The 49ers ended the 2017 season winning their final five games, all with Jimmy Garoppolo as their starting quarterback. With Garoppolo entering his first full season in San Francisco, there's plenty of hope for that success to carry over into the team's 2018 schedule.
Beyond their six-game NFC West slate, the Niners also face the NFC North and AFC West. They have a good chance to improve by several games in Kyle Shanahan's second season as head coach after rallying to finish 6-10 last season.
Here's a look at all 16 games on the Niners' schedule and whether they're set up to make a big move up the standings.
49ers schedule 2018
49ers regular-season schedule
|Date||Opponent||Kickoff time||TV network|
|Sept. 9||at Minnesota Vikings||1 p.m.||(FOX)|
|Sept. 16||vs. Detroit Lions||4:05 p.m.||(FOX)|
|Sept. 23||at Kansas City Chiefs||1 p.m.||(FOX)|
|Sept. 30||at Los Angeles Chargers||4:05 p.m.||(CBS)|
|Oct. 7||vs. Arizona Cardinals||4:05 p.m.||(FOX)|
|Oct. 15||at Green Bay Packers||8:15 p.m.||(ESPN)|
|Oct. 21||vs. Los Angeles Rams||8:20 p.m.||(NBC)|
|Oct. 28||at Arizona Cardinals||4:05 p.m.||(FOX)|
|Nov. 1||vs. Oakland Raiders||8:20 p.m.||(FOX/NFLN)|
|Nov. 12||vs. New York Giants||8:15 p.m.||(ESPN)|
|Nov. 25||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1 p.m.||(FOX)|
|Dec. 2||at Seattle Seahawks||8:20 p.m.||(NBC)|
|Dec. 9||vs. Denver Broncos||4:05 p.m.||(CBS)|
|Dec. 16||vs. Seattle Seahawks||4:05 p.m.||(FOX)|
|Dec. 23||vs. Chicago Bears||4:05 p.m.||(FOX)|
|Dec. 30||at Los Angeles Rams||4:05 p.m.||(FOX)|
49ers preseason schedule
|Week 2||at Houston|
|Week 3||at Indianapolis|
|Week 4||vs. Los Angeles Chargers|
MORE 2018 NFL SCHEDULES:
Five preseason games worth watching
Nov. 18 BYE
Toughest tests: The Niners face a brutal road schedule outside of the NFC West, as the Chiefs and Chargers, as well as the Packers and Vikings, figure to be the two best teams in their respective divisions. Tampa Bay also makes for a long trip from San Francisco Bay. The degree of difficulty will be raised for Garoppolo, who's 7-0 in the NFL as a starter, with duels against Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Kirk Cousins.
Biggest breaks: The 49ers have a good home schedule. They will be a lot better than last year's 3-5 at Levi's Stadium while facing a slew of sub-.500 opponents from last season. That will be San Francisco's boon as it tries to make a surprise run to the playoffs.
Bottom line: Garoppolo already has proved to be a game-changer for the 49ers, and momentum has proved a key factor in projecting near-future results. The 49ers will live up to being a buzz-worthy team by taking advantage of a favorable schedule, putting them in the wild-card conversation in the top-heavy NFC. Record prediction: 10-6