Countdown to first snap of NFL season begins 

The San Francisco 49ers will open their 2012 preseason schedule on Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. at home against the Minnesota Vikings, the club announced. Preseason opponents had previously been announced, but exact dates and times weren’t disclosed until Monday.

The Niners hit the road for games against Houston at 5 p.m. on Aug. 18 and at Denver at 1 p.m. on Aug. 26, before closing the preseason at home against San Diego at 7:05 p.m. on Aug. 30.

The game at Denver will be televised nationally on Fox, while the other three will be on KPIX (Ch. 5).

Across the Bay, the Raiders will begin the 53rd season in franchise history with a nationally televised game on ESPN at home against Dallas at 5 p.m. on Aug. 13. Their other preseason home game will be against Detroit at 4 p.m. on Aug. 25. They will play at Arizona the week of Aug. 16-20 and at Seattle at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30. The NFL will announced regular-season schedules at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

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