The 2019 NFL season is almost upon us and buzz is heavy in San Francisco. Coming out of the NFL draft, the San Francisco 49ers look bigger and badder than ever. The 49ers faithful is ready to take the league by storm this year with the return of their starting QB and a stout 2019 draft class. Let’s preview the San Francisco 49ers 2019 Home Game Matchups.
Week 3 – Pittsburg Steelers (Home Opener)
The Steelers come to Santa Clara in week 3 for an afternoon game. After opening the season with two away games this matchup will land high on many fans Game Drafts. Pittsburg is known for playing a tough, hard-nose brand of football, based on defensive pressure, running the ball, and deep shots down field. However, the Steelers ended the year with the 16th ranked defense according to PFF, and looked to fix that in the draft when they traded up to select Linebacker Devin Bush. Although the Steelers are without superstar receiver Antonio Brown, they will still look to push the ball down field with JuJu Smith Schuster and Ben Roethlisberger. The loss of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell have left this team with a lack of identity going into this season. James Connor did a good job filling in for Bell last year but it is hard to say if he will be able to maintain that production through this season.
Week 5 – Cleveland Browns
After a week 4 bye, the Niners will take on the Browns in a Monday night game. Although the Browns are known for being, well, the worst team in the league…this season could end up being very different. The Browns showed signs of life last year under the leadership of rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. Along with Mayfield, the Browns have had so many top draft picks in recent years that their team is beginning to look like something special. Now boasting a defense of young talented and hungry players, the Browns were able to lock down superstar receiver Odell Beckham in free agency. Now reunited with his college teammate Jarvis Landry, I think OBJ and the Browns offense are set up to do some damage in the pass game. When you factor in Nick Chubb taking handoffs from Mayfield, and throw in the insanely athletic David Njoku at Tight End, the whole picture starts to look interesting for this team. I can’t believe I am actually going to say this, but look out for the Browns this year.
Week 8 – Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers come to the Bay in week 8 for what could be an intense and exciting game between two well matched teams. The Panther’s Cam Newton is without a doubt one of the most exciting players to watch, along with the pass catching ability and elusiveness of former Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey. Look for the Panthers to throw the ball all over the field, giving the Niners an array of different looks on offense. On defense, the Panthers boast one of the best Linebacker units around, and added a strong pass rusher, Brian Burns, in this year’s Draft.
Week 10 – Seattle Seahawks
This rivalry matchup comes on a Monday Night. The Seahawks gave Russel Wilson a massive new contract this offseason. But the team around Wilson has changed significantly over the last few years. This year’s Seattle roster has less than 20 players from the 2016 playoff roster. However, it is hard to overlook the Seahawks who have proved they can win games despite adversity in the roster. Rivalry games always bring a different level of intensity, when you add that up with the Monday Night placement, this game is set to be a great one!
Week 11 – Arizona Cardinals
The first back to back home games for the Niners come in the form of two division rivals. One week after taking on the Seahawks, we will see the Cardinals coming to Santa Clara with a new-look team. The Cardinals took Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in the draft, the ultra-athletic quarterback will look to avoid Nick Bosa, who was drafted one pick after him this year. This offseason, the Cardinals hired former Texas Tech head coach and USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury as their head coach. Murray and Kingsbury have a history going back to 2012 when Murray was a sophomore in high school. The two have known each other for years and will look to take the league by storm now that they are finally teamed up in the big leagues. It is hard to say how it will all work out for the Cards this year, but with a new coach/qb combo, this game will be a good first look at the future interdivisional rivalry between these two teams.
Week 12 – Green Bay Packers
This game will be the last of a three game home stretch for the Niners. After hosting two division rivals back to back, the Green Bay Packers come to the Bay for an afternoon matchup. The Packers hired new GM Brian Gutekunst last year and followed that up by hiring Matt LaFleur as their new head coach. After years of underwhelming play and sometimes confusing decision making by coaches and management, the Packers will look to run the ball more, and set up Aaron Rodgers for big plays down field. Last year the Packers defense was awful, the pass rush was non-existent, and became their primary focus in the draft. It is hard to say if it will all pay off for the Packers this season, but we can be sure that what we see on the field this year will be very different than recent years. Any game with Aaron Rodgers on the field has the potential to be very exciting, along with the new systems in place and new leadership, I believe this game should land high on your Season Share Game Draft queue.
Week 15 – Atlanta Falcons
After two weeks away from home, the 49ers will host the Falcons in week 15. Atlanta had a tough year in 2018, which saw their roster plagued with injuries and misfortune. They will look to get back to their 2017 form this year with a revamped O-line and a healthy defense of young talented players. Of course, two missing pieces from a 2017 season that saw the Falcons storm through the league to a Super Bowl, are Kyle Shanahan and Tevin Coleman. Both of which now reside in San Francisco. The Falcons have a lot to prove this year, but with Matt Ryan at quarterback, the insanely talented Julio Jones catching passes, and Dan Quinn as head coach, it is easy to see this team being a challenge for whoever they face.
Week 16 – Los Angeles Rams
After splitting wins with the Rams in 2018, the 49ers will look to take on the 2018 Division Champs in Levi’s Stadium for their last home game of the regular season. The Rams have talent at every position on the field and throw a myriad of looks at you on both sides of the ball. Head coach Sean McVay brings a high energy offensive scheme, that keeps defenses on their heels and puts points on the board. This late season matchup could have playoff shifting potential for both teams, and could ultimately decide the fate of the NFC West.