By Brady Henderson
A trip to the divisional round of the playoffs and some high-profile offseason additions have put the Seahawks in the discussion of the NFL’s best teams.
The league’s schedule makers apparently agree.
The Seahawks will see their share of the spotlight in 2013 with four prime-time games highlighting their regular-season schedule, which was announced Thursday. That includes two Monday night appearances and one apiece on Thursday night and Sunday night.
Below is the Seahawks schedule, with home games in bold:
Week 1. Sunday, Sept. 8: at Panthers, 10 a.m. (FOX)
Week 2. Sunday, Sept. 15: 49ers, 5:30 p.m. (NBC)
Week 3. Sunday, Sept. 22: Jaguars, 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Week 4. Sunday, Sept. 29: at Texans. 10 a.m. (FOX)
Week 5. Sunday, Oct. 6: at Colts, 10 a.m. (FOX)
Week 6. Sunday, Oct. 13: Titans, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)
Week 7. Thursday, Oct. 17: at Cardinals, 5:25 p.m. (NFL Network)
Week 8. Monday, Oct. 28: at Rams, 5:40 p.m. (ESPN)
Week 9. Sunday, Nov. 3: Buccaneers, 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
Week 10. Sunday, Nov. 10: at Falcons, 10 a.m. (FOX)
Week 11. Sunday, Nov, 17: Vikings, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
Week 12: BYE
Week 13. Monday, Dec. 2: Saints, 5:40 p.m. (ESPN)
Week 14. Sunday, Dec. 8: at 49ers, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
Week 15. Sunday, Dec. 15: at Giants, 10 a.m. (FOX)
Week 16. Sunday, Dec. 22: Cardinals, 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
Week 17. Sunday, Dec. 29: Rams, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
A few thoughts on the schedule:
Prime-time. The Seahawks didn’t have a prime-time game in 2010, when coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider inherited a team that had gone 9-23 over its previous two seasons. Their four prime-time games in 2013 — their most since having five in 2006 — is another testament to how far they’ve come in three years.
TGIM. Games against the Rams in St. Louis and the Saints in Seattle will give the Seahawks a chance to improve their league-best .692 winning percentage on Monday Night Football. Seattle has won its last six Monday night games.
Rise and shine. Seattle’s schedule includes five road games with the dreaded 10 a.m. PST start time, including the season opener against the Panthers in Charlotte, N.C. Teams coming from the West Coast have long lamented the early kickoffs because of the difficult adjustment players’ bodies face after traveling across the country. The Seahawks went 1-4 in 10 a.m. starts last year, including their playoff loss to Atlanta.
Toughest stretch. A home game against the 49ers in Week 2 kicks off what looks like the most difficult four-game stretch. Seattle hosts the lowly Jaguars a week later before hitting the road for consecutive 10 a.m. games against the Texans and Colts, both playoff teams in 2012.
Easiest stretch. Nothing jumps out as a cakewalk on this schedule, but Weeks 6-9 seems like the easiest four-game stretch in the absence of a more obvious choice. The Titans, Cardinals, Rams and Buccaneers all missed the playoffs and finished below .500 in 2012. That stretch includes road games against Arizona and St. Louis, which the Seahawks lost in 2012. But they’ll benefit from a 10-day break between the Thursday night game against Arizona and the Monday night game against St. Louis.
Home sweet home. The Seahawks will play five of their final eight games at home for the second year in a row. Their second-half schedule also includes a Week 12 bye. Two of their eight home opponents made the playoffs last season. Seattle went 8-0 at CenturyLink Field last year.