2024 NFL Schedule

Cowherd believes 49ers got ‘little bit of a break' with 2024 schedule

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As some look at the 49ers' rest differential for the 2024 NFL season and believe the team got the short end of the stick, Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports 1 claims San Francisco lucked out with its schedule.

Cowherd said Thursday on "The Herd" that, despite the 49ers facing four teams coming off a bye, he considers them among three teams that got "a little bit of a break" when the 2024 schedule was released thanks to their early slate of opponents.

"People are lamenting what the Niners got. 'Oh, they face all these teams off a bye,' " Cowherd said. "Not every coach is great off a bye, the offensive coaches aren't. So, the Niners are a veteran team with a veteran head coach. This is a really, really smart team that can play on short rest. They're not rebuilding anything.

"They've got [Talanoa] Hufanga back at safety. They've got a couple of young receivers they'll work in, but they kept Deebo [Samuel], [George] Kittle, Trent Williams, [Brock] Purdy, [Christian McCaffrey], Brandon Aiyuk. They brought the band back together and look what they face until October 10 -- new, new, new, new, new, new."

Cowherd pointed out that the 49ers play the New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots to start the season, all of whom are rolling out new pieces to their games in some respect -- whether it be new quarterbacks, new offensive lines or, as Cowherd put it with New England, "new everything."

Additionally, Cowherd believes adjusting to life without Aaron Donald could be tough for the Los Angeles Rams when they face San Francisco early on, while the Seattle Seahawks will be playing under new coach Mike Macdonald.

"New, new, new, new, new, with a veteran, high-IQ offense, adaptable, against kids, young staffs, young O-lines, new O-lines, new defenses," Cowherd continued. "Very, very good start for the Niners, who don't need help because they're stacked."

In addition to the 49ers, Cowherd also listed the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers as the two other NFL teams he believes got off easy when it comes to scheduling.

San Francisco, favorable Super Bowl odds aside, enters the 2024 NFL season at a significant rest disadvantage compared to its opponents. The 49ers' minus-22 net rest differential for the 2024 campaign ranks third-worst in the NFL since 2002 (h/t ESPN) and marks two consecutive seasons where San Francisco got stuck with the worst rest differential in the league.

But in Cowherd's eyes, the 49ers have plenty to be thankful for with their scheduling and could go into their Week 9 bye riding high thanks to their veteran experience -- and their opponents' inexperience.

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