Seahawks play two games in prime time

SEATTLE — The Seattle Seahawks will open their 2012 season where last season ended — in Arizona — and finish the year with back-to-back home games against NFC West opponents San Francisco and St. Louis.

In between, Seattle will play in prime time twice, and also play its first regular-season game outside of the U.S.

The Seahawks, like every other NFL team, learned their 2012 schedule Tuesday, and at first glance it looks like they’ll have a tough schedule early with a chance to finish strong.

After opening the year in Arizona on Sept. 9, the Seahawks host their home opener the following Sunday against Dallas. The Seahawks host Green Bay on Monday Night Football the following week, a game that will be intriguing, particularly if former Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn wins the Seahawks’ starting job, as is expected.

Following the Monday Night game, the Seahawks have four of their next five on the road, with their only home game being a tough test against New England. Assuming he is healthy, that Oct. 14 game would be Tom Brady’s first in Seattle, because he was injured when the Patriots played at Seattle in 2008.

Seattle’s other prime-time game is a Thursday night showdown at San Francisco on Oct. 18. If the Seahawks can get through the first half of the season with decent record, they’ll be in good position to finish the year strong. Following the stretch of four road games in five weeks, Seattle plays two at home, then has its bye in Week 11.

After the bye the Seahawks play at Miami and at Chicago — and yes, this is Seattle’s fourth trip to Chicago in three seasons, playoffs included — then finish by hosting all three NFC West teams in December. Seattle’s only road game in the last four weeks is a trip to Toronto to play the Buffalo Bills, who since 2008 have played one home game per season in Toronto.

The Seahawks play four games that start at 10 a.m. Pacific time, a kickoff time that is generally tough for West Coast teams, though Seattle did manage wins at Chicago and the New York Giants last year in 10 a.m. starts.

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