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2020 NFL schedule: Three 49ers games to circle

Editor's note: is breaking down all 32 team schedules for the 2020 season. Here are the three games San Francisco 49ers fans should circle on their calendars this fall:

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers, Week 17, Jan. 3, 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX)

One of the best rivalries of the past decade is back and could make for a memorable regular-season finale. Last year it decided how the NFC west was won. After losing at home to the Seahawks on a last-second field goal in overtime, the 49ers returned the favor in Seattle by taking the last game of the regular season with a last-second stop at the 1-inch line, earning the NFC's No. 1 seed in the process. Nothing is promised in what was the toughest division in football last year, but these two have combined to claim the top spot in seven of the past 10 seasons (and went on to win at least one playoff game thereafter). The stage is set for both to vie for the division crown again, making their two meetings that much more important. San Francisco might need to win at home after just breaking a seven-year losing streak in Seattle.

San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys, Week 15, Dec. 20, Sunday Night Football, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Their longtime rivalry has been dormant for a while now. They don't play often, and they strangely haven't been good at the same time since the 1990s. The last time both finished with a winning record was 1998. Maybe that streak is broken in 2020. Interestingly, Kyle Shanahan the coordinator typically got the best of Mike McCarthy-led teams, winning four of five meetings. Dallas, meanwhile, has won five of the past six encounters with San Francisco. The two have met just once at AT&T Stadium (2014), the 49ers' only win in the series since 2002. A December prime-time trip to Arlington will be welcomed by a Niners team traveling to the East Coast four times this season.

San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints, Week 10, Nov. 15, 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX)

The former division foes have gotten reacquainted in recent years. This will be their seventh meeting since clashing in the playoffs eight years ago. Because of a scheduling quirk, 2020 marks the fifth time in six games they'll square off in New Orleans. Their 2019 showdown, a 48-46 49ers win, was arguably the best game of the season. While New Orleans didn't make it to Championship Sunday as anticipated, both teams are expected to be title contenders once again. Moreover, Shanahan and Sean Payton typically bring out the best in one another. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders signing with the Saints this offseason after a Super Bowl run in San Francisco adds another wrinkle.

Check out the full 49ers schedule below (all times Eastern):

Sept. 13 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Sept. 20 at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Sept. 27. at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Oct. 4 vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Oct. 11 vs. Miami Dolphins, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Oct. 18 vs. Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Oct. 25 at New England Patriots, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Nov. 1 at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Nov. 5 vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon
Nov. 15 at New Orleans Saints, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Nov. 19 -- BYE
Nov. 29 at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Dec. 7 vs. Buffalo Bills, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Dec. 13 vs. Washington Redskins, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Dec. 20 at Dallas Cowboys
, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Dec. 26 or 27 at Arizona Cardinals, TBD (TBD)
Jan. 3 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

  • Sunday night games in Weeks 5-16 subject to change; Week 17 game TBD
    **NFL Network and Amazon simulcast subject to change
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