BY Art Thiel 06:57PM 04/19/2018

Seahawks: 5 prime-time games, 49ers here Dec. 2

Two Monday nights, two Sunday nights and a Thursday night: The NFL still loves the Seahawks, even if the circus seems to have left town.

 

After all the high-profile personnel changes this off-season, the Seahawks figured to have taken a shot to the glams. But in the release of the 2018 NFL schedule Thursday, Seattle is  booked for the maximum five prime-time games, including four of the season’s final six. Apparently the TV networks want to see if the Seahawks most resemble “Lost,”  “The Apprentice” or “Game of Throwns.”

The biggest glamor game is Oct. 14 against the Oakland Raiders in London, the date previously announced in January. The Seahawks’ first regular-season overseas game is at the new stadium for the English Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur at 10 a.m. PT, 6 p.m. in London. After the long flight back, the Seahawks will have their bye week.

The red-circle game for the 12s calendar is Dec. 2, when CB Richard Sherman returns, health permitting, to the Clink with his new teammates, the San Francisco 49ers. If only there was a way to get Jim Harbaugh fired at Michigan in time to rejoin the Niners as an assistant coach.

The Seahawks open with two road games at Denver and Chicago, the latter on Monday night. A second Monday night game is home Dec. 10 against the Vikings.  Two Sunday night games are the first Niners match and Dec. 23 against Kansas City, both at home. They host Green Bay on Thursday, Nov. 15.

The toughest stretch is six games between Nov. 11 and Dec. 16. It starts at the NFC West defending champion Rams in Los Angeles, back home in four days for the Packers, then 10 days later at Carolina for a dreaded 10 a.m. PT start. The annual pair of games against the 49ers is sandwiched around a home game with the Vikings.

As competitive things stand pre-draft, it’s conceivable the Seahawks could be underdogs in all six games.

A quick note on each game:

Seahawks at Broncos:  Anything less than a 43-8 triumph gets Denver GM John Elway fired.

Seahawks at Bears (Monday night): First national-TV exposure for the Barkevious Mingo era begins as the Bark in the Dark.

Cowboys at Seahawks: Will it be Earl Thomas defending the QB he’s practiced against for six seasons?

Seahawks at Arizona: No Bruce Arians. Pity. But no one watches, as Mariners clinch their first playoff berth in 17 seasons with a final-day, final-inning win over Texas.

Rams at Seahawks: Seeing Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald together in the same defensive line, Seahawks offensive players drop to their knees pre-anthem and never get up.

Seahawks vs. Raiders in London: British fans will think Raiders coach Jon Gruden is the second coming of Benny Hill.

Bye week: DT Dwight Freeney comes out of retirement to sign with the Seahawks, is cut the next day.

Seahawks at Lions: TE Luke Willson’s revenge. Excruciatingly bad Techno Thursday mixtape played during timeouts; Seahawks concentration shattered.

Chargers at Seahawks: The week’s run-up is filled with stories about Russell Wilson next year succeeding Philip Rivers in LA so Ciara has a shorter commute to her music studio.

Seahawks at Rams: Still kneeling.

Packers at Seahawks (Thursday night): Packers laughing so hard at Seahawks for 2017 signing of Eddie Lacy that Seahawks pull off another Fail Mary for the last laugh.

Seahawks at Carolina: Panthers QB Cam Newton is suspended by the NFL for the first known violation of post-game wardrobe rules. A nation exults.

49ers at Seahawks (Sunday night): First return to Seattle for Richard Sherman. After a Seahawks triumph when Shaquill Griffin tips away a potential game-winning TD pass, crowd chants: “YOU MAD BRO? YOU MAD BRO?”

Vikings at Seahawks (Monday night): Therapy session for bitter victims of Blair Walsh.

Seahawks at 49ers: After 49ers victory, Sherman runs down Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on the sidelines: “What’s your deal?”

Chiefs at Seahawks (Sunday night): Entering 8-6, Seahawks get 125 yards rushing from emergency hire RB Thomas Rawls for win that keeps alive playoff hopes.

Seahawks at Cardinals: One-year anniversary of a loss to a team quarterbacked by Drew Stanton, helping spark the collapse of the Seahawks’ empire. The empire strikes back: Seahawks make wild-card at 10-6.

 


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YourThoughts

  • Ron

    What do the asterisks represent? Anticipated losses?

    Unfortunate that four of the last five games are at home, because the season will already be lost by that point. Joy.

    • Steed

      Nice Shuksan pic.

      I think all the national tv games are designed to let the country enjoy watching the Seahawks get steamrolled. They built up a lot of resentment by being good, and obnoxious the last 5 years. Paybacks a bummer.

      • art thiel

        That’s way too much conspiracy theory for me. A lot of fans around the league like the Seahawks too.

        • Matt712

          Not sure the NFL has any particular love for the Seahawks. Russel Wilson, on the other hand… now there’s a brand they want to propagate.

    • art thiel

      Those are games subject to the NFL’s flexible scheduling option, meaning the start times could change. Thanks for the query.

      Being out of it in week 12, eh? That’s weapons-grade skepticism.

      • Ron

        It offsets your industrial-strength optimism. I see eight losses before December even begins.

        • art thiel

          You are the first person to connect my name with optimism. Never do that again.

          • Ron

            “Mariners clinch their first playoff berth in 17 seasons…”

            Eye roll.

          • art thiel

            After witnessing the Astros series, I wanted to be the first to write it.

