Now that we have the full Seahawks schedule for 2021 — with dates, times and TV designations — we can now analyze it more clearly.
What are the best games? The worst? And what might the Seahawks’ record be when all 17 games are played?
Times beat writers Bob Condotta and Adam Jude answer those questions and more below.
Oct. 17 at Pittsburgh. A trip to Green Bay is hard to top. But the Seahawks have been there a lot lately. This will be the fourth time since 2015. They have been to Pittsburgh only three times since 1999. True, one was just two years ago in 2019. But that was a fun game, with the Seahawks pulling out a late 28-26 victory. This one, which is technically the 17th game on the schedule, also looms as an appetizing game, playing in the Steel City on a Sunday night in what could be Ben Roethlisberger’s last season. He is the last active player on either side from the Steelers’ Super Bowl win over the Seahawks in 2006. — Condotta
Nov. 14 at Green Bay Packers. From a sheer entertainment standpoint, Seahawks-Packers always delivers. Add in all the subplots of the offseason drama surrounding the two superstar quarterbacks — Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers — and this has game-of-the-year potential. — Jude
Nov. 14 at Green Bay Packers. OK, we are citing the same games. But it’s hard to ignore that the only team in the NFL with a better record than the Seahawks at home since 2002 is Green Bay. The Packers are 108-42-2 at Lambeau compared to the Seahawks’ 106-46. That includes a 6-0 record against the Seahawks, every game decided by six points or more. — Condotta
Oct. 17 at Pittsburgh Steelers. Outside of divisional games, this trip could tell us a lot about the trajectory of the Seahawks’ season. Sure, the Steelers had a dramatic drop-off at the end of the 2020 season, after their 11-0 start, and Roethlisberger looks like he’s entering the final chapter of his career there. But a trip to the Steel City is always formidable. — Jude
Jan. 2 vs. Detroit Lions. The Seahawks seem to throw in a late-season stinker at home almost every year. Last season it was the unfathomable December loss to the Giants that cost the Seahawks a shot at the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. Detroit is a huge unknown with a new coach in Dan Campbell. But the Giants also came in last year with a new coach in Joe Judge and a rebuilding team. They need to avoid the late-season faceplant this year. — Condotta
Sept. 19 vs. Tennessee Titans. Two words: Derrick Henry. — Jude
Sept. 12 at Indianapolis. I’m looking at this solely from a fan’s point of view here. If you’re a UW aficionado, you can make this a really good twofer, with the Huskies playing at Michigan the day before. Google says it’s a four hour and 10 minute drive from Ann Arbor to Indy. The Seahawks and UW had a similar twofer when the Seahawks played the Colts in Indy in 2009, the day after the Huskies played at Notre Dame. Both the local teams lost those games, and the Seahawks are just 1-3 against the Colts in Indy. So, a turnaround is due. — Condotta
Dec. 12 at Houston. In this case, “best trip” equates to “easiest trip.” The Seahawks, on paper, don’t have many surefire wins on the schedule, but this ought to be one of them. The Texans are the most dysfunctional team in the NFL right now, and the uncertainty at QB in particular should benefit the Seahawks. — Jude
Nov. 29 at Washington Football Team. Sure, D.C. is fun to visit. But the Seahawks were there last year to play on the infamous FedExField field and barely escaped with a 20-15 win. This trip might be tougher against a Washington defense that some think could be as good as any in the NFL this season and now it has Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB. FitzMagic has had little of it in his career against the Seahawks, going 0-4 with a 2-9 TD-to-INT ratio in four starts, including last year with Miami. — Condotta
Sept. 12 at Indianapolis Colts. This isn’t a worst-case opener for the Seahawks, but it’s close — having to travel so far to play a 2020 playoff team that no doubt will be livened by the addition of new QB Carson Wentz, while the Seahawks will likely still be working out the kinks in their own new offensive system. — Jude
Oct. 7 vs. Los Angeles Rams. The Seahawks’ first four games are not easy, with three of them on the road against teams harboring legit playoff hopes in the Colts, Vikings and 49ers. They could well be just 2-2 when they host the Rams on a Thursday night, a game that will be hyped because of what happened in the playoffs last year and Wilson’s offseason of discontent. There will be a ton of pressure not just for the Seahawks to win but for the offense to look like it has the answers it did not in the wild-card playoff loss. — Condotta
Dec. 5 vs. San Francisco 49ers. We tend to forget it was just 15 months ago that the 49ers were in the Super Bowl, and this is still a loaded roster — if many of the Niners’ top players can return healthy in 2021. In the toughest division in the NFL, the Seahawks can hope for a split of their six games against the Niners, Rams and Cardinals — anything beyond that is gravy. That makes those home matchups all the more significant. — Jude
Dec. 19 at Los Angeles Rams. If the first meeting between the Rams and Seahawks figures to hold a lot of meaning, this one might have even more, looming as a potential decider for the NFC West title, just as win over the Rams at Lumen Field in December last season did. But adding to the storyline is the Seahawks’ offseason poaching of two of the Rams’ key offensive coaches to make over the offense — including new OC Shane Waldron. Not that either team will need motivation, but figure Sean McVay to mention that a time or two this year when the Rams and Seahawks face off. Not to mention yet another matchup between DK Metcalf and Rams corner Jalen Ramsey — Condotta
Sept. 26 at Minnesota Vikings. This, to be clear, is a grudge match for the Vikings, who have lost in Seattle in each of the past three seasons in prime-time matchups. Pete Carroll has never lost to the Vikings as the Seahawks’ coach, boasting a 7-0 record. This will be the Seahawks’ first visit to Minnesota since their chilly (lucky?) 10-9 playoff victory there in January 2016, and count on the Vikings being plenty motivated. — Jude
Best prime-time game
Dec. 5 vs. San Francisco. The 49ers on a Sunday night in Seattle has been some of the more memorable games of the Carroll era — the 42-13 rout in 2012 that announced the Seahawks as an up-and-coming power, the 29-3 win the following year in September that confirmed their status as the Super Bowl front-runner and the heart-stopping regular-season finale in 2019 that decided the division title. If the 49ers are back to full health in 2021 this game could have similarly high stakes. — Condotta
Oct. 5 vs. New Orleans Saints. How they navigate life after Drew Brees will make the Saints one of the more intriguing teams in the NFL, but count on them still being one of the league’s most dangerous offenses. — Jude
Early record prediction
Condotta: 12-5 — An argument can be made that as of today, the Seahawks are as good or better at every position than they were a year ago other than maybe linebacker and possibly cornerback. Both lines seem deeper and more stable, the offensive skill positions may be better than a year ago, and having Jamal Adams in the system for a year should make the defense better from day one. Last year, they were 4-1 in games decided by five points or fewer and will need to keep that up in 2021 to improve on last year’s 12-4 mark.
Jude: 10-7 — At first blush, this looks like a tough schedule for the Seahawks — like, really tough. I have the Seahawks going 4-5 on the road, and that might be generous.