NFL kickoff 2023: Week-by-week look at SF 49ers’ schedule

The 49ers begin their quest to return to the Super Bowl on Sunday against the Steelers in Pittsburgh

Here is a week-by-week breakdown of the 49ers’ 2023 schedule, as the defending NFC West champions and two-time NFC runner-up:

Sunday, September 10 (10 a.m., FOX) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have won the Lombardi Trophy six times, a feat that the 49ers hope to match by the end of the season at Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The 49ers last opened the season in Pittsburgh in 1993, winning 24-13.

Sunday, September 17 (1:05 p.m., FOX) vs. Los Angeles Rams

Although it is technically the Rams’ home opener, the 49ers faithful have surpassed SoFi Stadium since its inception in 2020. Since 2019, the 49ers have swept the home-and-away series.

Thursday, September 21 (5:15 p.m., Prime Video) at New York Giants

The 49ers make their debut at Levi’s Stadium, and they do so during prime time. Coach Kyle Shanahan has led them to a 12-11 record under the lights since 2017. This includes a Week 3 home loss to Green Bay in 2021.

Sunday, October 1 (1:25 p.m., FOX) at Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals are coming off a 13-loss season for the first time since 2018, when they were coached by Steve Wilks, who has taken over as defensive coordinator for the 49ers this season after DeMeco Ryans was fired.

NBC, Sunday, Oct. 8 (5:20 p.m.) vs. Dallas Cowboys

It’s been 40 years since the 49ers defeated the Cowboys in prime time (42-17), and nine months since the Niners defeated the Cowboys in the divisional playoffs (19-12).

Sunday, Oct. 15 (FOX) at Cleveland Browns

The 49ers visit Cleveland for the first time since 2015. This is the second of four 10 a.m. PT kickoffs scheduled for the 49ers this season.

Monday, Oct. 23 (5:15 p.m. ET on ESPN) vs. Minnesota Vikings

The 49ers have won the most “Monday Night Football” games (52). They have, however, lost their last six visits to Minneapolis.

Sunday, October 29 (1:25 p.m., CBS) at Cincinnati Bengals

The 49ers can’t afford to look ahead to their bye week, especially with the AFC contenders returning from their bye week and making only their second visit to Levi’s Stadium.

Bye, November 5

With only four remaining home games and three of the next four on the road, a midseason break is in order.

Sunday, November 12 (10 a.m., FOX) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Shanahan’s 49ers are 3-3 following their regular-season bye. The Jaguars, who are also coming off a bye week, haven’t had a winning record entering Week 10 since 2017.

Sunday, November 19 (1:05 p.m., FOX) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Even with Tom Brady, the Buccaneers lost 35-7 at Levi’s Stadium last season. The 49ers’ defenders are unlikely to seek autographs on the footballs they intercept this game from whoever Brady replaces.

Thursday, November 23 (5:20 p.m., NBC) versus the Seattle Seahawks

The Niners can flip the script nine years after being embarrassed at home by the Seahawks on Thanksgiving Night in 2014. This is the first meeting between the NFC West rivals since the 49ers won all three games last year, including a comeback win in the NFC wild-card game.

Sunday, December 3 (1:25 p.m., FOX) vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The 49ers will almost certainly have three quarterbacks available in their return to Philadelphia, where Brock Purdy (elbow) and Josh Johnson (concussion) were injured in last season’s NFC Championship Game loss to the Eagles. Keep an eye on ex-Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave against the Eagles’ offensive line.

Sunday, December 10th (1:05 p.m., FOX) vs. Seattle Seahawks

Remember, the 49ers trailed the Seahawks 17-16 at halftime before rallying to win the wild-card game at Levi’s Stadium in January.

Sunday, December 17 (1:05 p.m., CBS) vs. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals are the 49ers’ fourth opponent after a bye week. Last year’s opponents probably wished their bye week came the week after playing the 49ers because they went 0-15 after those physical battles.

Monday, December 25 (5:15 p.m., ABC) versus the Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens put up the Lombardi Trophy for the 2012 season! No, not at all. It’s been a decade since these teams’ Super Bowl blackout at the Superdome in New Orleans.

Sunday, December 31 (10 a.m., FOX) at the Washington Commanders

There’s no better way for the 49ers to ring in the New Year than by doing what their 2019 Super Bowl-bound team did at FedEx Field: winning, then celebrating with belly slides on the sloppy field.

Saturday/Sunday, January 6/7 (time/TV to be determined) vs. Los Angeles Rams

The 49ers will rest the majority of their starters because they will have clinched the NFC’s top seed by kickoff, right? When facing the Rams to end the regular season, the 49ers are 6-0 since 2009.

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