The 49ers will turn the ignition on their first 17-game regular season with a trip to the Motor City.
The 49ers are set to open the season against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, Sept. 12, at Ford Field, the NFL announced Wednesday morning. The game will kick off at 10 a.m. (PT).
Coincidentally, both previous times the 49ers opened the regular season in Detroit, they went on to win a Super Bowl that season.
The 49ers opened the 1981 season with a 24-17 loss to the Lions. It was one of just three losses for the team that season. After defeating the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game, the 49ers returned to the Pontiac Silverdome, where they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-21, in Super Bowl XVI. It was the organization's first Super Bowl title.
In 1984, the 49ers beat the Lions. 30-27, to open the season. Bill Walsh’s team finished the regular season with a 15-1 record and capped the year with a 38-16 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX at Stanford Stadium.
The NFL will announce the league's entire slate of games on Wednesday at 5 p.m. The league’s TV broadcast partners got a head start as they unveiled their Week 1 matchups for the 2021 season in the morning. The NFL expanded the regular season this year to 17 games.
The 49ers’ schedule features home games against Green Bay, Minnesota, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Houston, and NFC West opponents Arizona, the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle.
In addition to the Week 1 trip to Detroit, the 49ers’ other road games are at Philadelphia, Chicago, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Cincinnati, as well as Arizona, the Rams and Seattle.
The 49ers and Lions have previously met four times in Week 1 of the NFL season. The first two meetings were at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. The 49ers beat the Lions, 17-3, in 1952, and the Lions were 26-17 winners in the 1964 opening-week matchup.
This season’s game will mark a new era in Detroit under first-year head coach Dan Campbell and newly acquired quarterback Jared Goff, formerly of the Los Angeles Rams.
Matthew Stafford, who started the previous 12 season openers for the Lions, is now the Rams’ quarterback.
The 49ers will eventually make their own switch at quarterback after selecting Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick. The organization is not putting pressure on Lance to take over for Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 1, however.
Garoppolo is expected to open the season as the starter. And 49ers CEO Jed York told NBC Sports Bay Area he is comfortable with Garoppolo holding onto the starting job the next two seasons.
The 49ers lead the all-time head-to-head series 38-28-1. The Lions are 18-14 when playing at home against the 49ers.