The Seahawks launch defense of their Super Bowl title Thursday, Sept. 4 at CenturyLink Field against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, a team Seattle last met Sept. 24, 2012 in one of the more infamous games in recent NFL history. It took a last-second “Fail Mary” disputed pass from Russell Wilson to Golden Tate to pull out a 14-12 victory.
After playing the Packers, the Seahawks travel to San Diego Sept. 14 to face Phillip Rivers and the Chargers before taking on the Super Bowl runner-up Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning in a week 3 clash at the Clink. The Seahawks, who routed Denver 43-8 in the Super Bowl Feb. 2, have a bye in Week 4, meaning they will have to play 13 consecutive weeks — an unusual scheduling quirk — to close out the regular season.
Last year, the Seahawks did not have their bye until Week 12 last year.
The Seahawks will not face arch-rival San Francisco until Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, in a nationally televised game at the 49ers’ new facility, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Seattle then plays the 49ers two weeks later at CenturyLink Field, Dec. 14.
The Seahawks, attempting to become the first team since the 2003-04 New England Patriots to win back-to-back Super Bowls, finish by playing three of their final five on the road. Last year, the Seahawks played three of their final five at home, including the last two.
The Seahawks play four prime-time games (three on the road), including a Monday night contest against Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins at Fed Ex Field in Washington, D.C., Oct. 6. The Seahawks close out the regular season Dec. 28 at home against the St. Louis Rams, the same team they they finished against last season.
The four nationally televised games match the club’s total from 2013.
Seven of the 16 games will be against teams that qualified for the 2013 playoffs. Four will be against defending division champions, including the Packers (week 1), Broncos (week 3), Panthers (week 8) and Eagles (week 14).
The Seahawks play their first preseason game Thursday, Aug. 7, against Denver at Sports Authority Field.
Thursday, Sept. 4: Green Bay, 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, Sept, 21: Denver, 1:25 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 12: Dallas, 1:25 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 2: Oakland, 1:25 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 9: New York Giants, 1:25 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 23: Arizona, 1:25 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 14: San Francisco, 1:25 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 28: St. Louis, 1:25 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 14: San Diego, 1:05 p.m.; Monday, Oct. 6: Washington, 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 19: St. Louis, 10 a.m.; Sunday, Oct. 26: Carolina, 10 a.m.; Sunday, Nov. 16: Kansas City, 10 a.m.; Thursday, Nov. 27: San Francisco, 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 7: Philadelphia, 1:25 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 21: Arizona, 5:30 p.m.
SEPT. 4: vs. GREEN BAY (8-7-1, 1st, NFC North)
The Packers started 5-2, then lost quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a shoulder injury. Green Bay struggled to finish 8-7-1 and qualified for the wild card round. But Rodgers, having returned after a seven-game absence, couldn’t beat San Francisco in the playoffs. The Seahawks are 2-6 against Green Bay since 2003, but 1-0 against the Packers in the Pete Carroll era.
Where / Time: CenturyLink Field, 5:30 p.m.
Meeting (15th): Packers lead 8-6-0
Last time (Sept. 24, 2012, W 14-12): Tate shoved a Green Bay defender out of the way, wrestled another for the ball and was awarded a disputed touchdown on the final play, a 24-yard pass from Wilson as the clock expired. The Seahawks sacked Rodgers eight times, including four times by Chris Clemons in the first half.
Packers draft order: 21st
SEPT. 14: at SAN DIEGO (9-7, 3rd, AFC West)
Firing Norv Turner after the 2012 season and hiring Mike McCoy turned out to be a great move. McCoy brought in Ken Whisenhunt to run the offense and San Diego jumped from 31st in total offense in 2012 to fifth last year. The Seahawks will mainly be concerned with Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers, who completed 69.5 percent of his passes last season.
Where / Time: Qualcomm Stadium, 1:05 p.m.
Meeting (50th): Seahawks lead 26-23-0
Last time (Sept. 26, 2010, W 27-20): Leon Washington made up for a slew of Seattle mistakes and missed chances by returning second-half kickoffs 101 and 99 yards for touchdowns to tie an NFL record, and the Seahawks held off the Chargers at CenturyLink Field. Washington nearly had a third KOR TD, but slipped at the 32-yard line while making a return in the third quarter.
Chargers draft order: 25th
SEPT. 21: vs. DENVER (13-3, 1st AFC West)
No team made more strides during the free agency signing period than the Super Bowl runner-ups, who could not parlay 40 points per game in the regular season into a Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Broncos overhauled their defense and gave themselves an infusion of athleticism and nastiness. The big additions: DE DeMarcus Ware and CB Aquib Talib.
When / Where: CenturyLink Field, 1:25 p.m.
