The Seahawks 2016 schedule was announced Thursday, and for just the sixth time since 2000, Seattle will open its season at CenturyLink Field, hosting the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 11.
You can see the full schedule here, but let's take a look at a few things that stand out about Seattle's 2016 schedule.
1. Primetime at CenturyLink Field.
As has been the case in recent years, the Seahawks play several games in primetime, but this season three of Seattle's five night games are at home for the first time since 2006. Seattle will host Buffalo in Week 9 on Monday Night Football, Carolina in Week 13 on Sunday night, and the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14 on Thursday Night Football. Both of Seattle's road primetime games are intriguing matchups, with Seattle playing at 2015 NFC West champion Arizona in Week 7, and at New England in Week 10, with both games airing on NBC's Sunday Night Football.
Seattle's five primetime games matches the most in franchise history, having last occurred in 2006. The Seahawks were initially scheduled to play five primetime games last year as well, but their Week 14 game at Baltimore was flexed out of the Sunday night slot.
2. The bye week comes early.
If you're looking for a potential negative on this year's schedule, look no further than a Week 5 bye. By getting their break that early, the Seahawks will play 12 regular season games in 12 weeks to end their season, and a deep playoff run would obviously mean even more games without a break unless Seattle earned a first-round bye.
Mitigating that at least somewhat will be a Week 15 Thursday night game. While Thursday games always mean a tough turnaround that week, the tradeoff is a "mini bye," so to speak, coming out of that game.
3. Minimal early kickoffs.
It has been normal in years past for the Seahawks to play four or five games at 10 a.m. PT, and while Seahawks coach Pete Carroll refuses to let his team use that as an excuse, it can be taxing on players to have to start their game-day significantly earlier than usual. This season, however, the Seahawks play in the early time slot just twice, their Week 4 game at the New York Jets and their Week 8 game at New Orleans.
4. There are no long stretches of home or road games.
At one point last season, the Seahawks played three of four games on the road, then followed that with three straight at home, followed by two in a row on the road. This season, however, the Seahawks alternate home and road games almost evenly throughout the season. The Seahawks' only consecutive road games come in Weeks 7 and 8 when they travel to Arizona and New Orleans, and their only back-to-back home games come in Weeks 15 and 16 against Los Angeles and Arizona. As has been the case in recent years, the NFL is back-loading teams' schedules with divisional games, which for the Seahawks means finishing against the Rams, Cardinals and 49ers.
5. Pete Carroll's return to Los Angeles comes early.
With the Rams relocating from St. Louis to Los Angeles for the 2016 season, that means a homecoming of sorts for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who coached the USC Trojans for nine seasons before coming to Seattle in 2010. The Rams aren't just in L.A., but also playing at USC's home stadium, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, until they open their own stadium in 2019. And if the game needed any more hype surrounding it, this is also the Rams' home opener.
Carroll won't have to wait long for his return to L.A., because Seattle plays there in Week 2. That game could potentially have added intrigue if the Rams are breaking in a new rookie quarterback early in the season. Los Angeles made a blockbuster trade Thursday with Tennessee to acquire the No. 1 overall pick, likely in order to draft a quarterback. If the Rams do indeed pick a quarterback at No. 1 overall, and if that player ends up the starter to open the season, an early-season test against one of the league's top defenses would make for an intriguing matchup.
|Week #||Date||Opponent||Time (PT)||TV Station||Tickets|
|Pre. 1||Aug. 13||at Kansas City Chiefs||1:30 PM||Q13 FOX|
|Pre. 2||Aug. 18||Minnesota Vikings||7:00 PM||Q13 FOX||Buy Tickets|
|Pre. 3||Aug. 25||Dallas Cowboys||7:00 PM||Q13 FOX||Buy Tickets|
|Pre. 4||Sept. 1||at Oakland Raiders||TBD||Q13 FOX|
|1||Sept. 11||Miami Dolphins||1:05 PM||CBS||Buy Tickets|
|2||Sept. 18||at Los Angeles Rams||
|3||Sept 25||San Francisco 49ers||
|4||Oct. 2||at New York Jets||10:00 AM||FOX|
|6||Oct. 16||Atlanta Falcons||
|7||Oct. 23||at Arizona Cardinals||5:30 PM||NBC|
|8||Oct. 30||at New Orleans Saints||10:00 AM||FOX|
|9||Nov. 7 (Mon)||Buffalo Bills||5:30 PM||ESPN||Buy Tickets|
|10||Nov. 13||at New England Patriots||5:30 PM||NBC|
|11||Nov. 20||Philadelphia Eagles||1:25 PM||CBS||Buy Tickets|
|12||Nov. 27||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1:05 PM||FOX|
|13||Dec. 4||Carolina Panthers||5:30 PM||NBC||Buy Tickets|
|14||Dec. 11||at Green Bay Packers||
|15||Dec. 15 (Thu)||Los Angeles Rams||5:25 PM||NBC/NFLN/Twitter||Buy Tickets|
|16||Dec. 24 (Sat)||Arizona Cardinals||
|17||Jan. 1||at San Francisco 49ers||