The NFL released its 2015-16 schedule on Tuesday, and revealed a treacherous but interesting road back to the Super Bowl for Earl Thomas III and the Seattle Seahawks.
The two-time defending NFC Champions start with back-to-back games on the road, first against an NFC West rival, the St. Louis Rams, and then against their most recent NFC championship game opponent, the Green Bay Packers.
After the trip to Lambeau Field, the Hawks will head home to CenturyLink Field to open another season front of the 12s by hosting the Chicago Bears. The next week, Earl and the Legion of Boom host the explosive offense of the Detroit Lions on Monday night.
That contest is one of five primetime matchups for the Hawks, a franchise record. The first is actually the contest with Green Bay which will be featured on NBC’s Sunday Night Football on September 20th at 5:30 p.m. PT on NBC. The Monday Night Football tilt with Detroit will kickoff at 5:30 p.m. PT on October 5th and will air on ESPN.
After taking on the Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers in consecutive weeks, the Hawks will have a short turnaround to face their biggest division rival, the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night, October 22nd on CBS at 5:25 p.m. PT. Next comes a trip to Earl’s home state of Texas for a grudge match with the Dallas Cowboys. That game brings the Hawks to their timely Week 9 bye.
Coming out of the bye, the Hawks have a nice three-game home stand, and perhaps their top NFC West adversary, the Arizona Cardinals will come to town, along with the Niners and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That tilt with Arizona on November 15th will air in primetime, as will Seattle’s Dec. 13 trip to face the Baltimore Ravens. Both will be featured on Sunday Night Football. The Seahawks will then close the season with two divisional matchups at home against the Rams and on the road against the Cards.
According to ESPN’s Terry Blount, Seattle’s slate is the NFL’s fourth toughest:
“This is absolutely brutal,” writes Blount. “It’s the fourth toughest schedule in the NFL and includes nine games against 2014 playoff teams. Five of the road games come against teams that won at least 10 games last season. Four of the first six games come against 2014 playoff teams.”
Seattle Seahawks 2015-16 Schedule (All times Pacific)
Aug. 14 vs. Denver Broncos – 7 p.m. (Q13 FOX)
Aug. 21 at Kansas City Chiefs – 5 p.m. (Q13 FOX)
Aug. 29 at San Diego Chargers – 5 p.m. (CBS)
Sept. 3 vs. Oakland Raiders – 7 p.m. (Q13 FOX)
Sept. 13 at St. Louis Rams – 10 a.m. (FOX)
Sept. 20 at Green Bay Packers – 5:30 p.m. (NBC)
Sept 27 vs. Chicago Bears – 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Oct. 5 vs. Detroit Lions – 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)*
Oct. 11 at Cincinnati Bengals – 10 a.m. (FOX)
Oct. 18 vs. Carolina Panthers – 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
Oct. 22 at San Francisco 49ers – 5:25 p.m. (CBS)**
Nov. 1 at Dallas Cowboys – 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
Nov. 8 BYE WEEK
Nov. 15 vs. Arizona Cardinals – 5:30 p.m. (NBC)
Nov. 22 vs. San Francisco 49ers – 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
Nov. 29 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Dec. 6 at Minnesota Vikings – 10 a.m. (FOX)
Dec. 13 at Baltimore Ravens – 5:30 p.m. (NBC)
Dec. 20 vs. Cleveland Browns – 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
Dec. 27 vs. St. Louis Rams – 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
Jan. 3 at Arizona Cardinals – 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
* = Monday Night Football
** = Thursday Night Football