Meeting (53rd): Broncos lead 34-18-0
Last time (Feb. 2, W 43-8): No contest between the NFL’s No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense. The Seahawks became the first team in Super Bowl history to score via a run (Marshawn Lynch), pass (Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin), interception return (Malcolm Smith), kickoff return (Percy Harvin), field goal (Steven Hauschka) and safety (Cliff Avril) en route to the romp.
Broncos Draft order: 31st
OCT. 6: at WASHINGTON (3-13, 4th, NFC East)
The Redskins have a new coach in Jay Gruden, who has a presumably healed Robert Griffin III at quarterback. How much Griffin’s surgically repaired knee, injured in Washington’s playoff loss to the Seahawks two years ago, will affect his play remains to be seen. Running back Alfred Morris will spark a lot of conversation. He is coming off 1,275-yard year for a 3-13 team.
When / Time: Fed Ex Field, 5:30 p.m.
Meeting (16th): Redskins lead 11-4-0.
Last time (Jan. 6, 2013, W 24-14): Marshawn Lynch ran for 132 yards and a touchdown and Russell Wilson completed 15 of 26 for 187 yards and ran eight times for 67 yards as the Seahawks overcame an early 14-0 deficit. The highly anticipated matchup of Wilson and fellow rookie Griffin failed to materialize, Griffin’s knee buckling as he tried to field a bad shotgun snap.
Redskins draft order: 34th overall (second round; Washington traded its first-round pick to select Griffin in 2012).
Oct. 12: vs. DALLAS (8-8, 2nd NFC East)
The Cowboys finished 8-8 in each of the past three seasons – always good enough to raise hopes of a fanatical fan base, just bad enough to let it down. As long as meddlesome owner Jerry Jones remains the team’s general manager, the Cowboys will never become an elite team. The Seahawks are 1-3 against Dallas since 2008, but only the 2011 match-up occurred during the Carroll era (23-13 loss at Dallas).
Where / Time: CenturyLink Field, 1:25 p.m.
Meeting (15th): Cowboys lead 9-5-0
Last time (Sept. 16, 2012, W 27-7): Lynch had just 22 yards at halftime, but finished with 122 and a TD as the Seahawks overwhelmed the Cowboys at CenturyLink Field. Wilson threw for 151 yards and a five-yard TD to TE Anthony McCoy, who had a career-high five receptions.
Cowboys draft order: 16th
OCT. 19 & DEC. 28: St. LOUIS (7-9, 4th, NFC West)
The Seahawks have won 16 of the last 18 meetings with St. Louis dating 2005, but struggled to defeat the Rams at Edward Jones Dome (14-9) before capitalizing on turnovers to record a 27-9 victory Dec. 13 at the Clink. The Seahawks don’t match up well with the Rams, particularly DE Robert Quinn, who is coming off a 19-sack season.
Where / Time: Edward Jones Dome (Oct. 19), 10 a.m.; CenturyLink Field (Dec. 28), 1:25 p.m.
Meeting (32nd & 33rd): Seahawks lead 20-11-0.
Last time (Dec. 29, W 27-9): Malcolm Smith returned an interception 37 yards for a TD in the first quarter, Lynch added a two-yard scoring run in the second half, and Seattle (13-3) both matched the franchise record for wins in a season and ensured home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
Rams Draft order: 2nd & 12th
OCT. 26: at CAROLINA (12-4, 1st NFC South)
The Panthers returned to the playoffs, earning the NFC’s No. 2 seed, after they nearly knocked off the Seahawks in the season opener. Carolina lost all-time leading receiver Steve Smith over the offseason and will enter the draft looking to plug holes at wide receiver and right tackle.
Where / Time: Bank of America Stadium, 10 a.m.
Meeting (7th): Seahawks lead 4-2-0
Last time (Sept. 8, W 12-7): Wilson threw a 43-yard TD to Jermaine Kearse in the fourth quarter and Seattle’s defense came up with a huge turnover in the final minutes to preserve the victory. The Panthers had a chance to move in front, but safety Earl Thomas stripped DeAngelo Williams after a 16-yard scamper and Tony McDaniel recovered at the Seattle 8 with 5:25 left.
Panthers Draft order: 28th
NOV. 2: vs. OAKLAND (4-12, 4th AFC West)
The Raiders haven’t been relevant — back-to-back 4-12 seasons and not a winning year since 2002 – in more than a decade. This season they will trot out Matt Schaub, a free agent from Houston, as their 16th starting quarterback since Rich Gannon. If Reggie McKenzie, Oakland’s GM for two years, doesn’t get it right this time, he won’t be long for the Raiders.
Where / Time: CenturyLink Field, 1:25 p.m.
Meeting (52nd): Raiders lead 28-23-0
Last Time (Oct. 31, 2010, L 33-3): Jason Campbell threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns and Darren McFadden ran for 111 yards as the Raiders crushed the Seahawks, who were outgained 545 yards to 164. The Raiders were coached by Tom Cable, Seattle’s current offensive line coach.
