Between five primetime games, Richard Sherman's return to Seattle and a trip to London, there's plenty to assess in the Seahawks' 2018 schedule. Beat writer Bob Condotta ranks them in order of excitement.
So now that we know the Seahawks’ full schedule — not just the who and the where but the when and the how (it will be televised) — it’s time to assess what awaits Seattle in 2018.
So here we go with my annual rating of the games, from those I’m most eager to see to those that, well, we’ll just wait and see.
1. Oct. 14 vs. Oakland in London — If the Seahawks had to give up a home game to make the trek across the Atlantic this one wouldn’t be quite as fun. But since they don’t, there’s little about Seattle’s first trip off the continent for a regular season game not to like. The 10 a.m. Seattle time kickoff makes it ideal local viewing without worrying that it’s putting the Seahawks at any disadvantage (the Raiders are also a west coast team playing a home game the week before). And then there’s the game itself – Carroll against Gruden, the Seahawks against one of their most iconic former players in Marshawn Lynch. Jolly Good Morning indeed.
2. Dec. 2 vs. San Francisco — Richard Sherman’s return to Seattle was enough to make this an NBC Sunday night game. Okay, maybe the peacock guys are also sort of interested in that Jimmy Garajinaostionsoinsadots guy. Anyway, it’ll be his first game in Seattle, too, and we’ll get a chance to see if there is really any changing of the guard in the NFC West.
3. Nov. 15 vs. Green Bay — The Seahawks can’t complain at all about their Thursday night game this year. Seattle gets not only a home game but one against a Packers team making the long trip from the probably-not-quite-yet Frozen Tundra. Green Bay’s last three trips to Seattle have been pretty darn memorable — the Fail Mary game in 2012, the opener in 2014 when a banner was raised, and the NFC title game later that year that featured a little something of a comeback, IIRC.
4. Sept. 23 vs. Dallas — Will America’s Team also be Earl Thomas’ team by then? If so, then ratchet up all the feels that much more. If not, then make sure someone directs Thomas straight to the Seattle locker room afterward. And by itself this is an intriguing chance to see the Cowboys in Seattle for the first time since 2014 and the first time with Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
5. Oct. 7 vs. Los Angeles Rams — Seattle starts with three of its first four on the road before hosting the Rams in what the Seahawks will hope is an early battle for NFC West supremacy, and unquestionably will be a chance to avenge the worst home loss of the Pete Carroll era a year ago. I doubt anyone will be reading books during Carroll’s meetings that week.
6. Dec. 10 vs. Minnesota — Blair Walsh won’t be around for this one. But a Vikings team that will be among the favorites for the Super Bowl will provide a tasty foe for Seattle’s one Monday night home game in 2018.
7. Sept. 17 at Chicago — Okay, so who knows how good the Bears will be, though that could be a really good thing for Seattle since this will be the second straight road game to start the season. But Seahawks fans can’t ask for a better trip than the Windy City in September for a Monday night game and a chance at a really long and fun weekend — try to get to a Cubs game against the Reds that weekend or maybe make the short trek to South Bend to see Notre Dame host Vanderbilt that Saturday. Or maybe just go to the “cheese-buga, cheese-buga, cheese-buga’’ place. Or reminisce that most around the team regard the 2012 overtime victory at Solider Field as Russell Wilson’s true coming out party and hope for a game just as good this time around.
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8. Sept. 9 at Denver — The last time Seattle played a regular season game at Denver was the first road game of the Carroll era — a 31-14 loss. An awful lot has happened since then. And whether we are truly seeing the beginning of the end of the Carroll era, or simply a turn in a different direction that could still yield a lot of hope, figures to be on full display.
9. Dec. 16 at San Francisco — Seattle won’t need long to get another shot at Sherman and Garaopasoientosin, traveling to the Bay Area two weeks after hosting the 49ers at CenturyLink. Seattle is undefeated since the 49ers moved to Santa Clara in 2014, having pantsed the 49ers by a combined 88-42 in going 4-0 at Levi’s Stadium so far.
10. Nov. 11 at Los Angeles Rams — This game concludes a stretch of six road games out of nine to start the season for the Seahawks. The hope will be Seattle has done enough to that point to make this one meaningful.
11. Oct. 28 at Detroit — In the kind of really odd oddity that you know means nothing but still makes you wonder, the last time the Seahawks played at Detroit, in 2012, was also on an Oct. 28. Then, Seattle lost to fall to 4-4, seemingly on the way to another mundane season before winning seven of the last eight to jumpstart the Carroll/Wilson-era Seahawks as we came to know them. Hopefully this game will also have more meaning than serving simply as a reunion with popular former teammates Golden Tate and Luke Willson.
12. Nov. 25 at Carolina — Jeez, it’s been like almost two whole years since the Seahawks played Carolina. What took so long? Charlotte, though, has provided a surprising number of Seattle highlights during the Carroll era — the 2012 last-minute win that began to indicate something special was brewing, the season-opening victory in 2013 that ultimately gave Seattle homefield advantage in the playoffs and the 2014 win that sparked a second-half rally that got the Seahawks back to another Super Bowl.
13. Dec. 23 vs. Kansas City — A team wearing red and white seems sorta fitting for a home game a couple days before Christmas. Also, it’s a fun chance to see Patrick Mahomes, whom the Seahawks reportedly really thought about drafting last year.
14. Dec. 30 vs. Arizona — If it’s New Year’s Eve (or close to it) then it must be Seahawks-Cardinals. This will the third time in four years the two teams will face off to end the season and fourth since 2011. At least this one won’t be a “homecoming’’ for Bruce Arians.
15. Nov. 4 vs. Los Angeles Chargers — The Chargers are actually a really intriguing team and this game should maybe be a little higher on this list. But on the surface it’s hard to find a whole lot of interesting recent connections between the two teams. One good omen? Seattle has won 11 of the last 15 between the two former AFC West rivals.
16. Sept. 30 at Arizona — On the one hand, most Seahawks fans probably never again need to see University of Phoenix Stadium for any reason given some of what has happened there in recent years, and this trip isn’t even as well-timed as a lot of others have been for fans to get out of bad Seattle weather and into nice Arizona sunshine for a little while. Conversely, Seattle is 4-0-1 there the last five years and this looms as a pivotal game as the finale of three road games out of four to start the season.