NFL schedule 2022: Ranking 49ers' best, worst road trips

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Ranking 49ers' best, worst road trips of 2022 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers have great schedule of away games, but there are a few that need to be prioritized at the top of your list.

There’s no denying that the 49ers Faithful give the team a home crowd atmosphere at most away venues. Planning ahead is imperative. Now that the 2022 NFL schedule has dropped, it’s time to start making reservations for the road trips that are not to be missed.

We rank all eight away games of the season as to which are the most must-see destinations:

8. Week 6 at the Atlanta Falcons, Oct. 16

Seeing a new stadium for the first time is always a draw, and this will be the 49ers' debut visit to the Falcons' Mercedes-Benz Stadium that opened in 2017. The Falcons added Marcus Mariota during the offseason and while that doesn’t necessarily create a national marquee matchup, it will still be a fun one for the Faithful.

Mariota has quite a few weapons at his disposal in tight end Kyle Pitts and newly drafted wideout Drake London. By the time the 49ers arrive in the "Peach State," the offense will have had time to build chemistry together.

There’s great food in Hotlanta, and the city is easy to navigate which will make it a great road trip.

7. Week 5 at the Carolina Panthers, Oct. 9

What’s not to love about a great matchup and amazing barbecue? Similar to the contest with Atlanta, the Panthers won’t garner a national NFL headline, but it will still be a great road trip. By mid-October the weather should be cooling off to a more comfortable climate.

Carolina is moving forward with Sam Darnold at the helm unless they procure a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo or Baker Mayfield, which could change the ranking to this trip. While the 49ers will be favored to win, no game is ever a gimme.

6. Week 3 at the Denver Broncos,  Sept. 25

The Broncos will be a tough matchup for the 49ers with longtime foe Russell Wilson and former teammates D.J. Jones and K’Waun Williams and Tom Compton on the other sideline.

This contest will take place under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football, which always adds a little extra juice. It is also the first of the 49ers' series with the stacked AFC West in 2022.

Denver offers a lot of outdoor activities for visitors including the Red Rocks Amphitheater. If there is a concert scheduled the same weekend, try to make it a doubleheader.


5. Week 15 at the Seattle Seahawks, Dec. 15


While Seattle is always a favorite destination for most of the 49ers beat writers, this year it is on a Thursday night well into December. The weather will likely be cold and damp, but there’s great coffee to warm you up as well as a bevy of craft breweries if that is your beverage of choice.

The 49ers' rivalry with the Seahawks might be dissipating as the club heads into 2022 with Geno Smith or Drew Lock at the helm, but receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are still on the roster along with safety Jamal Adams. The Pacific Northwest is always a great destination.

4. Week 17 at the Las Vegas Raiders, Jan. 1

This could be either at the very top of your list or the absolute bottom. The party crowd will love the opportunity to spend New Year’s Eve in Sin City, and others will detest the notion. This will be the 49ers' final AFC West matchup of the regular season and could be their toughest.

With the game scheduled for the final stretch of the season, Derek Carr, Davante Adams and Darren Waller will have gotten into a rhythm, potentially making them one of the more potent offenses in the league.

Off the field there will be no shortage of activities to choose from over the holiday weekend. Being in Vegas will make wagering on the team a breeze. The drawback will be the addition of even more revelers in the city than a normal away game, but the plus is that there will be no lack of people watching.

3. Week 8 at the Los Angeles Rams, Oct. 30

How red can the 49ers Faithful make SoFi Stadium? That is one of the top reasons to make the annual road trip to Los Angeles. While getting in and out of the facility is not an easy task, it is only a quick one-hour flight down to Southern California. In October, the weather will be perfect for a visit to the beach.

The matchup with the Rams is always a good one. This season, both of the club’s battles against its divisional opponent happen before the Week 9 bye. This is the perfect mid-season getaway for the Faithful.

2. Week 1 at the Chicago Bears, Sept. 11

A road trip to Chicago should always be at the top of your list. Great food and great sites in a city that is walkable and easy to get around. A trip to the Windy City in September is likely to have nice weather and offer fans an opportunity to get out and about in a city that has so much to offer.

Not only does this matchup with the Bears happen in a great destination, it will be a contest between two of the top picks of the 2021 NFL Draft in Trey Lance and Chicago’s quarterback Justin Fields.

As Matt Maiocco pointed out on our post-schedule release episode of 49ers Talk, the San Francisco Giants will be visiting the Chicago Cubs in the same weekend, which could provide a doubleheader weekend for Bay Area sports fans.

1. Week 11 at the Arizona Cardinals in Mexico City, Nov. 21

This is the 49ers' first international game since 2013 when they ran over the Jacksonville Jaguars 42-10. The club previously played the Cardinals in Mexico City in 2005 and lost 31-14.

This year’s south-of-the-border matchup will take place on the Monday night prior to Thanksgiving. The team could potentially practice in Colorado Springs prior to the game to adjust to the Mexico City altitude, which is 7,349 feet -- more than 2,000 feet higher than Denver.

This game is the first of the team’s two clashes against the Cardinals and Kyler Murray who have been a challenge for the 49ers' defense in the past. The contest could have huge divisional implications while being an exciting International destination. This is one road trip that is not to be missed.

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