The Seahawks have the NFL’s fourth-toughest schedule this season, with opponents sporting a combined .559 winning percentage from last year.

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The Seahawks have the NFL’s fourth-toughest schedule this season, with opponents sporting a combined .559 winning percentage from last year. Seattle’s bye week is in the middle, after its Week 8 game at Dallas. An inside look at each game:

Week 1

At St. Louis

Sunday, Sept. 13, 10 a.m., Ch. 13

The setup: The Seahawks open the season in a building, the Edward Jones Dome, that has been as tough as any for them the past few years — Russell Wilson has won just once in three tries there, and suffered a 28-26 defeat last season in a game played two days after Percy Harvin was traded.

The key player: Left tackle Russell Okung. The Rams boast one of the NFL’s better defensive lines led by defensive end Robert Quinn, who had 10 sacks last season. The onus will be on Okung to lead the way for a rebuilt Seahawks offensive line, which will get one of its more severe tests to start the season.

Week 2

At Green Bay

Seahawks preview section 2015

Seahawks Preview 2015

» Watch for our special Seahawks preview section Thursday in print. Stories from the preview section are publishing online throughout the week starting Tuesday.

Sunday, Sept. 20, 5:30 p.m., Ch. 5

The setup: The last time these teams met, it took a crazy two-point conversion, an onside-kick recovery, overtime and a beautifully thrown touchdown pass for a result to be decided. In the minds of many, these are the two best teams in the league, and the rematch of the NFC Championship Game from last season could foreshadow another playoff clash this season.

The key player: Cornerback Richard Sherman. The Packers didn’t throw at Sherman when the teams played in the season opener a year ago. That wasn’t the case in the rematch in the playoffs, and Sherman made Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers pay with an interception in the end zone.

Week 3


Sunday, Sept. 27, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 7

The setup: This will be the first visit by the Bears since the infamous 2009 game, when the Seahawks lost 25-19 while wearing green jerseys and Olindo Mare missed an “unacceptable’’ two field-goal attempts.

The key player: Defensive end Michael Bennett. The game will feature a matchup of the Bennett brothers — Michael and Chicago tight end Martellus. The two have played against each other before — by Michael’s count, this will be the fifth time. That includes an exhibition game in Seattle last year. Said Bennett last year of previous meetings with Martellus: “You want to whup him. You want to beat him. And hopefully nobody gets hurt.”

Week 4


Monday, Oct. 5, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

The setup: In the Seahawks’ lone Monday Night Football game of the season, cornerback Richard Sherman and receiver Calvin Johnson could square off for the first time since 2012. Sherman, as you might recall, changed his Twitter name to Optimus Prime, a nod to Johnson’s nickname Megatron from the Transformers series.

The key player: Lions receiver Golden Tate. Tate, of course, played for the Seahawks until last season, when he signed as a free agent with the Lions. In his first season in Detroit, Tate had more than 1,000 receiving yards and 99 catches, both of which far passed any of his season totals while in Seattle.

Week 5

At Cincinnati

Sunday, Oct. 11, 10 a.m., Ch. 13

The setup: The Seahawks will make their first visit to Cincinnati since 2003 and only their second since 1993. They are playing a team that has made being slightly above average an art form. The Bengals also are the team to most recently defeat the Seahawks by more than 10 points, a 34-12 victory at CenturyLink Field on Oct. 30, 2011.

The key player: Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Cincinnati found something of a gem last year in rookie running back Jeremy Hill, a 235-pounder who rushed for 1,124 yards and averaged 5.1 yards per carry, often working behind fullback Ryan Hewitt. That will test Wagner and Seattle’s linebackers.

Week 6


Related video: Seahawks 2015 Season Preview

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Sunday, Oct. 18, 1:05 p.m., Ch. 13

The setup: The teams have played four times in the past three years, and the Seahawks have won all four. What you can expect based on that history is a defense-driven, grind-it-out game that won’t feature much scoring. The Seahawks have scored more than 16 points only once in those games.

The key player: Linebacker K.J. Wright. The Panthers are without star receiver Kelvin Benjamin because of a torn knee ligament, and the rest of their receiving corps is mostly unproven players. That likely will mean tight end Greg Olsen will be even more important this season, and Wright is an obvious candidate to match up with him.

Week 7

At San Francisco

Thursday, Oct. 22, 5:25 p.m., Ch. 7

The setup: Coach Jim Harbaugh is gone, and the 49ers might no longer be the Seahawks’ main threat in the NFC West. But this remains a marquee matchup, as evidenced by the fact it’s a Thursday night national TV game. It’s the third time in the past four years Seattle has played at San Francisco on Thursday night.

The key player: Cornerback Richard Sherman. Sherman seems to save some of his better moments for the 49ers, such as the two interceptions he had in the 19-3 Thanksgiving night victory last season that set a tone for the dominant defensive performance of the final six weeks.

Week 8

At Dallas

Sunday, Nov. 1, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 13

The setup: The Seahawks might not say it, but they’ll certainly keep the home defeat last year against the Cowboys in mind. In many ways, that was the game that changed their season when Percy Harvin reportedly refused to go in late in the game (Harvin denied that claim), and the Seahawks traded him the next week.

