The San Francisco 49ers
were able to turn around a disappointing 0-9 start to the season and finished the season 6-10 thanks to the team acquiring quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots
at the trade deadline.
Super Bowl Championships
1981 - XVI
1984 - XIX
1988 - XXIII
1989 - XXIV
1994 - XXIX
Garoppolo led the team to a 5-0 record in his five starts and has the 49ers and their fans excited about the future. His success with the team also improved the 49ers odds for next season.
By trading for Garoppolo with their second round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft
, the 49ers also don’t have to use their first round pick on a quarterback, allowing them to address other team needs.
Now that the 49ers appear to be trending upward, expect to see more of the team in prime time games after years of being relegated to afternoon games.
The 49ers enjoyed playing in front of a nationally televised prime time crowd when Jim Harbaugh was the head coach because of the success they had during his time in the Bay Area. Even after his final season with the team, which ended with an 8-8 record, the 49ers still appeared in four nationally televised prime time games a year later.
Since then, the 49ers have fallen off the map in terms of prime time games, and have appeared in only three prime time games, two of which were Thursday Night Football appearances which almost every team gets. And the only other appearance being a Monday Night Football game against the Los Angeles Rams
to open their 2016 season.
Despite having a 6-10 record this season, expect to see more of the 49ers in prime time. The television schedule for next season hasn’t been released yet, but thanks to their 5-0 finish with Garoppolo, the 49ers were the most talked about team that failed to make the playoffs.
With Garoppolo getting a full season to show what he can do and the 49ers history, it is a certainty that the network executives can’t pass on a chance to showcase the 49ers.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the potential prime time games featuring the 49ers.
This is probably the likeliest to happen for many reasons. The 49ers and Raiders
have a healthy disdain for each other, which already gives the game some legs. The fact that Jon Gruden will also be back coaching the Raiders means networks will try to have “Chucky” in prime time as much as possible, so why not against a hated rival?
The 49ers will play the Green Bay Packers on the road next season. Since both teams have a rivalry between them and Aaron Rodgers will be ready to go, it will be hard not to have this game in prime time.
The Rams won the NFC West this season, and the 49ers are expected to compete for the division next season, which makes this a game networks will likely want. The fact that both teams put on a show in their first meeting during the regular season also makes this an appealing game for the Networks, who would love to have a game featuring two young quarterbacks on the rise.