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9. The 49ers’ Schedule

I’m not taking anything away from the 2011 49ers and head coach Jim Harbaugh (pictured). They won some tough games last season, including bouts with the Lions, Giants and Steelers. That playoff win over the Saints was tremendous. But they had a fairly manageable regular-season schedule in 2011. 2012? It’s no joke. Trips to Green Bay, New Orleans and New England are likely losses. Home games versus the Giants, Lions, Bills and Bears won’t be easy, either. And the NFC West is always a crapshoot. The 49ers return 11 defensive starters, but that road to New Orleans isn’t easy. - Peter Schrager (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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