          • DB

            Speaking of being the first to write it, -a couple of stupid questions. Relating to your fine Tuesday commentary on Malik McDowell, why haven’t any of the press made an effort to do an interview with McDowell, his family, or his friends? Seems an obvious way to shed some light on things, and a story lots of us would like to read. At worst, we have a story on how the writer got stiff-armed, and what was said… Second, why do the National NFL writers always have the scoop? Seems to me like the local writers would have a better opportunity to be plugged in with the team and to have great sources. Yet, if a trade for ET goes down, we will hear it first from someone like Ian Rappaport vs someone like John Boyle. This is fairly consistent across the league. I don’t get how the national guys are better plugged in than the local writers covering the team.?

          • art thiel

            Regarding McDowell, I’m told that there’s been no desire by him or his family to be quoted on anything. If you wanted to fund me to travel back there and risk getting blanked, I’m game.

            Regarding the national writers news, agents always suck up to the national reporters, as do players. In these days of instant distribution via social media, the national guys with large Twitter followings will distribute the news after one phone call. Easy.

            The horse trading can come in handy when a reporter finds dirt on the agent’s client, but is put off by the agent calling in chits.

            Also, NFL.com, like MLB.com, NBA.com, etc, are newsrooms created by and for the leagues, just like Pac-12 Networks. They are house organists, propagandists in charge of spreading the brand.

            Part of the unstated goal is marginalization of independent local media. If in 5-10 years, those young consumers who grew up thinking NFL.com is the default best NFL news site, they will little note the death of local media because they never knew it. They will think the NFL is an honest broker of its own news.

            NFL.com does cover some controversial stuff — concussions, racism, domestic violence, ownership misbehavior, PEDs — in a perfunctory manner, but will not pursue serious truth if it damages the shield.

            They all know who they work for, as do agents and players. It’s a cozy gig that pays lots better these days than independent journalism.

          • Tian Biao

            wow that is a cogent and concise summary, thanks Art. scary though: fewer independent voices, a lot more corporate hooey. the times they are a changing.

          • art thiel

            Like most teams, the Seahawks make extensive inquiries of players they are unlikely to draft, but may get in trades now or down the road. They see Vea as a rare talent at a priority position. If they did draft him, they could trade Jarran Reed.

          • Ron

            John Elway says he’s open to dealing his number 5 pick.

  • Steed

    “the Bark in the Dark”

    I laughed. Or groaned.

    Hey Art, I just did a long Nielsen survey, I hope you don’t mind I mentioned I visit this website.

    Also, I am tired of seeing the Seahawks play Carolina. Just throwing that out there.

    • art thiel

      Please tell Nielsen and all your friends about the site.

      I think Carolina is an entertaining foe. Lots of memorable games.

  • Guy K. Browne

    Second coming of Benny Hill, haven’t we all been waiting for that for decades?

    • art thiel

      I knew you were a high-brow elite.

      • Guy K. Browne

        But of course…. now I’m off to find ol’ one eye, the cat.

  • jafabian

    I’m predicting an 8-8 season but the Hawks still win the division.

    • art thiel

      If that happens, I’ll take you to dinner at Canlis.

      • John M

        I’ll chip in, Art. But predictions are all scrap paper at this point. The new O and D coordinators are the completely unknown combo in this year’s crapshoot. They’re experienced, but will their calls click at critical moments, or will the earth’s magnetic field impose malignant channels to turn their logic into the gum wall in Post Alley. I can hardly wait . . .

        • art thiel

          Malignant channels? Fox News?

  • ll9956

    Hawks play SF twice two weeks apart. I can’t believe this was unavoidable.

    • art thiel

      The twice-in-three weeks schedule with division rivals has happened before. But it is a shame, although in this case storylines will not be hard to find.

  • Kevin Lynch

    My predictor machine keeps getting stuck on 9-7. Won’t budge off that. No Blair witching this year but ‘witching’ for a playoff spot will be hopeless without the 10th win.

    Great call, Art, on the Houston series – “if the Mariners can’t get more than three runs in any game it’s going to be a long season”. Well….even getting two was a challenge!

    • art thiel

      Then again, maybe Houston wins 116.

  • Tman

    10 and 6 is wildly optimistic for a team whose players have no idea who is who or where they are supposed to be. Russell Wilson is as baffled as everyone else as he counts one offensive lineman on his side of the ball. Run Russell Run

    • Matt Kite

      I tend to agree. In fact, 6-10 seems more likely. I’m bracing for the worst. But hey, I’m open to being surprised! :)

    • art thiel

      Well, we could wait for the draft and potential trades, but what fun is common sense?

      • Tman

        Does that mitigate the problem of “strangers in the mist”? Songs like “seems. like starting over” and scenes like the first grade teacher trying to remember students names come to mind. Translation: Blown assignments, receivers surprised to find the ball hit them in the hands, record setting year for “touchBacks allowed”. Then, again, we could go 10 and 6.

  • Theyfinallyfiredcable

    NFL.com says 8-8 ..

    A lot depends on variables that haven’t occurred yet ; the draft , a possible ET trade and the draft stock obtained if it happens , how well or poorly the new coordinators and Solari do their jobs and whether the players buy in …

    But the one thing I believe will make the biggest difference of all is the run game , or lack thereof . If our offensive line can finally block my deceased grandma on a corner blitz for a change , if we find a bona-fide running back and get back to controlling time of possession and make them bring up more guys in the box to defend it , we’ll win more games than people think .

  • Husky73

    Two comments….First, how can the NFL schedule five months in advance, but the Pac 12 can’t do it until 6 days out? Second, I thought I was the only Mariner Optimist. Thank you.