With the announcement looming, speculation has grown that the Seahawks could play a game as a road team in London in 2018.
Could the Seahawks play a game in London in 2018?
We’ll find out for sure on Thursday when the announcements of the 2018 games in the NFL’s annual London series will be made. The announcement is set for 7:45 a.m. Seattle time and will be made on Facebook Live.
For now, there is only conjecture about which teams will play in the four games that will be played in London.
But that conjecture has increasingly included Seattle for two reasons.
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1, The Seahawks are one of only six teams left that have yet to play in London since the league began regularly playing games there in 2007 — the others being the Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, and Carolina Panther — and the NFL UK managing director, Alistair Kirkwood, said last fall that the desire is to get every NFL team there as soon as possible.
“For the fans of the teams that have supported us through thick and thin and haven’t seen…I don’t know… the Eagles or the Titans or the Texans or the Packers,” Kirkwood said, as reported via several media outlets. “It’s not the be all, end all.”
2, Seattle has a road game set in 2018 against the Raiders, who are expected to serve as a home team for one of the London games.
NFL rules require teams playing in “temporary stadiums’’ to give up a home game and serve as a host for one of the league’s International Series games. The Raiders are in a temporary facility since they are set to leave for Las Vegas for the 2020 season.
The Seahawks will also play at the Los Angeles Rams next season, who also have to serve as a host for an International Series game with their new stadium not set to be completed until 2020.
But it’s being reported that the Rams will host a game next year in Mexico City instead of London. The Seahawks could be the opponent for that game, as well. But recent reports have suggested that the Rams’ most likely opponent is Kansas City.
That has led to conjecture of a Seahawks-Raiders matchup in London.
The London games are typically held in the early-to-middle of the season with teams receiving their byes afterward to make up for the travel (the Rams and Arizona played there this year on Oct. 22 with the other games held on Sept. 24, Oct. 1 and Oct. 29).
The London games have drawn some reluctance from teams and coaches due to the long trip. But the NFL has also made it clear that the games are here to stay as the league strives to expand its brand internationally, and that every team will have to play there at some point.
For the Seahawks, a road game would be ideal for the obvious reason of not having to give up one of their eight home games.
Seattle’s other road opponents next season are the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.
Of those teams, Carolina also has not played in London. But there has been no speculation yet indicating if the Panthers will head there next season.
It has also been reported that one of the games will feature the Eagles, set to serve as the road team against either the Jaguars or Titans.
Dates and times for the entire 2018 NFL schedule are not expected to be set until April.
Seattle’s home opponents next year are the Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys.