The 2017 schedule was released Thursday evening. The slate for the Seahawks is one which offers up a few Primetime opportunities, one ‘early’ start and a Christmas trip to Texas. Here we will break it down game by game.
Week 1: @ Green Bay Packers (1.25pm PT on FOX)
The 2017 schedule starts off with a pop as the Seahawks again travel to Green Bay. In 2016 the trip came as the calendar flipped over to December. On that night the Packers ran riot in a way that was historically rare.
The Seahawks have not won in Green Bay since 1999- their only win- in what was Mike Holmgren’s first year as coach. Ending that run will be a ideal start to the 2017 season.
It is also just the second time the teams have faced off to open the season. The other coming as the ‘Season Opener’ following the Superbowl 48 triumph. That one resulting in a comfortable Seahawks win on primetime.
This year though, the Packers come into the season with Martellus Bennett added to the potent offense, the as yet dodged Bennett Bowl surely one of the funner aspects to this opener. But for Seattle, getting this trip on the card early is a small bonus to start the year. One of the big matchups of the opening weekend.
Week 2: vs San Francisco 49ers (1:25pm PT on FOX)
The first NFC West divisional game of the year comes at home against the 49ers. What this matchup brings in 2017 is yet to be fully determined with the 49ers likely to find their next starting QB in next weeks draft.
But this is a matchup which has lost its luster in recent years. A talent void along with coaching strife for the 49ers has seen them drop from the league’s top to the basement in just a few years. In 2017 with new head coach Kyle Shanahan on the headset and General Manager John Lynch in the executive suite. The 49ers may find themselves a little bounce back year.
Last year in Seattle the Seahawks ran all over the 49ers with Christine Michael netting his first two NFL touchdowns. This year, as the home opener, a repeating of that strong showing from the offense will stand well against what will surely be an improved 49ers team.
Week 3: @ Tennessee Titans (1:05pm PT on FOX)
One of the longest trips the Seahawks make in 2017 has been softened by the 1pm kick off time. The Titans are one of the improving, young teams in the league. With a likely-healthy Marcus Mariota at QB the matchup will be a good test for the Seahawks defense. Former Cowboys and Eagles RB DeMarco Murray caused the Seahawks issues when he played for the Cowboys. Bottling him up will be a key matchup also.
The first of the non-conference games and a chance, to maybe go 3-0 as the Seahawks roll on?
Week 4: v Indianapolis Colts (5:30pm PT on NBC)
The first primetime game for the Seahawks in 2017 and it’s the second non-conference game of the year. This offering a matchup of the QB Class from 2012.
This just the second meeting between Wilson and Luck will clearly dominate all the build up. Four years ago, in the Seahawks Superbowl year, the Colts handed the Seahawks their first loss of that year. The chances they may do the same are legit and also used as a cause for concern a month into the 2017 season.
As for the matchup, the Colts defense is undergoing a swift makeover with new General Manager Chris Ballard. That is likely to continue next week in the Draft. So it is another unknown in terms of what the Seahawks will face at this stage. But the Colts offense isn’t. With Andrew Luck the Colts have the talent to put up points on any team. Four years ago WR T.Y Hilton had a career day against Richard Sherman, that also something to watch, possibly, in this matchup also.
Week 5: @ Los Angeles Rams (1:05pm PT on CBS)
The weird hold the Rams have over the Seahawks will be put to the test in Week 5 of the 2017 season. With new head coach Sean McVeigh now strolling the sidelines, this is another ‘as yet unknown’ matchup to a certain extent. The defense which has caused the Seahawks so many problems in recent years now has Wade Phillips calling the plays. Phillips who is one of the best co-ordinators in the league now has the talent of Aaron Donald to cause the Seahawks issues.
Getting over the Rams-hump on the road is a must in 2017. Last year this matchup saw the Seahawks offense stutter to a 9-6 defeat. Scratching that itch will be top of the list for this week 5.
**Week 6 is the Seahawks Bye Week for 2017**
Week 7: @ New York Giants (1:25pm on CBS)
After the bye week comes a cross-country jaunt to New York. The site of the Seahawks lone Superbowl triumph bringing back all the right memories. It is also a place where they have had great success against Big Blue too.
But in 2017 the game will be key as the Giants look to unseat Dallas from the top of the NFC East. With Brandon Marshall joining the weaponry for the Giants offense, the matchup will be a tough one with Odell Beckham Jr and Sterling Shepard also present for the Giants.
In 2016 the Giants defensive front was one of the leagues best and a big part of the team making it to the 2016 post-season. Solid run defenders with a persistent pass rush will present the Seahawks line with some issues. But losing Damon Harrison to Indianapolis is the unknown, again, in that sphere.
A tough matchup which is another softened by the later window kick-off time.
Week 8: v Houston Texans (1:05pm on CBS)
After almost a month away, the Seahawks return home to face J.J Watt and company. With all the current questions of the offensive line make-up, the prospect of facing Watt, Jadevon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus is one which sits uncomfortably for Seahawks fans. But the game coming so far into the season the hope that issues are addressed and ironed out by this point can hold us over.
Four years ago the Seahawks went to Houston and produced a stirring comeback, sparked by a Richard Sherman pick 6. It was sealed in overtime by the boot of Stephen Hauschka. In 2017, this time in Seattle, avoiding that will be a plus to the 12s. But another tough matchup from a defense against an unknown on the offensive side adds intrigue to this one from the off.
Week 9: v Washington Redskins (1:05pm on FOX)
The second NFC East matchup of 2017 offers another ‘QB Class of 2012’ clash too. Kirk Cousins was picked after Russell Wilson five years ago and worked his way to the starting QB gig in the nation’s capital.
