49ers' 2015 schedule announced

The 49ers will have the third-toughest schedule in the NFL in 2015, based on the results from last season. The schedule was announced Tuesday afternoon.

49ers 2015 Regular Season Schedule (times PST)

Week 1, September 14 (Monday)

VS. Minnesota Vikings
7:20 p.m., ESPN
Levi's Stadium

The 49ers will take on the Vikings for the first time since losing in Minnesota in September 2012 when Christian Ponder threw for two touchdowns and ran for one more in a 24-13 win. It will be a 9:20 p.m. local start in Minneapolis for the Vikings as the second game of the customary opening of Monday Night Football. The biggest question: will Adrian Peterson be playing for the Purple People Eaters?

Week 2, September 20 (Sunday)

@ Pittsburgh Steelers
10:00 a.m., FOX
Heinz Field

The 49ers will have a short week to travel across the country and take on Big Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. The last time these two teams played in 2011, Aldon Smith finished with 2.5 sacks in a memorable Monday Night performance that also featured the power going out at Candlestick Park. San Francisco won that game 20-3. It will be a homecoming of sorts for the 49ers' new head coach. Heinz field is just eight miles from Jim Tomsula's hometown of Homestead, PA.

Week 3, September 27 (Sunday)

@ Arizona Cardinals
1:05 p.m., FOX
University of Phoenix Stadium

Coming off a disappointing one-and-done outing in last year's playoffs, the Cardinals will continue to be a tough divisional opponent for the 49ers. In 2014, the 49ers went to Glendale in Week 3 and suffered their second straight defeat while trying to spread the Cardinals thin by utilizing four and five-receiver sets while the tight end position was plagued by injuries. The offense will likely have a different look this time, as will Arizona's defense that lost coordinator Todd Bowles to the head coaching job of the New York Jets.

Week 4, October 4 (Sunday)

VS. Green Bay Packers
1.25 p.m., FOX
Levi's Stadium

Somehow, Aaron Rodgers has lost his last four meetings with the 49ers, including two season openers and two playoff games. The 49ers no longer have defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, whose simplified scheme made it tough for Rodgers to find open throwing lanes. And coming off that horrific loss in the conference championship game in Seattle, Rodgers will be on a war path in 2015.

Week 5, October 11 (Sunday)

@ New York Giants
5:30 p.m., NBC
MetLife Stadium

Last year, Chris Borland's two interceptions highlighted a five-pick performance of Eli Manning by San Francisco's makeshift defense in East Rutherford. The Giants will look to rebound after missing the playoffs last year despite rookie Odell Beckham Jr.'s incredible rookie season. The 49ers might need this win badly after playing three straight games against 2014 playoff teams before their trip to New York.

Week 6, October 18 (Sunday)

VS. Baltimore Ravens
1:25 p.m., CBS
Levi's Stadium

This will be the first meaningful match up between Super Bowl 47 participants, after the 49ers played in Baltimore during the preseason last year and stuck around for a weekend of joint training camp practices. There are whispers that the weekend of practices between Jim Harbaugh and his brother John's team irked some of San Francisco's veterans, who might have had the weekend off under normal circumstances.

Week 7, October 22 (Thursday)

VS. Seattle Seahawks
5:25 p.m., NFL Network
Levi's Stadium

For the second straight year, the 49ers will play their most hated rival on a Thursday night at Levi's Stadium. Last year's Thanksgiving match up culminating in CEO Jed York's infamous apology Tweet was a landmark night for the disappointing season. After a rough stretch starting in Week 2 of this year's schedule, York might have his phone ready for a repeat performance. Getting the Seahawks on a short week following a game against the Ravens is a tough break.

Week 8, November 1 (Sunday)

@ St. Louis Rams
10:00 a.m., FOX
Edward Jones Dome

The Rams' defense continues to get better while the offense turned in constantly-injured Sam Bradford for Nick Foles. The Rams were responsible for one of the 49ers' most damning losses of 2014, when Colin Kaepernick fumbled away a quarterback sneak at the goal line in the game's final seconds in a game San Francisco had to have. St. Louis' defensive line boasts five former first-round picks with the free-agent addition of Nick Fairley, which means San Francisco's offensive line will continue to get tested in the NFC West.

