The Seattle Seahawks remain one of the NFL’s marquee primetime teams in 2021.
This year, they have an optimum bye week.
And they are home for the holidays, something older players with kids absolutely will notice on the 2021 schedule the team and league announced Wednesday.
Seattle has five nationally televised night games on its schedule this season. The first is a playoff rematch against the team that ended the Seahawks’ 2020 season in the wild-card round in January: the Los Angeles Rams at Lumen Field in Seattle on Thursday night, Oct. 7 with a 5:20 p.m. kickoff on Fox.
That starts a stretch of three straight primetime games for the Seahawks. After the Thursday nighter against the Rams, Seattle plays its new 17th game the NFL added between division winners from last season. It’s the Seahawks’ second trip to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers in three seasons. Seattle at Pittsburgh is the national NBC Sunday night showcase game in Week 6, Oct. 17 with a 5:20 p.m. Pacific Time start.
The Seahawks’ fourth primetime game is scheduled for Week 12 at Washington, on Monday night Nov. 29 at 5:15 p.m. on ESPN. And night game No. 5 is the following week against San Francisco on Sunday Night Football in Seattle at 5:20 p.m.
This is the 10th consecutive season the Seahawks have had at least four games scheduled for primetime, national showcases. The start of that stretch came in 2012, when Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner were rookies.
This is all subject to the NFL’s flexible-scheduling rules for primetime over the final months of the season.
The maximum number of primetime games a team can have scheduled this year is six, up one from previous years. That’s because of the addition of the league’s 17th regular-season game, a first in 2021.
Seattle’s bye lands where coach Pete Carroll — all NFL coaches, for that matter — prefer it most: right in the midpoint of the season. Seattle’s week off is Week 9, Sunday, Nov. 7.
In Week 16, Seattle hosts Chicago the day after Christmas, 1:05 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 26.
The Seahawks stay home the following weekend to host Detroit on New Year’s weekend, 1:25 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 2.
The league had announced earlier Wednesday the Seahawks will be opening at the Indianapolis Colts at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 12.
The Seahawks are 11-1 in their last 12 games that kicked off at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.
That’s one of two 10 a.m. games for Seattle in 2021. The other is Week 14, at Houston on Dec. 12.
Unlike in past seasons, the league did not load most of the final weeks of the schedule with division games. Seattle’s are all over the schedule:
— at San Francisco in Week 4, Oct. 3, 1:05 p.m.
— against the Rams at home Oct. 7 in a Thursday night game
— versus Arizona at Lumen Field Week 11, Nov. 21 at 1:25 p.m.
—versus San Francisco in Week 13, Dec. 5 on Sunday night
— at the Rams in Week 15, Sunday Dec. 19 at 1:25 p.m.
— at Arizona to end the regular season, Sunday, Jan. 9, 1:25 p.m.
Seattle’s opener will mark the debut of Carson Wentz as the Colts’ starting quarterback. Indianapolis acquired the Super Bowl champion and second-overall choice in the 2016 draft in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles in March, for a third-round pick and conditional second-round choice.
This is the fourth time in five years the Seahawks are starting a season on the road. Their only time home for an NFL opener since 2016 was when Cincinnati came to Seattle to begin the 2019 season.
The Seahawks began last season at Atlanta.
Wilson is 5-0 against Wentz in their careers. The Seahawks are the only team Wentz has played more than twice and never beaten. Seattle has sacked Wentz 15 times in those five wins.
The last was the Seahawks’ wild-card playoff win at Philadelphia in January 2020. Jadeveon Clowney’s hit on Wentz as he scrambled knocked Wentz out of that game in the first quarter.
Wentz is reuniting with Colts coach Frank Reich. Reich was Wentz’s offensive coordinator with the Eagles during the QB’s first two years in the league.
This year’s opener will be Seattle’s first game at Indianapolis since Oct. 6, 2013. That day the Seahawks got a blocked punt for a safety by Jermaine Kearse, then a touchdown catch by Kearse from Wilson. But they blew a 12-0 lead as Andrew Luck rallied the Colts by scoring the final 11 points in the fourth quarter of Indianapolis’ 34-28 win.
Seahawks’ 2021 schedule
Sunday, Sept. 12 at Indianapolis, 10 a.m., Fox
Sunday, Sept. 19 TENNESSEE, 1:25 p.m., CBS
Sunday, Sept. 26 at Minnesota, 1:25 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Oct. 3, at San Francisco, 1:05 p.m., Fox
Thursday, Oct. 7 LOS ANGELES RAMS, 5:20 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Oct. 17 at Pittsburgh, 5:20 p.m., NBC
Monday, Oct. 25 NEW ORLEANS, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
Sunday, Oct. 31 JACKSONVILLE, 1:05 p.m., CBS
Sunday, Nov. 7 Bye
Sunday, Nov. 14 at Green Bay, 1:25 p.m., CBS
Sunday, Nov. 21 ARIZONA, 1:25 p.m., Fox
Monday, Nov. 29 at Washington, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
Sunday, Dec. 5 SAN FRANCISCO, 5:20 p.m., NBC
Sunday, Dec. 12 at Houston, 10 a.m., Fox
Sunday, Dec. 19 at L.A. Rams, 1:25 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Dec. 26 CHICAGO, 1:05 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Jan. 2 DETROIT, 1:25 p.m., Fox
Sunday, Jan. 9 at Arizona, 1:25 p.m. Fox
Home games in BOLD; All times Pacific Time