In what is their first year with a 17-game schedule, the Seahawks will open the 2021 season on the road in Indianapolis on Sept. 12 and close it on the road in Arizona on Jan. 9, 2022.
In between, the Seahawks will play five prime-time games, have their bye in Week 9 and deal with just two of the formerly dreaded 10 a.m. starts.
The Seahawks will have one Thursday night game (Oct. 3 at home against the Rams), two games on Monday night (Oct. 25 vs. Saints and Nov. 29 at Washington) and two on Sunday night (Oct. 17 at Pittsburgh and Dec. 5 vs. San Francisco).
Five prime time games tied the Seahawks for the most in the NFL with nine other teams — Green Bay, Dallas, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, the Los Angeles Rams, the 49ers, Kansas City and Tampa Bay. Teams can be flexed into additional prime time games later in the season.
The Seahawks have had at least four prime-time games every year since 2013 — the last time they didn’t was in Russell Wilson’s rookie season in 2012.
The Seahawks had five prime-time games last season, going 4-1 en route to a 12-4 record, and are 33-8-1 in prime time since Pete Carroll became coach in 2010, the best in the NFL. They play three prime-time games in a row in October against the Rams, Steelers and Saints in what looms as one of the key parts of the schedule.
As was revealed Wednesday morning when the league announced all of the first weekend’s games, the Seahawks will open the season on Sept. 12 against the Colts in Indianapolis. It will be the second straight year and the fourth time in five years that they have opened on the road. But with the Mariners at home that weekend, it was inevitable that the Seahawks would be away.
It will be the Seahawks’ first trip to Indy since the 2013 season, a 34-28 loss to the Colts that was one of just three Seahawks defeats that season as they went on to win their only Super Bowl. The game will also mark the debut of Carson Wentz as Indy’s quarterback.
It is also the first of just two 10 a.m. starts for the Seahawks in 2021, the other coming on Dec. 12 at Houston.
While that may have once been something to fear for the Seahawks, the early starts long ago ceased being an issue. The Seahawks have won 19 of their last 26 10 a.m. starts and 11 of their last 12, including going 3-1 in 2020. Those wins included a victory at Atlanta in the season opener.
The Indy game also kicks off a stretch of three of four on the road to start the season, capped by Seattle’s first NFC West game on Oct. 3 against the 49ers in Santa Clara.
The Seahawks will play their first home game Sept. 19 against the Titans at Lumen Field. They are hoping they will be able to have fans after playing in front of an empty stadium for every game last season due to COVID-19 — the team put single-game tickets on sale Wednesday while acknowledging it remains unclear the specifics for having fans in the stands this season.
Despite the NFL adding an extra game, teams will still have just one bye during the regular season (though they also will get something of a bye the week before the season begins with no games in what traditionally has been Week Four of the preseason, with each team playing just three preseason games).
The Seahawks will have a “mini-bye’’ — the weekend off following its only Thursday night game — after the fifth week of the season and the Thursday night game against the Rams. They will have their full bye in Week 9 following an Oct. 31 game against Jacksonville.
Last year, the Seahawks had their full bye following Week 5, and a 5-0 start, while its “mini-bye’’ was following its Week 11 Thursday night game.
As is the case with all NFC teams, the Seahawks have eight home games in 2021 and nine road games, with the extra road contest coming against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
It will be the first time in team history the Seahawks are scheduled to play more road games than home in a regular season. The league played 14 games in their first two seasons in 1976-77 — seven home and seven road — and 16 from 1978 through 2020 (eight of each). (The Seahawks also played just nine games in 1982 and 15 in 1987 due to strikes/work stoppages).
But the home-road split will flip in 2022 when the Seahawks and all NFC teams will get nine home games and the AFC eight.
The Seahawks will open their preseason against the Raiders in Las Vegas on the week of Aug. 13-16 and have home games in Weeks Two and Three of the preseason against Denver (Aug. 20-23) and the Los Angeles Chargers on Aug. 28. Exact dates for the Raiders and Denver games will be set later.
Here is Seattle’s full schedule (all times PT):
Sept. 12: at Indianapolis Colts, 10 a.m., FOX
Sept. 19: vs. Tennessee Titans, 1:25 p.m. CBS
Sept. 26: at Minnesota Vikings, 1:25 p.m., FOX
Oct. 3: at San Francisco 49ers, 1:05 p.m., FOX
Oct. 7: vs. Los Angeles Rams, 5:20 p.m., FOX/NFL Network/Amazon
Oct. 17: at Pittsburgh Steelers, 5:20 p.m., NBC
Oct. 25: vs. New Orleans Saints, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
Oct. 31: vs, Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:05 p.m., CBS
Nov. 7: Bye
Nov. 14: at Green Bay Packers, 1:25 p.m., CBS
Nov. 21: vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1:25 p.m., FOX
Nov. 29: at Washington Football Team, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
Dec. 5: vs. San Francisco 49ers, 5:20 p.m., NBC
Dec. 12: at Houston Texans, 10 a.m., FOX
Dec. 19: at Los Angeles Rams, 1:25 p.m., FOX
Dec. 26: vs. Chicago Bears, 1:05 p.m., FOX
Jan. 2: vs. Detroit Lions, 1:25 p.m., FOX
Jan. 9: at Arizona Cardinals, 1:25 p.m., FOX