The team that ended it all last season will start it next season.
The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks will open their season — and the NFL’s — Thursday night, Sept. 4, with a prime-time home matchup against the Green Bay Packers.
A year after finishing 13-3 and winning Super Bowl XLVIII with a 43-8 thumping of the Denver Broncos, the Seahawks have a schedule with possible pitfalls in front of them.
Among the challenges will be a home rematch with the Broncos in Week 3. Denver quarterback Peyton Manning recently said he still doesn’t know how to explain what happened in the Super Bowl. The Broncos’ offensive plan appeared to be precisely what the Seahawks’ defense wanted and expected. That will need to change for Denver to have a chance at CenturyLink Field, where quarterback Russell Wilson is 15-1 since becoming the Seahawks’ starter in 2012.
The Seahawks’ rivalry with the San Francisco 49ers is compacted this coming season. The two will play Thanksgiving night (Nov. 27) — who would have thought that coaches Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh would spend Thanksgiving together? — then again a little more than two weeks later (Dec. 14) in Seattle. When the Seahawks travel to Levi’s Stadium, the 49ers’ new digs in Santa Clara, Calif., it will be the fourth time in franchise history Seattle has played on Thanksgiving. Those Week 13 and Week 15 matchups will not be friendly.
The bye week for Seattle is early next season. The Seahawks get a break in Week 4, unlike last season, when they chugged through the schedule all the way to Week 12 before having a bye. That will be an extended break because the Seahawks return with a Monday night game at the Washington Redskins. Seattle will have 15 days between games, then go without a break from Oct. 6 to the end of the regular season Dec. 28.
Difficult road games against the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs are slated, as is a trip to Philadelphia.
The New York Giants, Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys will visit CenturyLink Field. Each was .500 or worse last season.
Based on 2013 records (143-112-1, .561), the Seahawks face the NFL’s sixth-toughest schedule in 2014. The Seahawks will play seven games against 2013 playoff teams.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Seahawks close with three out of four against NFC West opponents. The division is widely considered the best in the NFL.
The full schedule here:
Home games in bold. * Prime time game
- Week 1: Thursday, Sept. 4 vs. Green Bay, 5:30 p.m.*
- Week 2: Sept. 14, at San Diego, 1:05 p.m.
- Week 3: Sept. 21, vs. Denver, 1:25 p.m.
- Week 4: Bye
- Week 5: Monday, Oct. 6, at Washington, 5:30 p.m.*
- Week 6: Oct. 12, vs. Dallas, 1:25 p.m.
- Week 7: Oct. 19, at St. Louis, 10 a.m.
- Week 8: Oct. 26, at Carolina, 10 a.m.
- Week 9: Nov. 2, vs. Oakland, 1:25 p.m.
- Week 10: Nov. 9, vs. New York Giants, 1:25 p.m.
- Week 11: Nov. 16, at Kansas City, 10 a.m.
- Week 12: Nov. 23, vs. Arizona, 1:05 p.m.
- Week 13: Thursday, Nov. 27 at San Francisco, 5:30 p.m.*
- Week 14: Dec. 7, at Philadelphia, 1:25 p.m.
- Week 15: Dec. 14, vs. San Francisco, 1:25 p.m.
- Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 21, at Arizona, 5:30 p.m.*
- Week 17: Dec. 28, vs. St. Louis, 1:25 p.m*