The 2015 season didn’t go as planned for the Seattle Seahawks. The team was in search of a third straight Super Bowl appearance, but ultimately lost. Seattle was defeated in the divisional round of the playoffs to the Carolina Panthers. The Hawks fell just a possession short of potentially tying the game after a furious comeback.
Marshawn Lynch may have retired, but the rest of Seattle’s core remains intact. Pete Carroll’s offense will be in good hands with Thomas Rawls stepping in for Lynch. In addition to Rawls, the Hawks also return a host of elite players, including Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner, Earl Thomas, K.J. Wright, Jimmy Graham, Doug Baldwin, Kam Chancellor, Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett.
This stellar core, not to mention improving young players like Tyler Lockett, Frank Clark, Justin Britt and Jordan Hill, has the Hawks positioned to not only return to the playoffs, but also the Super Bowl.
Now that the NFL has announced the league schedule for the 2016 season, Seattle knows the road the team will have to take to reach the top of the mountain.
Overall, the team will play five games in primetime, including four on NBC and one on ESPN. Seattle’s bye week will come in Week 5.
The Seahawks open at home against the Miami Dolphins, who finished last season 6-10. Following that game, Seattle will travel to Los Angeles to take on the Rams in the team’s first game back in Southern California. Rounding out the rest of the pre-bye schedule is a matchup at home against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3 and a Week 4 showdown on the road versus the New York Jets.
After the bye week, the Seahawks resume the team’s schedule with a home game against former defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and the Atlanta Falcons. Following that showdown, the Hawks will travel to the desert to do battle with the Arizona Cardinals.
Week 8 will see Seattle stay on the road, this time to play the New Orleans Saints, who posted a 7-9 record. Weeks 9 and 10 will see the Hawks play a pair of AFC East squads. Seattle will play host to the Buffalo Bills before traveling to New England to play the Patriots.
After the Tampa Bay matchup, Seattle gets another crack at the Panthers in Week 13. Week 14 sees a matchup with another 2015 playoff team, the Green Bay Packers. That game will take place in Wisconsin.
As with years past, the Hawks will wrap things up against divisional opposition. Seattle hosts both the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals, before traveling to the Bay Area to play the 49ers.
If Seattle does in fact make the playoffs, the team will surely have earned it. New England, Carolina, Green Bay and Arizona are four of the better teams in the league and all made the playoffs. Additionally, the Jets just missed the postseason despite a 10-6 record. Even non-playoff teams like Miami, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Buffalo should all be improved and won’t be easy outs.
Suffice to stay, Seattle has a tough schedule. However the Seahawks have the talent to ultimately navigate that tough schedule and advance to the postseason.