49ers coach Jim Harbaugh will coach against his former pupil, Andrew Luck, next year. (US Presswire)

After winning the NFC West title for the second year in a row, the San Francisco 49ers will be rewarded with another difficult schedule in 2013. After winning just half of their NFC West games, they’ll figure to see improved Seahawks and Rams teams along with a Cardinals team that will have a new coach. Coach Jim Harbaugh went as far as to label the division the best in football earlier this week.

Games outside the division feature several intriguing and challenging matchups. The last season at Candlestick Park will feature games against Atlanta, Carolina, Green Bay, Houston and Indianapolis. There are several compelling storylines, but perhaps none more so than the game against Indianapolis, which will pit Harbaugh against the quarterback he molded at Stanford, Andrew Luck.

A return to New Orleans, where the 49ers won once this year and hope to return for the Super Bowl, and trips to Washington and Tampa Bay highlight the road portion of the schedule.

49ers 2013 schedule

Home: Arizona, St. Louis, Seattle, Atlanta, Carolina, Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis

Away: Arizona, St. Louis, Seattle, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Washington, Jacksonville, Tennessee

Follow 49ers reporter Kyle Bonagura on Twitter @CBS49ers and @KyleBonagura.