<
>

Sando says: Tell me where to go

In past seasons I've solicited input before determining which upcoming NFC West games to attend. The periodic feature disappeared for stretches because there were times when only the Cardinals were participating in meaningful games.

The schedule makers have anointed the 49ers as the team to beat in 2010, giving them four prime-time games -- twice as many as the Cardinals commanded in their first season following Kurt Warner's retirement. Think Ken Whisenhunt might use this to his motivational advantage at various points between now and December?

Looking at the chart, it's pretty clear I'll be attending the 49ers-Seahawks game in Week 1 and the Saints-49ers game on ESPN in Week 2. With the Rams in Oakland also in Week 2, I might be able to double up on NFC West games that week.

I'll sketch out potential NFC West travel plans by week. Let me know which games you think deserve strongest consideration at this point.

  • Week 1: 49ers at Seahawks.

  • Week 2: Rams at Raiders on Sunday, Saints at 49ers on Monday

  • Week 3: Chargers at Seahawks

  • Week 4: Seahawks at Rams

  • Week 5: Saints at Cardinals

  • Week 6: Raiders at 49ers

  • Week 7: Cardinals at Seahawks

  • Week 8: TBD (49ers are in London)

  • Week 9: Cardinals at Vikings

  • Week 10: Seahawks at Cardinals

  • Week 11: Bucs at 49ers

  • Week 12: 49ers at Cardinals

  • Week 13: Rams at Cardinals

  • Week 14: Seahawks at 49ers

  • Week 15: 49ers at Chargers

  • Week 16: Cowboys at Cardinals

  • Week 17: Cardinals at 49ers

This would add up to eight Cardinals games, eight 49ers games, six Seahawks games and three Rams games, subject to change based on how the season plays out.

I generally favor division games over comparable or slightly better non-division games. Monday night games take priority because ESPN holds the rights and these are generally good matchups anyway. Sometimes I avoid Thursday night games because the late starts complicate postgame gathering efforts and because midweek travel disrupts my ability to carry out normal blogging duties.

2010 NFC West Schedules