Now that we know the Seahawks’ schedule for 2022, it’s time for our annual rating of the games in terms of our anticipation.
Away we go:
1. vs. Denver, Sept. 12. We didn’t need recovery water to put the return of Russell Wilson at the top of the list. While placing this as the opener may seem obvious, the NFL may have hedged its bets, assuring that teams are healthy and not with the kind of records that could take the shine off the game if played later. We have all summer to ponder how well Wilson will be received — as Alex Rodriguez was with a constant stream of boos for years, or as Ken Griffey Jr. was as a hero coming back to his roots?
2. vs. Tampa Bay in Munich, Nov. 13. Only the return of one of the city’s most important athletes could push playing in the first regular-season game ever in Germany to No. 2 on our list. The Seahawks are 2-0 outside of the U.S. in regular-season games.
3. vs. Los Angeles Rams, Jan. 7/8. Were it not for the Wilson revenge game and Munich, the return of Bobby Wagner might rank at the top of this list. This is also the regular-season finale, and the schedule makers may have smartly put this last just in case there’s nothing on the line for the Seahawks.
4. at New Orleans, Oct. 9. This one places this high just for the trip. Other than Munich, a weekend jaunt to Bourbon Street is hard to beat. And if you’re really ambitious, Louisiana State hosts Tennessee in Baton Rouge the day before.
5. vs. San Francisco, Dec. 15. This is one of only two Seahawks games scheduled for prime time, the fewest since 2011. It’s also part of the Amazon Prime Video package, and in case you missed it, reports last week stated that Richard Sherman could end up as part of the Amazon broadcast team. Sherman commenting on two of his former teams? Sign us up.
6. at Kansas City, Dec. 24. Christmas Eve in Kansas City may not be anyone’s idea of a fun trip. But seeing Patrick Mahomes play is, even if also an ominous thought. Even more ominous? The Seahawks are just 5-21 all-time in K.C. — longtime followers recall how the Chuck Knox-era teams used to inexplicably get blown out there almost every year — and 0-4 since 1999. Time for that to change.
7. at San Francisco, Sept. 18. Boy does this loom as a key game on the schedule. If the Seahawks beat Wilson and Denver in Week One, can they continue their hex on the 49ers — they are 7-1 in Santa Clara since Levi’s Stadium opened in 2014 — and get to 2-0? If the Seahawks lose Week One, this becomes almost a must-win.
8. at Los Angeles Rams, Dec. 4. Unlike with Wilson, the Seahawks have to wait to renew acquaintances with Wagner. At least the Seahawks will be well-acquainted with SoFi Stadium, having played the Chargers there Oct. 27.
9. vs. Arizona, Oct. 16. This remains an odd series with the road team always seeming to win, including last season when the Seahawks lost to Colt McCoy at home and beat Kyler Murray on the road. This is the only home game in a stretch of three of four on the road, making a win even more critical.
10. vs. Las Vegas, Nov. 27. This is the Seahawks’ first home game after the trip to Munich and a bye, kicking off a stretch of five of seven at home. But is there any way that the NFL could give teams hosting the Raiders the ability to play the game in Vegas as the home team anyway? Feels like a waste to play the Raiders in Seattle. The Seahawks have won five in a row against the Raiders in Seattle since 1998.
11. at Arizona, Nov. 6. This will be the Seahawks’ first game without Wilson to the place where he began and ended his Seahawks career — and had his most bittersweet moment in Super Bowl XLIX. Wilson ended his Seahawks career in Glendale at 7-3-1.
12. at Los Angeles Chargers, Oct. 27. In the first of two games in SoFi, where the Seahawks are 0-2 so far, they will get their first up-close look at Justin Herbert.
13. vs. Carolina, Dec. 11. Yep, it not only feels like the Seahawks somehow play Carolina every year, but it really is the case. Including two playoff games this will be the 11th meeting between the Seahawks and the Panthers since Pete Carroll became coach in 2010. In the good news department, the Seahawks have won eight of the previous 10.
14. vs. Atlanta, Sept. 25. Marcus Mariota? Desmond Ridder? It’s hard to know what to make of the Falcons in the post-Matt Ryan era other than if the Seahawks want to make anything of their 2022 season they have to win this game, which appears as winnable as any on their schedule.
15. vs. New York Jets, Jan. 1. What a way to, uh, bring in the New Year against the hopefully hapless Jets. At least we’ll get to revisit the Jamal Adams trade and who appears to be winning it. Adams has already played against his former team, a 40-3 Seahawks win late in the 2020 season.
16. vs. New York Giants, Oct. 30. The Seahawks can try to avenge one of the most surprising and costly losses in recent memory, New York’s 17-12 win at Lumen late in the 2020 season that helped cost the Seahawks the No. 1 seed.
17. at Detroit, Oct. 2. A week after hosting Atlanta in Week Three, the Seahawks travel to Detroit in Week Four. And as with the Falcons game, if the Seahawks want to make anything of the season they have to win this one.