Raiders draft order: 5th
NOV. 9: vs. NY GIANTS (7-9, 3rd, NFC East)
The Giants suffered a precipitous fall, losing six in a row to start the season before rebounding to finish 7-9. New York made notable strides defensively in the second half, allowing 17.4 points per game over the last 10 weeks. But the offense couldn’t get it done with no running game and Eli Manning pitching a league-high 27 interceptions, including five against Seattle, against 18 TDs. The Seahawks won their last two against the Giants by substantial margins even though both were in New York.
Where / Time: CenturyLink Field, 1:25 p.m.
Meeting (17th): Giants lead 9-7-0
Last time (Dec. 15, W 23-0): Wilson threw for 206 yards and a touchdown, ran for 50 yards, and the defense intercepted Manning five times, giving Seattle its first shutout since a 58-0 romp over Arizona in 2012.
Giants draft order: 12th
NOV. 16: at KANSAS CITY (11-5, 2nd, AFC West)
The Chiefs suffered a cruel fate. They shot out of the gate with nine consecutive victories, but finished two games behind Denver in the AFC West, then blew a 28-point lead to the Colts in the playoffs and lost 45-44. All eyes will be on Jamaal Charles, who led Kansas City in rushing yards (1,287), rushing TDs (12), receptions (70) and receiving yards (693). The Chiefs have had an almost 100 percent change in personnel since they last played the Seahawks.
Where / Time: Arrowhead Stadium, 10 a.m.
Meeting (51st): Chiefs lead 32-18-0
Last time (Nov. 28, 2010, L 42-24): Matt Cassel tied a career-high with four TD passes, three to WR Dwayne Bowe, as the Chiefs trashed the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Matt Hasselbeck threw two touchdown passes for the Seahawks and Earl Thomas scored on a 10-yard return of a blocked punt.
Chiefs draft order: 23rd
NOV. 23 & DEC. 21: ARIZONA (10-6, 3rd, NFC West)
It took the Cardinals a half-season to grasp how head coach Bruce Arians wanted them to play. Once they did, almost everything went right. Arizona won seven of eight games, including a 17-10 decision over Seattle at CenturyLink Field, over the final half of the season to finish 10-6 and narrowly missed the postseason. If the Cardinals can fill the gaping holes on their offensive line, playoffs are likely.
Where: / Time: CenturyLink Field (Nov. 23), 1:05 p.m.; University of Phoenix Stadium (Dec. 21), 5:30 p.m.
Meeting (31st): Cardinals lead 16-14-0
Last time (Dec. 22, 2013, L 17-10): Carson Palmer overcame four interceptions to find Michael Floyd on a 31-yard touchdown with 2:13 left as the Cardinals snapped Seattle’s 14-game home winning streak. The loss was the first of Wilson’s career at CenturyLink Field. Wilson threw for just 108 yards as Seattle went 3-and-out seven times.
Cardinals draft order: 20th
NOV. 27 & DEC. 14: SAN FRANCISCO (12-4, 2nd, NFC West)
The Seahawks’ greatest rival has an NFL-high 11 picks in the 2014 draft, including one in the first round, two in the second, three in the third, one in the fourth and fifth and three in the seventh. Whether the 49ers will have LB Aldon Smith back, after he said “bomb” in the L.A. Airport, remains to be seen.
Where / Time: Levi’s Stadium (Nov. 27), 5:30 p.m.; CenturyLink Field (Dec. 14), 1:25 p.m.
Meeting (31st & 32nd): Series tied 15-15-0
Last time (Jan. 19, W 23-17): After trailing 10-0, Seattle’s top-ranked defense forced three fourth-quarter turnovers and Wilson threw a 35-yard TD pass on a fourth-down play for the winning points as the Seahawks won the NFC Championship. The key play occurred with 22 seconds remaining when CB Richard Sherman tipped a Colin Kaepernick pass in the end zone intended for Michael Crabtree and LB Malcolm Smith made the interception to preserve the victory.
49ers draft order: 30th
DEC. 7: at PHILADELPHIA (10-6, 1st, NFC East)
The Chip Kelly era almost got off to a disastrous start, but the Eagles recovered to put up franchise-record numbers in yards gained (6,676), points (442) and touchdowns (53). The Seahawks will be getting their first look at Nick Foles, who threw 27 touchdown passes vs. two interceptions after taking over for Michael Vick.
Where / Time: Lincoln Financial Field, 1:25 p.m.
Meeting (14th): Eagles lead 7-6-0
Last time (Dec. 1, 2011, W 31-14): Lynch ran for 148 yards and a pair of first-half touchdowns, David Hawthorne returned the third of Vince Young’s four interceptions 77 yards for a score, and the Seahawks rolled to an easy victory at CenturyLink Field. Seventy-five of Lynch’s yards came after contact.
Eagles draft order: 22nd