Did schedule makers make it easy for Seahawks? Insider explains

May 20, 2024, 8:15 AM

Seattle Seahawks schedule...

Riq Woolen of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates a turnover during a 2023 game. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

After much anticipation, we now know what the Seattle Seahawks are up against during the upcoming season.

Seattle Seahawks Schedule: Breaking down their full 2024 NFL slate

The Seahawks and the rest of the NFL unveiled their full regular season schedules for the 2024 campaign Wednesday. Now there’s much to dissect. Who has the toughest schedule? The easiest? What are the must-see games?

ESPN Seahawks insider Brady Henderson filled in for Brock Huard on Friday on Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk, and he broke down whether or not the schedule makers made it easy for Seattle with co-host Mike Salk during Blue 88.

“I don’t want to say they have an easy schedule,” Henderson said, “but the schedule makers certainly did not make it hard on them, at least the way I see it.”

Few early starts

Before Pete Carroll arrived in Seattle, the Seahawks had a horrendous time playing on the East Coast in the early slate games that kick off at 10 a.m. PT. Carroll flipped the script on that during his tenure, but it’s fair to wonder if first-year head coach Mike Macdonald can maintain that trend.

“They do have four trips to the East Coast, but only three of them are the quote-unquote dreaded 10 a.m. kickoffs,” Henderson said. “One of them is the Monday night game at Detroit.”

Good timing

Unlike last year, the Seahawks won’t have to play a 12 straight games to end the regular season. Seattle received an often-unwanted early bye last season in Week 5. Instead, the Seahawks have a week off in early November in Week 10, and it comes at a significant time.

Related: Ranking the Seahawks’ 2024 games from hardest to easiest

“I really don’t think you can overstate the significance of the timing of a bye (week) in today’s NFL, when there’s 17 games as opposed to 16, and you want that bye as late as possible,” Henderson said. “So they may prefer that bye to be maybe a little bit later into November or maybe even December ideally, but I don’t think they’re going to complain about having it in Week 10, especially compared to last year when it was in Week 5, and the benefit of having it in Week 10 is it’s right before the second of those two San Francisco meetings. So you give Mike Macdonald some extra time to match wits against Kyle Shanahan.”

Something to take advantage of

The Seahawks will get a good look at the future of the NFL this season with five teams that drafted quarterbacks in the first round on their schedule. However, they’re more likely to face just four with former UW Huskies star Michael Penix Jr. slated to back up Kirk Cousins.

Seattle is likely to start the season with consecutive matchups against rookie QBs. It faces No. 12 pick Bo Nix and the Denver Broncos in Week 1 and No. 3 pick Drake Maye and the New England Patriots in Week 2. The Seahawks will also see No. 10 pick J.J. McCarthy and the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16 and No. 1 pick Caleb Williams and the Chicago Bears in Week 17.

Henderson did some research into how Mike Macdonald’s Baltimore defense did against rookie quarterbacks in his two seasons.

“Baltimore allowed 9.3 points per game against rookie quarterbacks under Mike Macdonald,” Henderson said. “I mean, you had (Cleveland’s) Dorian Thompson-Robinson started one of those games, (Pittsburgh’s) Kenny Pickett started another, (Atlanta’s) Desmond Ritter started another. So not exactly a who’s who there, but one of those starts was against (Houston’s) C.J. Stroud, who obviously lit the world on fire last year. So that part of the schedule, I think, bodes well for the Seahawks.”

Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the audio player near the top of the story. Tune in to Brock and Salk weekdays from 6-10 a.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Bump and Stacy: Six takeaways from Seahawks’ schedule
• What are experts predicting for Seahawks’ 2024 record?
• Brock: How Seahawks’ defense will create ‘illusion of complexity’
• What are Bobby Wagner’s comments about Seahawks getting at?
• Will Seattle Seahawks be this year’s NFL team that makes a leap?

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