With their 2021 schedule being released on Wednesday, the Seahawks will open the first 17-game season in NFL history with a road matchup against the Colts and play a league-high five prime time games, including three consecutive matchups under the lights against the Rams, Steelers, and Saints in October.
Though the start of training camp remains more than two months away, it's never too early to predict each of Seattle's 17 games. How will coach Pete Carroll's squad fare in the rugged NFC West? Here are my score projections along with a record tally from Week 1 through Week 18.
Week 1 at Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have built a potential dark horse Super Bowl contender, especially if quarterback Carson Wentz rediscovers his 2017 form to go with All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson and running back Jonathan Taylor. But their secondary still has question marks and Russell Wilson should be able to carve them up if given time to throw. The Seahawks escape with a 27-23 season-opening win.
Seahawks Record: 1-0
Week 2 vs. Tennessee Titans
Trying to slow down two-time defending rushing champion Derrick Henry won't be easy and the Titans also have a budding star receiver in A.J. Brown who could cause major problems for the Seahawks secondary. But the team lacks much of a pass rush and playing in front of fans at Lumen Field for the first time in a year will be a huge difference maker as Seattle outduels Tennessee 31-27.
Seahawks Record: 2-0
Week 3 at Minnesota Vikings
After playing at Lumen Field in prime time each of the past three seasons, Minnesota will happily play host this time around and possesses plenty of star power on both sides of the ball. The dynamic duo of Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson will give the Seahawks fits, while the return of a healthy Danielle Hunter will make life difficult on Wilson all afternoon long as the Vikings enact a bit of revenge with a 30-24 win.
Seahawks Record: 2-1
Week 4 at San Francisco 49ers
Retooled and reloaded after an injury-plagued 2020 season, Nick Bosa and the 49ers will be out for blood after being swept by the Seahawks last season. This will be a statement game for Kyle Shanahan's squad and with Seattle coming off three physical games to open the season, San Francisco will find success on the ground and force a pair of turnovers to seal a 24-20 home win.
Seahawks Record: 2-2
Week 5 vs. Los Angeles Rams
Last time these two teams got together on Thursday Night Football in 2019, Seattle squeaked by with a one-point victory after kicker Greg Zuerlein wasn't able to connect on a last-second field goal. Expect similar shenanigans when bitter rivals meet again at Lumen Field, with a touchdown toss from Russell Wilson to DK Metcalf in the final minute clinching a pivotal 34-30 win.
Seahawks Record: 3-2
Week 6 at Pittsburgh Steelers
Traveling to Heinz Field always presents a challenge for opponents, especially in prime time matchups. With that said, Ben Roethlisberger appears to be at the tail end of his illustrious career and even considering how ferocious Pittsburgh's pass rush can be, Seattle will have the clear advantage at quarterback and should be able to manufacture a few turnovers defensively to set up a 30-20 win.
Seahawks Record: 4-2
Week 7 vs. New Orleans Saints
Entering the post-Drew Brees era, the Saints still have a Super Bowl-caliber roster away from the quarterback position. If coach Sean Payton works his magic with Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston under center, they will still be a major problem for opponents. But neither quarterback strikes fear in anyone and home field advantage will again be key as Bobby Wagner and the Seahawks stifle the opposition in a commanding 34-17 prime time win.
Seahawks Record: 5-2
Week 8 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Top pick Trevor Lawrence facing off against Russell Wilson will be the national headline, but this will be a fun matchup due to all of the former Seahawks players and coaches on the opposing sideline. Seattle's two previous offensive coordinators in Darrell Bevell and Brian Schottenheimer are on Jacksonville's staff, while cornerback Shaquill Griffin signed with them in free agency. The Jaguars will be pesky on Halloween, but the Seahawks fend off a valiant effort to hold on for a 23-17 win.
Seahawks Record: 6-2
Week 10 at Green Bay Packers
Will Aaron Rodgers actually be under center for this game? Nobody knows as the disgruntled quarterback attempts to force his way out of Green Bay. But for this simulation, let's assume No. 12 is still a Packer and the two sides manage to mend fences. Even coming off a bye week, Lambeau Field has been a nightmare for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks and once again, a late comeback attempt will come up short on the frozen tundra in a 33-30 defeat.