The key player: Defensive end Michael Bennett. The Cowboys have what is considered by many the league’s best offensive line, and they finished third last season in yards per carry. Bennett is a disruptive force from multiple spots along the defensive line, and if he can get penetration he can throw off Dallas’ running game.

Week 9


Sunday, Nov. 15, 5:30 p.m., Ch. 5

The setup: This will be the first meeting of the year against an Arizona team that most view as the Seahawks’ top threat in the NFC West. The game comes at a good time for the Seahawks, following their bye week. Arizona, though, also will be coming off its bye week.

The key player: Quarterback Russell Wilson. For all the talk of Arizona’s defense last season, the Cardinals ranked 29th against the pass. Wilson had two of his better games against the Cardinals last season, going a combined 37 of 53 for 550 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Week 10

San Francisco

Sunday, Nov. 22, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 13

The setup: There probably will be some Seahawks fans who will feel a little nostalgic when this game rolls around and there won’t be Jim Harbaugh and his khakis on the visitors’ sideline. It just won’t be the same without him.

The key player: 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick has thrown eight interceptions in five games against the Seahawks the past two seasons, including three to Richard Sherman. Kaepernick has particularly struggled in Seattle. He hasn’t thrown for more than 153 yards in his past three games in Seattle and has just one touchdown compared with four interceptions.

Week 11


Sunday, Nov. 29, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 7

The setup: This will be the Steelers’ first visit to Seattle since 2003. In the interim, the teams have played a Super Bowl and two games in Pittsburgh in which Seattle was outscored 45-0. It’s also the last game of a rare three-game regular-season homestand for the Seahawks, who play four of the last six on the road.

The key player: Defensive end Cliff Avril. The Steelers finished second in the NFL in total offense last season with Ben Roethlisberger throwing for a career-high 4,952 yards. Roethlisberger is a hard one to rattle, but the Seahawks will try to make him move as much as possible, and Avril will be a key in that.

Week 12

At Minnesota

Sunday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m., Ch. 13

The setup: The Vikings are a trendy pick as a dark-horse team this year, mostly because Adrian Peterson is back and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater showed promise as a rookie. The Vikings went 7-9 last year, but this could be one of the tougher games on the schedule for Seattle.

The key player: Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. The Vikings have Peterson back in the fold after a year away from the game, and that means defenses once again will key on stopping him. Wagner is the quarterback of the Seahawks’ defense and will play a major part in limiting Peterson.

Week 13

At Baltimore

Sunday, Dec. 13, 5:30 p.m., Ch. 5

The setup: This will be just Seattle’s second visit to M&T Bank Stadium. The first was in 2003, a 44-41 overtime defeat. It’s also just the fifth meeting against the Ravens. The most recent time the two met was a 22-17 Seahawks victory in 2011 that is often cited as a turning point for the Legion of Boom secondary and the defense as a whole.

The key player: Defensive tackles Brandon Mebane and Athyba Rubin. The Ravens enter the season with what is projected as one of the better offensive lines in the NFL, particularly guards Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele. That will put the onus on the Seahawks’ interior defensive linemen.

Week 14


Sunday, Dec. 20, 1:05 p.m., Ch. 13

The setup: The Seahawks return home from what could be two tough road games against the Vikings and the Ravens. Cleveland went 7-9 last year and wasn’t a pushover, but this is a game the Seahawks should take care of.

The key player: Receiver Doug Baldwin. The Browns have a pedigreed secondary, especially at cornerback with Joe Haden and Tramon Williams. Baldwin always has liked the challenge of proving himself, and he will have an opportunity to do so against the Browns.

Week 15

St. Louis

Sunday, Dec. 27, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 13

The setup: It wouldn’t be Christmas week in Seattle without a visit from the Rams. And if form holds, it’ll be a fight-filled, penalty-ridden game from which the Seahawks will prevail — the Rams haven’t won in Seattle since 2004.

The key player: Rams quarterback Nick Foles. Though St. Louis’ defense has given the Seahawks fits the past few years, the Seahawks usually have been even better against the Rams at home — St. Louis has just one touchdown in its past three visits to CenturyLink Field. Whether Foles gives in to the surroundings figures to be a key.

Week 16

At Arizona

Sunday, Jan. 3, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 13

The setup: It’s possible that this game could decide the NFC West. The Cardinals finished a game behind the Seahawks last year, and they again are picked by many to be in the division’s top two teams. The Seahawks won both games last season, including dominating the Cardinals in Arizona.

The key player: Cornerback Richard Sherman. John Brown, the Cardinals’ speedy receiver, was asked in a radio interview this preseason if Sherman could cover him one on one. Brown replied, “No, I don’t think he could cover me one on one.” So that should be fun to watch.


NFC playoffs begin Jan. 9

Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Feb. 7


All Seahawks games are broadcast in the Seattle area on ESPN 710 AM and 97.3 KIRO FM with announcers Steve Raible and Warren Moon.