Breakdown: The Seahawks' games against the San Francisco 49ers are of paramount interest for both teams. The teams play in Seattle on Sept. 15 in Week 2, in the Sunday night game on NBC. They play again at Candlestick Park on Dec. 8 in a Fox game. That one could be attractive for flexing into prime time. The Seahawks play twice on Monday night, first at St. Louis in Week 8 and later at home against New Orleans in Week 13. But neither game against the 49ers is a Monday nighter, a mild surprise.
Seattle played its 2012 divisional road schedule early in the season. The team plays three of its first four division games on the road this season before finishing with Arizona and St. Louis at home.
The Seahawks finished 11-5 last season and have been hyped considerably since making high-profile offseason acquisitions. The league gave Seattle four prime-time games. Three of those four fall against NFC West opponents, perhaps a sign of divisional strength. The prime-time schedule features the San Francisco game in Week 2 on NBC, and back-to-back road games against Arizona (Oct. 17) and St. Louis (Oct. 28), with the Cardinals game on a Thursday night. Seattle also faces New Orleans at home on ESPN (Dec. 2).
Complaint department: The Seahawks play five games scheduled to kick off at 10 a.m. PT, but at least they are good enough now to handle the time change more respectably. Still, five of the six games eligible for a 10 a.m. PT kickoff are kicking off at that early hour, a challenge for any West Coast team. The Monday night matchup against the Rams is the lone exception. Seattle plays at 10 a.m. PT three times in its first five games, including in successive games against Houston and Indianapolis beginning in Week 4. The other early games are against Carolina in the opener, at Atlanta and at the New York Giants.
Finishing kick: Seattle plays four of its final six games at home, with one of the road games taking the Seahawks on their shortest trip, to San Francisco. There's also a bye week during that stretch. That means the Seahawks should be in good position to finish strong for a second consecutive season.
Seahawks Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 8, at Carolina, 1: p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15, San Francisco, 8:30 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 22, Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 29, at Houston, 1:00 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 6, at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 13, Tennessee, 4:05 p.m.
Week 7: Thursday, Oct. 17, at Arizona, 8:25 p.m.
Week 8: Monday, Oct. 28, at St. Louis, 8:40 p.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 3, Tampa Bay, 4:05 p.m.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 10, at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 17, Minnesota, 4:25 p.m.
Week 12: BYE
Week 13: Monday, Dec. 2, New Orleans, 8:40 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 8, at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 15, at N.Y. Giants, 1:00 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 22, Arizona, 4:05 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 29, St. Louis, 4:25 p.m.