Seahawks Record: 6-3
Week 11 vs. Arizona Cardinals
After losing to the Cardinals at home late in the 2019 season, the Seahawks were able to even the score by holding on for a 28-21 win at Lumen Field last season. Arizona will enter this game with even more fire power on offense after signing A.J. Green and drafting Rondale Moore, which could be problematic for Seattle's secondary. Add in J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones hunting down Wilson and this has the recipe for a rare home defeat. The Seahawks falter in a high-scoring 38-30 defeat.
Seahawks Record: 6-4
Week 12 at Washington Football Team
This game has trap game written all over it. Washington didn't make any major upgrades at quarterback, but Ryan Fitzpatrick will have some fun weapons to work with in Antonio Gibson, Curtis Samuel, and Terry McLaurin. Washington's defensive line could also be the best in the NFL and the duo of Chase Young and Montez Sweat will cause Seattle's offensive line problems. This game could go either way, but Wilson finds a way to make just enough plays in a 26-23 win.
Seahawks Record: 7-4
Week 13 vs. San Francisco 49ers
Beginning a trio of NFC West rematches for Seattle, this game could have a strong bearing on who wins the division. The Seahawks came up inches short the last time these two teams met in prime time at Lumen Field, with tight end Jacob Hollister being stuffed at the goal line. After losing the first matchup in Week 4, Wilson and company refuse to be denied this time, as a late touchdown to D'Wayne Eskridge caps off a signature 28-24 win.
Seahawks Record: 8-4
Week 14 at Houston Texans
There's no such thing as an easy win in the NFL, but even with Deshaun Watson, the Texans could be in the mix for a top-five draft pick due to an underwhelming roster. Considering Watson has probably played his last snap in Houston and Tyrod Taylor or rookie Davis Mills will replace him, the Seahawks should be able to coast in this road matchup. Look for Chris Carson to eclipse 125 rushing yards and score twice as Seattle keeps rolling with a 34-13 win.
Seahawks Record: 9-4
Week 15 at Los Angeles Rams
Seattle has been out-classed each of its three prior games in Los Angeles, struggling to score points in the past two defeats. After losing to their division rivals earlier in the season, Matthew Stafford and the Rams will be motivated to even the score. While Wilson beats some of his demons with three touchdown passes, it still doesn't prove to be enough as the Rams start fast and fend off a late rally for a 33-28 win to stay in the NFC West hunt.
Seahawks Record: 9-5
Week 16 vs. Chicago Bears
By this stage of the season, the Bears will likely have turned to rookie quarterback Justin Fields, which will add intrigue to this game regardless of each team's respective records. Chicago still boasts a talented defensive line headlined by Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks, which could make for a rough afternoon for Wilson. But the Seahawks still have more firepower and playing at home should help nullify the pass rush as Carroll's team gets back in the win column with a 26-17 victory.
Seahawks Record: 10-5
Week 17 vs. Detroit Lions
The Lions likely will be out of contention by this stage, but such teams can play spoilers late in the season and the Seahawks won't be able to sleep on Dan Campbell's young squad. With an NFC West title still within sight, however, that shouldn't be an issue. Led by a strong outing by Carson and two interceptions by Quandre Diggs against his former team, Seattle gets the job done to wrap up the year 7-1 at home with a 32-23 win.
Seahawks Record: 11-5
Week 18 at Arizona Cardinals
Though they've managed to win a few games there, State Farm Stadium has truly been a house of horrors for the Seahawks over the years. Finishing up the season on the road against a tough Cardinals team isn't ideal. But sweeping opponents in the NFC West isn't easy to do and after losing in overtime at this venue in 2020, Seattle takes care of business this time by grounding and pounding Arizona's front seven to secure a hard-fought 34-28 win and a second straight NFC West crown.
Seahawks Final Record: 12-5