The team will open their pre-season on the road against quarterback Peyton Manning and the defending champion Colts, which is a bit unusual, considering that teams don't typically travel three time zones during the exhibition season. However, the schedule gets considerably more comfortable after that, with three straight games in the Bay Area.
The second game will be against the Vikings, and potentially Brett Favre, meaning that the Niners defense might get to work off the rust by facing Hall-of-Fame bound quarterbacks on successive weeks.
On the third week of pre-season the 49ers will travel across the bay to take on the Oakland Raiders (and perhaps another star quarterback in Donovan McNabb) before returning home to Candlestick the following week to wrap up the exhibition schedule against the San Diego Chargers.
Pre-season games are an interminable chore for everyone involved, whether it's players, coaches, reporters, or fans. We all just want to get through it as quick and painlessly as possible. At least this time around the 49ers will be playing some interesting clubs and won't have to travel a whole lot. In that sense, the season's off to a good start already.