2021 NFL schedule: Three 49ers games for fans to circle

Editor's note: NFL.com is breaking down all 32 team schedules for the 2021 season. Here are the three games San Francisco 49ers fans should circle on their calendars this fall:

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears, Week 8, Oct. 31, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

After trading three first rounders for the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, the 49ers faced a bigger decision: Trey Lance, Justin Fields or Mac Jones? Choosing Lance opened the door for the Bears to move up nine spots themselves and nab Fields at No. 11. This game might be San Francisco's first of many clashes with Fields, if not between the rookie quarterbacks. Lance's path to becoming QB1 isn't as clear given his lack of experience coupled with the presence of Jimmy Garoppolo. Fields, however, could be Chicago's starter by September. It's going to take a few years before we know whether the Niners made the right call, but the buzz will be palpable if either newcomer takes the field in this one.

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers, Week 3, Sept. 26, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

As you might have heard, Aaron Rodgers grew up in the Bay as a 49ers fan and San Francisco passed on him with the first pick of the 2005 draft. Rodgers then went on to become one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time -- while Alex Smith didn't -- yet his Packers have fallen to the Niners in the playoffs all three times he's faced them. Just last month, Kyle Shanahan checked in with old buddy and current Pack coach Matt LaFleur before the draft to see if a Rodgers swap was possible amid his reported discontent with Green Bay and purported interest in playing for his childhood team. LaFleur said no, the Niners drafted Lance to be their future franchise QB and the rest is … still uncertain.

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks, Week 13, Dec. 5, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

The Seahawks are still that team for the 49ers. The drama started at the beginning of last decade but has picked up the past two years. San Francisco was the league's last unbeaten team in 2019 when it lost a thriller to Seattle in overtime. Their second meeting that year was even better, with the 49ers prevailing by an inch to claim the division crown and conference's No. 1 seed. Last year, the Niners had a winning record heading into their first bout with Seattle, only to fall into a tailspin as Jimmy G suffered a season-ending injury. The Seahawks also rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter of another Week 17 clash. On paper, the two teams look much closer than the six games that separated them in 2020. On the field, they're seldom far apart.

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

Sept. 12 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Sept. 19 at Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Sept. 26 vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Oct. 3 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 10 at Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 17 -- BYE

Oct. 24 vs. Indianapolis Colts, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)*

Oct. 31 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Nov. 7 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Nov. 15 vs. Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Nov. 21 at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Nov. 28 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Dec. 5 at Seattle Seahawks, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)*

Dec. 12 at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Dec. 19 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)

Dec. 23 at Tennessee Titans, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network)

Jan. 2 vs. Houston Texans, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)

Jan. 9 at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

*Sunday night games in Weeks 5-17 subject to change; Week 18 game TBD

**NFL Network and Amazon simulcast subject to change

The 2021 schedule is being revealed today. Purchase your tickets to see the action live, here.

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