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Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks 2024 schedule: Season opens vs. Broncos with 4 prime-time games

Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III (9) carries the ball during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on Dec. 24, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee.   (Tribune News Service)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

The Seattle Seahawks will open the Mike Macdonald era on Sept. 8 against the Denver Broncos at Lumen Field.

They’ll end the first season of Macdonald’s rookie year on Jan. 4 or 5 in Los Angeles against the Rams.

In between, they’ll play four prime-time games — but they won’t play on Thanksgiving or Christmas or internationally.

All of that was revealed Wednesday when the NFL released the official schedules for all 32 teams.

Opponents had already been determined via the league’s scheduling formula. Until Wednesday, dates, times and TV designations had yet been set.

It is the second time in three years the Seahawks will open against Denver. They famously beaten the Broncos 17-16 at Lumen Field to begin the 2022 season in Russell Wilson’s return following his trade the previous spring.

Wilson is in Pittsburgh and Denver’s quarterback in the opener could be former Oregon standout Bo Nix, selected by the Broncos in the first round of the NFL draft last month.

That kicks off a Seahawks’ schedule that is front-loaded with home games as six of the first nine will be played at Lumen Field — including a stretch of four of five — in the first season for Macdonald as he takes over for Pete Carroll, the winningest coach in franchise history.

Four of the six are against teams that made the playoffs last year — Miami, San Francisco, Buffalo and the Los Angeles Rams.

That in turn means the Seahawks will finish with five of their last eight on the road, including four of the last six.

That includes road games that follow each of the major holidays — a Dec. 1 game at New York against the Jets to cap off Thanksgiving weekend, and a game on a Thursday night in Chicago against the Bears on Dec. 26.

The Bears’ contest is one of four prime-time games for the Seahawks. The others are a Monday night game at Detroit on Sept. 30 — which is also the third straight year the Seahawks will travel to the Motor City for an early-season game; a Thursday night home game against the 49ers on Oct. 10; and a Sunday night home game against the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 15.

The four prime-time games are the most initially scheduled for the Seahawks since 2021, the last year Wilson was Seattle’s quarterback.

Last year, they ended up playing four prime-time games — two on Thursday night and two on Monday night. That included a late-season game against the Eagles that was originally set for Sunday afternoon and was flexed to Monday night.

The Seahawks had only two prime-time games originally scheduled in 2022, which was the fewest since 2011.

The schedule includes just three of the once-dreaded 10 a.m. starts — games at New England (Sept. 15), Atlanta (Oct. 20) and the New York Jets (Dec. 1). Early starts have not been the problem they used to be as the Seahawks have gone 24-11 in their last 35 10 a.m. kickoffs.

Overall, the schedule is considered favorable for the Seahawks.

The win-loss record of their opponents a year ago was 141-148, or 48.8%, tied for 24th in the NFL.

The Seahawks play only eight of 17 games against teams who finished better than .500 last season, and eight games against teams who made the playoffs a year ago.

With the league’s unbalanced 17-game schedule, the Seahawks will play nine home games in 2024 and eight on the road, the same as every other team in the NFC.

AFC teams will play nine at home and eight on the road.

The schedule will require the Seahawks to travel 25,797 air miles, third-most of all NFL teams, according to a study from The only two teams with more are each AFC teams — the Chargers and Miami.

The Seahawks will have their bye in week 10, conveniently right in the middle of the season.

Last year, the Seahawks had an early bye, playing only four games before having a bye in Week 5.

With Thursday games becoming more of the norm, teams are getting used to the quick turnaround. The Seahawks will have two this year and have to get ready for a game on Thursday after playing on Sunday.

They, at least, will be home for both ends of the first one — playing the Giants at Lumen on Oct. 6 and the 49ers on Oct. 10. And each time, they will get a so-called mini-bye, with 11 days before the next game.

The Seahawks had two Thursday games last year, as well. But those were played consecutively.

The release of NFL schedules also came with the news that two games will be played on Christmas Day, a Wednesday, each on Netflix, continuing the league’s embrace of streaming services.

While most games remain on traditional over-the-air networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX), games this year also are on Amazon Prime and Peacock along with Netflix as well as NFL Network and ESPN properties.

The Seahawks also announced their three preseason games. They will play Week 1 in L.A. against the Chargers and Week 2 in Nashville against Tennessee before closing in Week 3 at home against Cleveland.

Dates and times for those games will be set later.