowboys) and a pair of Thursday night games (at the Seattle Seahawks and home against the Los Angeles Rams).

That's all set against the backdrop of the Niners, who have been to at least the NFC Championship Game in four of the past five seasons, attempting to overcome any potential Super Bowl hangover and finally break through for the franchise's sixth Lombardi Trophy. Since 1977, only three teams have lost in the Super Bowl and gone on to win it the following season.

Here's what's in store for the 49ers:

49ers 2024 regular-season schedule

Week 1: Sept. 9 vs. N.Y. Jets (MNF)

Week 2: Sept. 15 at Minnesota

Week 3: Sept. 22 at L.A. Rams

Week 4: Sept. 29 vs. New England

Week 5: Oct. 6 vs. Arizona

Week 6: Oct. 10 at Seattle (TNF)

Week 7: Oct. 20 vs. Kansas City

Week 8: Oct. 27 vs. Dallas (SNF)

Week 9: BYE

Week 10: Nov. 10 at Tampa Bay

Week 11: Nov. 17 vs. Seattle

Week 12: Nov. 24 at Green Bay

Week 13: Dec. 1 at Buffalo (SNF)

Week 14: Dec. 8 vs. Chicago

Week 15: Dec. 12 vs. L.A. Rams (TNF)

Week 16: Dec. 22 at Miami

Week 17: Dec. 30 vs. Detroit (MNF)

Week 18: Jan. 4 or 5 at Arizona

Strength of schedule: .505 (T-12th)
Over/Under: 11.5

Biggest takeaway

Forget what the strength of schedule says -- this is not an easy setup for the 49ers, as there are multiple potential season-defining stretches. A three-week stretch right before the bye that begins Oct. 10 with a trip to Seattle followed by home games against Kansas City and Dallas should set the stage for the second half of the season. But what comes after the bye could be the most daunting. A lengthy trip to Tampa before a home game against Seattle, followed by back-to-back trips to Green Bay and Buffalo, will go a long way in determining the Niners' playoff chances and potential seeding.

Revenge game

There isn't much to debate, as the Week 7 matchup against the Chiefs stands out. Kansas City has been and remains the single biggest obstacle to the Niners winning the franchise's sixth Lombardi Trophy. Kansas City beat the Niners in overtime in Super Bowl LVIII and stormed back to beat them in Super Bowl LIV, and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is 4-0 against San Francisco. This is the 10th time there has been a rematch of the previous season's Super Bowl, though history indicates a get-back win for the Niners won't come easy. While the Niners will have the benefit of a few extra days' rest, the team that won the Super Bowl is 6-3 in the next-year rematches.

Bold prediction

Defensive end Nick Bosa will win his second Defensive Player of the Year award. After what he considered a down year in 2023 (10.5 sacks, 35 quarterback hits), Bosa is in position to have a big season. With no concerns about contract negotiations this year, Bosa will be in training camp healthy and on time, which should have him ready to go when the season starts. The Niners' change at defensive coordinator will help tie the pass rush and coverage together more coherently to create more pass-rush opportunities. What's more, San Francisco signed veteran edge rusher Leonard Floyd in free agency to give Bosa the best complement he has had on the other side since Dee Ford, which will get Bosa close to the 18.5 sacks he had when he won DPOY in 2022.