Preseason opener set for August 13

The 49ers have learned the dates and times of their exhibition schedule this summer, which will begin with their annual neighborhood rivalry clash with the Oakland Raiders at Monster Park in San Francisco for the third consecutive year.

The Niners and Raiders will meet at 7 p.m. on August 13 in San Francisco, where Oakland prevailed in a wild 33-30 preseason opener for both teams on Aug. 14 of last year. The 49ers beat the Raiders 14-10 with a last-minute touchdown drive on Aug. 14, 2003, and have won six of the last eight preseason matchups with their rivals across the bay.

San Francisco's other three preseason games are against AFC teams – two of them familiar summer opponents and one of them not.

After kicking off the Mike Nolan era against the Raiders, the 49ers will travel to Denver on Aug. 20 for a 6 p.m. matchup that will be their 31st preseason meeting with the Broncos. In their last trip to Invesco Field in 2002, the 49ers left town with a 12-7 victory, ending a six-game slide against Denver in preseason games that dates back to 1994. That streak has given Denver a 16-14 lead in the summer series between the teams.

Six days later, San Francisco is back at home for a 7 p.m. start in its first-ever preseason game with the Tennessee Titans since that franchise relocated from Houston. The Niners played the Titans' predecessors – the Houston Oilers – only once in the preseason, losing 17-3 in Houston in 1977.

The 49ers complete the 2005 preseason in the same place they did last year – with a Sept. 1 trip to San Diego, where the Chargers dumped San Francisco last year to complete the Niners' first winless preseason since 1974. The Chargers are San Francisco's most familiar exhibition opponent and this will be the 18th consecutive summer the West Coast teams have met. San Diego holds an 18-15 lead in the series.

The Niners will look to bounce back from last year's preseason effort that was outdone in ignominy only by the preseasons of 1974 (0-6), 1969 (0-6), 1966 (0-5) and 1963 (0-5). It was the first time the 49ers hadn't won at least one preseason game since the NFL went to a standard four-game preseason schedule in 1978, and it set the tone for the 2-14 regular season that would follow.

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