Seahawks to open NFL season at home against Packers

The Seattle Seahawks’ 2014 season will begin with a Thursday night game against the Green Pay Packers, feature a Super Bowl rematch in Week 3, and close with a brutal stretch of games beginning in Week 11.

The NFL announced its regular season schedule Wednesday, and as the defending Super Bowl champions, the Seahawks kick off the season on Thursday, Sept. 4 against the Packers. That will be the first regular-season meeting between the two teams since the infamous “Fail Mary” game in 2012 that ended on a controversial game-winning touchdown pass to Golden Tate on the game’s final play.

The Seahawks play their biggest rival, San Francisco, twice in a three-game stretch, playing for the first time at the 49ers’ new stadium on Thanksgiving, then hosing San Francisco on Dec. 14.

The Seahawks have four primetime games on their schedule: the opener, Monday night at Washington on Oct. 6, at San Francisco on Thanksgiving, and on Sunday Dec. 21 at Arizona. Though with flex scheduling, it is possible Seattle could be moved to Sunday night for another game, or moved out of that Dec. 21 game if NBC decides it wants a different matchup.

Seattle plays just three 10 a.m. PT games, though those early starts have proven to be less of an issue in the past two seasons. Following an early bye in Week 4, the Seahawks will play three of four on the road in October, traveling to Washington, St. Louis and Carolina.

The Seahawks will end the season with a tough stretch of games, which figures to be made all the more difficult by that early bye. Seattle plays at Kansas City in Week 11, hosts Arizona the following week, then plays at San Francisco, at Philadelphia, home against San Francisco and at Carolina before closing with St. Louis. That’s four games against 2013 playoff teams (Kansas City, Philadelphia, and the 49ers twice) and two against an Arizona team that finished 10-6 last season.

And if it seems like the Seahawks have been finishing the regular season against the Rams a lot, that’s because they have. This will be the fourth Week 17 meeting between the Seahawks and Rams in Seattle in the past five years.

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