49ers: Analyzing the 4 hardest games on the 2020 schedule

49ers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The NFL released schedules for all 32 teams Thursday Night. Which of their upcoming contests could prove to be most difficult for the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers in 2020?

The San Francisco 49ers have every intention of returning to the Super Bowl in February 2021 after reaching the big game in February 2020. There’s probably not much standing in their way, either.

After all, the team mostly cruised through the regular season in 2019, finishing 13-3 despite a relatively difficult schedule, and clinching the top seed in the NFC. It took a Patrick Mahomes-led fourth-quarter comeback in the biggest game of the season to knock San Francisco off its pedestal.

For the 2020 season, the 49ers have the fourth toughest schedule in terms of combined opponent winning percentage from 2019.

That seems like a tall task, but remember that the defending NFC Champs had the second-ranked defense in all of football last season, a top-ranked run game spearheaded by Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and the now-departed Matt Breida, tight end George Kittle, and a quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo who demonstrated a penchant for making clutch throws late in games.

Oh, and an offensive mastermind in Kyle Shanahan for a head coach.

The argument can be made that every game on the 49ers’ 2020 schedule is winnable. That’s just a testament to how well-built they are.

However, no team is without its flaws, and some of San Francisco’s opponents outside their division are better equipped than others to expose them. Let’s dive in.