The NFL released the preseason schedule on Thursday. Dates and times haven’t been announced for every game, but here’s a first look at the opponents for the San Francisco 49ers:
Week 1 (Aug. 11-15) vs. Houston Texans
Comment: Instead of playing the Bay Area rival Oakland Raiders in the preseason, because of fan violence in the stands and parking lot in recent meetings, the Niners seemingly have added the Texans to their exhibition mix. The question, then, is will Blaine Gabbert or Colin Kaepernick see a series or two against reigning NFL defensive player of the year J.J. Watt?
Week 2 (Aug. 18-22) at Denver Broncos
Comment: Speaking of Kaepernick, might he be at the helm of the defending Super Bowl champs come Week 2 of the preseason, or are we in Mark Sanchez territory? If it is indeed Kaepernick Time in the Mile High City, the Internet might break in Silicon Valley. Hey, remember, Blaine Gabbert is the last Niners QB to throw a TD pass in Denver.
Week 3 (Aug. 25-28) vs. Green Bay Packers
Comment: The last time the Niners had a chance to draft a quarterback from nearby Cal, they passed on Aaron Rodgers in favor of Alex Smith. Might Jared Goff be on the roster this time around? No matter, Rodgers, who has taken his share of losses from the Niners, will treat this as the dress rehearsal, as teams usually do in Week 3 of the preseason.
Week 4 (Sept. 1) at San Diego Chargers
Comment: Here we are, about to shut down the preseason and we haven’t even talked about Chip Kelly’s newfangled high-octane offense yet. Surely there will be some kinks to work out, and what better time than on the road against a familiar preseason opponent in the Bolts, who could be playing their final season in San Diego?