SEATTLE – 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.
In between, the Seahawks will play five prime-time games, will have their bye in Week 9 and deal with just two of the formerly dreaded 10 a.m. starts.
Seattle will have one Thursday night game (Oct. 3 at home against the Rams), two Monday night games (Oct. 25 vs. the Saints and Nov. 29 at Washington) and two Sunday night games (Oct. 17 at Pittsburgh and Dec. 5 vs. San Francisco).
Teams can now be initially scheduled a maximum of six prime-time games with the adding of one additional regular-season contest, and can be flexed into a seventh.
Seattle has had at least four prime-time games every year since 2012, Russell Wilson’s rookie season.
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. Three of the prime-time games are in a row in October against the Rams, Steelers and Saints.
As was revealed Wednesday morning when the league announced all of the games for the first weekend, the Seahawks will open the season on Sept. 12 against the Colts in Indianapolis. It will be the second straight year and the fourth in five years that Seattle has opened on the road. But with the Mariners at home that weekend, it was inevitable that the Seahawks would go away to start the season.
It will be Seattle’s 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 Seattle went on to win its only Super Bowl. The game will also mark the debut of Carson Wentz as Indy’s quarterback.
It is also the first of two 10 a.m. starts for Seattle in 2021, the other coming on Dec. 12 at Houston.
But where that was once something to fear for Seattle, the early starts long ago ceased being a real issue. The Seahawks have won 19 of their past 26 10 a.m. starts and 11 of their past 12, including going 3-1 in 2020. Those wins included one at Atlanta in the season opener.
Seattle will play its first home game the following week against the Titans at Lumen Field, a game for which the Seahawks 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.
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 instead playing just three preseason games).
Seattle will have its “mini-bye” – meaning, the weekend off following its only Thursday night game – following the fifth week of the season.
It will have its full bye in Week 9 following an Oct. 31 game against Jacksonville.
Last year, Seattle had its 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, Seattle has 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 will play more road games than home in a regular season. The league played 14 games in Seattle’s first two seasons in 1976 and 1977 – seven home and seven road – and 16 from 1978 through 2020 (eight of each).
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.
Seattle will also open its preseason with a game against the Raiders in Las Vegas on the week of Aug. 13-16 and have home games in Weeks 2 and 3 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, 10 a.m., Fox 28.
Sept. 19: vs. Tennessee, 1:25 p.m. CBS
Sept. 26: at Minnesota, 1:25 p.m., Fox 28
Oct. 3: at San Francisco, 1:05 p.m., Fox 28
Oct. 7: vs. Los Angeles Rams, 5:20 p.m., Fox 28/NFL Network/Amazon
Oct. 17: at Pittsburgh, 5:20 p.m., NBC
Oct. 25: vs. New Orleans, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
Oct. 31: vs, Jacksonville, 1:05 p.m., CBS
Nov. 7: Bye
Nov. 14: at Green Bay, 1:25 p.m., CBS
Nov. 21: vs. Arizona, 1:25 p.m., Fox 28
Nov. 29: at Washington, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
Dec. 5: vs. San Francisco, 5:20 p.m., NBC
Dec. 12: at Houston, 10 a.m., Fox 28
Dec. 19: at Los Angels Rams, 1:25 p.m., Fox 28
Dec. 26: vs. Chicago, 1:05 p.m., Fox 28
Jan. 2: vs. Detroit, 1:25 p.m., Fox 28
Jan. 9: at Arizona, 1:25 p.m., Fox 28
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