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NFL San Francisco 49ers

NFL Schedule Release: The San Francisco 49ers’ 5 Biggest Games of 2014

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NFL Schedule Release: The San Francisco 49ers' 5 Biggest Games of 2014

Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers
Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers will attempt to get back into the championship picture next season, but they must get through the fourth-hardest schedule in the NFL to do so. Here's a look at the 49ers' five biggest games of 2014.

5. Week 11 at New York Giants

Eli Manning
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

5. Week 11 at New York Giants

Eli Manning
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants left a bad taste in the mouths of the 49ers in each of Jim Harbaugh's first two seasons. Following a painful loss in the 2011 NFC Championship game, San Francisco was embarrassed at home in 2012 as the Giants cruised to a 26-3 win. San Francisco will be looking the make a statement when they travel to New York in Week 11.

4. Week 5 vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Alex Smith
Thearon W. Henderson-USA TODAY Sports

4. Week 5 vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Alex Smith
Thearon W. Henderson-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Smith will return home to the team that drafted him when the Kansas City Chiefs visit Levi's stadium in Week 5. There were some mixed reactions in the 49ers' locker room when Smith was benched in favor of Colin Kaepernick in 2012, and emotions will be running high when he squares off with his former team.

3. Week 7 at Denver Broncos

Broncos
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

3. Week 7 at Denver Broncos

Broncos
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

There are many who feel it should have been the 49ers who faced the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, but San Francisco fell short for various reasons. The 49ers will get the chance to show what they can do against Peyton Manning and his myriad of weapons when they travel to Denver on a Sunday night in Week 7.

2. Weeks 3 and 17 at/vs. Arizona Cardinals

cardinals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2. Weeks 3 and 17 at/vs. Arizona Cardinals

cardinals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Take away a Larry Fitzgerald fumble in the first matchup in 2013 as well as a last second field goal by Phil Dawson in the second, and it's the 49ers who would have been 10-6 and out of the playoffs. The teams were that evenly matched last season, and the games between the two franchises in 2014 could be just as important as any in the NFC West.

1. Weeks 13 and 15 vs./at Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

1. Weeks 13 and 15 vs./at Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the obvious choices for No. 1, as the 49ers will be looking to avenge last season's loss in the NFC Championship game by beating the division rival Seattle Seahawks. While both games hold significant importance, the 49ers have to prove to themselves that they can win at Seattle, as the team is 0-3 there since Kaepernick took over.