The Seattle Seahawks 2016 schedule was released today, and unlike last year it looks to mostly be an advantageous one for the team.
Remember last year, when it appeared the NFL had an axe to grind with the Seahawks? There were those two tough road games to start the season, the majority of prime time games set for road trips, and seemingly every single opponent was either coming off their bye week or a long home stretch.
In short, the cards seemed stacked against the 2015 Hawks right out of the gate.
First glance at the just-released 2016 schedule, and things look much friendlier for Seattle. In fact, it’s hard to find much to gripe about. So while I’ll leave it up to Keith to focus on the most difficult challenges this schedule presents, allow me to point out what there is to like about it.
ONLY TWO 10:00am GAMES!
Please read that again, as it’s not a misprint. Indeed, the Seahawks are only scheduled for TWO games set to begin at the dreaded 10:00am PST. At the New York Jets in week #4, and at New Orleans in week #8. You can thank the Rams for this, as their move from St. Louis to Los Angeles eliminates one early start every year.
FIVE PRIME TIME GAMES
The Seahawks have only lost 2 primetime games under Pete Carroll, so it bodes well for them that they’ve been given five more this Fall. It’s not surprising, provided the number of marquee matchups on the docket. But the question wasn’t just how many they’d get, rather where they would be. It’s been assumed for a couple years, but NBC’s Al Michaels said it on the record last season; the league was penalizing the Hawks for being so good at CenturyLink Field, dolling out more primetime match ups on the road rather than at home to try and mitigate that advantage. This year, the pendulum swung back in their favor.
Here’s what the Seahawks primetime schedule looks like:
- October 23 – at Arizona (SNF)
- November 7 – Buffalo (MNF)
- November 13 – at New England (SNF)
- December 4 – Carolina (SNF)
- December 15 – Los Angeles Rams (TNF)
Early thought; those three Sunday Night Football matchups could very well tell the overall story of how successful 2016 is for this team.
SET UP FOR A GOOD START
Last year was a brutal hand dealt by the league; open at the former “house of horrors” known as the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, followed by a trip to Green Bay? The Hawks had chances to win both of those games, but back to back road games to start the season seemed an odd “reward” for the defending NFC champions. That 0-2 start was something that took a toll on the team and ultimately cost them a chance at a division title.
This year, they get to start out at home against a Miami Dolphins team with a new coach, and in complete roster rebuild mode. Anyone scared by the thought of Ryan Tannehill coming into CenturyLink Field to play his first game with a new playbook? Anyone?
That’s followed by a trip to see the Rams on the road, but this is not going to be your typical Rams team. They’ll be playing in a borrowed stadium, in a 1:00 PST game, on grass, presumably with a rookie QB under center after their trade up to the #1 pick in the draft earlier Wednesday. Not as scary as previous years, despite how good their front 7 is.
Week #3 sees the Hawks return home to play the 49ers, a team also in complete rebuild with a new coach, Chip Kelly, at the helm.
That’s two out of three at home to start the season, all against rebuilding teams, all in the pacific time zone. If that doesn’t help them get out to a fast start, it’s going to be a long season.
Unlike the last couple years, there are no long stretches of home or road games. In 2016, there are no instances of more than two home or away games being played consecutively.
PRIMED FOR STRETCH RUN
Although the string of games from weeks 13 to 16 looks daunting (a point I’m sure Keith will spend a great deal of time focusing on), three of the Hawks last five games will be at home. They’ll also be facing Carolina, Arizona and Green Bay over that same stretch, giving them an excellent opportunity to gain ground, or lock up seeding, against the other teams sure to be in divisional and conference battles with them at that time.
What do you think of the Seahawks schedule! Please leave your comments below, or hit us up on Twitter @12thman_rising, or me personally at @SeahawksForever.