Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) celebrates his touchdown with teammates against the Denver Broncos during the fourth quarter in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL schedule: Week 4 bye means long, grueling season ahead for Seahawks

The bye week is supposed to be beneficial to an NFL team.

It’s supposed to be an opportunity for team’s to rest and recover as a sort of halftime in the middle of a grueling 16 game season.

However, for teams that have that bye week early in the season, like the Seahawks in 2014, the bye could be more harmful than helpful.

Next year, Seattle will host the Green Bay Packers, then travel to Southern California to take on the San Diego Chargers and then host a rematch of Super Bowl XLVIII at CenturyLink Field against the Denver Broncos.

Following those three games, the Seahawks get their bye week, in Week 4, the last weekend of September. Seattle hasn’t had a Week 4 bye since 2008 and the past two seasons, their bye week has been either Week 11 or Week 12.

Last season, the bye week helped the Seahawks, allowing them to recover while getting an extra week to prepare for the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.

On the flip side, a Week 4 bye poses a tough physical challenge, especially for a team that has as difficult a schedule as the Seahawks.

Due to the early bye, the Seahawks will play every weekend between Oct. 6 and Dec. 28 without the benefit of a breather.

And unless they get one of the top two seeds in the NFC and earn a first round bye in the postseason, they could play all the way through the NFC Championship game without getting a breather. Without getting a week off since last September.

Anything less than a 2-seed means the Seahawks would play from Oct. 6 to Jan. 19 without a single week off.

This makes getting a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the playoffs that much more important for the Seahawks.

Seattle will be pushing their fitness to the limit this season and with a tough and long schedule ahead of them, no one can say they had an easy road back to the Super Bowl, when they get there.

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