Week 9, November 8 (Sunday)

VS. Atlanta Falcons
1:05 p.m., FOX
Levi's Stadium

A rematch of the conference championship game in January 2013 when Frank Gore's Dirty Bird dance ended the title hopes for the Dirty Birds. These teams are vastly different, starting at the top with first-year head coaches. For the Falcons, they will bring in former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who will likely have a good plan for Kaepernick and Co.

Week 10


Week 11, November 22 (Sunday)

@ Seattle Seahawks
1:25 p.m., FOX
CenturyLink Field

You can consider a trip to Seattle following the bye week a break for San Francisco, who had to face the Seahawks twice in 17 days at the end of the 2014 regular season. The 49ers will be looking to win their first game at CenturyLink since Alex Smith was at quarterback, which is starting to feel like a really, really long time ago.

Week 12, November 29 (Sunday)

VS. Arizona Cardinals
1:05 p.m., FOX
Levi's Stadium

The 49ers were able to take a win over the Cardinals in Jim Harbaugh's final game as head coach in the season finale last season thanks, mostly, to Frank Gore. But the Cardinals weren't exactly in their peak form with Ryan Lindley starting at quarterback. Arizona is hoping to have Carson Palmer around this time throwing to that talented group of receivers.

Week 13, December 6 (Sunday)

@ Chicago Bears
10:00 a.m., FOX
Soldier Field

There's no doubt this will be the Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell game, who were forced off the 49ers coaching staff after the front office elected to go with Tomsula as head coach. Fangio won't forget being passed over after players were vocal about wanting their defensive coordinator to return. Fangio still wants a head coaching job at some point down the road. Turning around that dreadful 2014 Bears defense this season will be another bullet point on his impressive resume. And he would love nothing more than his defense pulling out a win over Tomsula and the 49ers.

Week 14, December 13 (Sunday)

@ Cleveland Browns
10:00 a.m., FOX
FirstEnergy Stadium

You never know what you're going to get from the Browns. They continuously find themselves talented enough to win games, but inexperienced enough to lose more. There's a big question under center, with the answer likely gaining clarity after the upcoming draft. Will they cut bait with Johnny Football and make a move for Marcus Mariota? Also, the 49ers might stay in Youngstown, Ohio leading up to this game after playing in Chicago the week prior.

Week 15, December 20 (Sunday)

VS. Cincinnati Bengals
5:30 p.m., NBC
Levi's Stadium

Another talented playoff team will come into Levi's Stadium looking to make the postseason for the sixth time in the last seven years. It will be Marvin Lewis' 13th year as head coach in Cincy, which could mean there's a lot on the line when these two teams play should the Bengals finish on the outside of the playoff race.

Week 16, December 27 (Sunday)

@ Detroit Lions
10:00 a.m., FOX
Ford Field

The Lions went 11-5 last season and 7-1 at home. With an offense featuring Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate and some reinforcements coming in the form of draft picks, they won't likely be an easy team to play at this point in the season. And after that heartbreaking playoff loss in Dallas, Detroit could be a team on the rise in 2015.

Week 17, January 3 (Sunday)

VS. St. Louis Rams
1:25 p.m., FOX
Levi's Stadium

The 49ers will finish with a home game against a divisional opponent yet again. There were a number of memorable story lines before and after last year's season finale, starting with Frank Gore and ending with Harbaugh. What will 2015's season finale hold?

Preseason Schedule

Week 1 (Aug. 13-17)

@ Houston Texans
NRG Stadium

Week 2 (Aug. 20-24)

VS. Dallas Cowboys
Levi's Stadium

Week 3 (Aug. 27-30)

@ Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field

Week 4 (Sept. 3-4)

VS. San Diego Chargers
Levi's Stadium

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