A nearly men of 2017 the Redskins offense has lost De’Sean Jackson this off-season but still boast the impressive WR Jamison Crowder. The make-up of a player which has caused the Seahawks defense issues in the past.
On the other side, the Redskins defense was up and down in 2016. An improvement in that is likely, but the Seahawks will again be wary of Josh Norman prowling at corner for the Skins.
Week 10: @ Arizona Cardinals (5:25pm on NBC/Amazon)
The league has coughed this one up on primetime again. Surprisingly enough coming a year after a 6-6 slog of a tie. One which famously ended with Stephen Hauschka shanking a chip-shot field goal wide as overtime expired. With Hauschka and Cardinals kicker that night, Chandler Catanzaro, both plying their trade in new teams in 2017. That history may not be relived so prominently during this one.
The third divisional match-up is important as the team go for another NFC West title. The defense has lost constant-thorn Calais Campbell. But in 2016 it was Chandler Jones who caused the most damage to the Seahawks offensive output. Now newly-minted and extended Jones will be another test of the questionable offensive line.
On the other side, the Seahawks face an offense looking for a bounce-back in 2017. An output held up only by David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald in 2017, they will look to add weapons and stay healthy to cause the Seahawks some issues again in 2017.
Let’s just hope for more than 6 points this year first though.
Week 11: v Atlanta Falcons (5.30pm on ESPN)
Another week. Another Prime Time slot for Seattle.
This one against the NFC Champions. The Falcons in 2016 ended the Seahawks season with a comfortable win in the Divisional Round. That came after the Seahawks won in Seattle in October, with the Julio Jones/Richard Sherman interference ‘no call’ grabbing the attention.
But in 2017, the Falcons won’t have Kyle Shanahan calling the plays. Shanahan- now in San Francisco- seemed to put the Falcons talent on offense onto a different level in 2016. If new offensive co-ordinator Steve Sarkisian can carry that on then this is one of the headline match-ups on the slate.
Two of the NFC and NFL’s best going toe to toe on Monday Night Football.
Week 12: @ San Francisco 49ers (1:05pm on FOX)
The site of past Thanksgiving delectations and last year’s regular season closer. The Seahawks travel to the 49ers Levi Stadium with mainly positive memories.
Getting another win against a divisional foe is obviously key on the way to another NFC West title. Hopefully going for another sweep of San Francisco also something to aim for as the calendar nears December
Week 13: v Philadelphia Eagles (5.30pm on NBC)
The Seahawks 4th and final prime time slot of the season comes at home to Carson Wentz’ led Eagles.
In 2016 the Seahawks welcomed the impressive Rookie and after shutting them down- with the aid of injuries to most of the backfield for Phildaelphia- Wentz limped his way through the rest of the 2016.
With a re-tool of the offense with the signings of both Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffrey. The Eagles offense is a tough match-up for most in the NFL. On Defense, it appears to be very similar to what they had, with the draft still to come. A 2016 repeat will be very welcome for all 12’s as the season moves on.
Week 14: @ Jacksonville Jaguars (10am PT on FOX)
A game which many over my side of the Atlantic held out hope to be on our shores is instead in December and an early start- the lone one for 2017.
The cross-country trek for a 10am start after a Sunday nighter the week before is as ‘harsh’ as the Seahawks schedule arguably gets in 2017. That is a good thing. Getting past the Jaguars would be a huge bonus for the staff with all of that considered. An offense which has a question to be answered at QB and a defense which can only improve. That offers a tougher out for Seattle than many may suggest.
Getting the ‘early start’ over with and leaving with a W is all the Seahawks will care about come December 10th.
Week 15: v Los Angeles Rams (1:05pm PT on FOX)
The penultimate NFC West game of the season sees those gnarly Rams come to Seattle. As with the return game earlier in the season, getting over the Rams hump will be one of the key points of the 2017 Seahawks season. This coming so late could have play-off/NFC West title ramifications and, hopefully West title parties attached to it?
Week 16: @ Dallas Cowboys (1:25pm PT on FOX)
A Christmas Eve duel in Texas sounds a lot of fun. The penultimate game of the 2017 season offers a matchup against the 2016 no.1 seed in the NFC. With Dak Prescott fully in charge of the offense and Ezekiel Elliot in his sophmore year, the Cowboys offense will be as young and potent as it was in 2017.
On the other side of the ball, the defense lacks the pass rush and has lost some secondary pieces also. What they do next week in the draft will show what they can bring to the 2017 table moreso than currently known.
Seeing in Christmas and prepping the Turkey off the back of a W in Dallas will improve most 12’s holiday season.
Week 17: v Arizona Cardinals (1:25pm PT on FOX)
The season draws to a close with another NFC West game. This year the Cardinals come to town in what may play out as a West decider. That bringing a lot of weight to it and the possibility, even this far out, of a ‘flexing’ to prime time.
Getting the West sealed by this point for Seattle will be a huge bonus, making this game a victory lap of sorts in an ideal situation.
The 2017 schedule offers up a favourable mix of late-starts with just the one ’10am’ cross country fare. That with the road game slate for 2017 offers an almost ideal situation for Seattle. The four prime time games are all interesting, with the Colts and Falcons home games offering up the headline match-ups.
Getting the Green Bay game out of the way is another bonus on this slate as, like Seattle, the Packers have a penchant for finishing a season strong.
All in all the Seahawks can feel good about how this has shaken out. A strong start before a tough defensive run could stand them in good stead for another NFC West crown. A division which has more questions surrounding it than most.
A far too early prediction:
Seahawks go 11-5 in 2017 and win the NFC West.