The start of the 2019 NFL season is right around the corner and paths to the playoffs have become much clearer. If the Seattle Seahawks most difficult games on their schedule can be navigated, then the odds are high for to be playing late into the new year.
The Seahawks have a mildly tough schedule as they’re playing in five nationally televised games this season and it begins and ends with the Los Angeles Rams. The two teams meet in a Thursday night Week 5 affair and conclude the season series with a Week 14 Sunday night game. Also, the Seahawks have five games (two against the Rams, one at the Philadelphia Eagles, home games against the Baltimore Ravens and the New Orleans Saints) on the docket against teams that made the playoffs last season.
And having a late bye week (Week 11) will force Pete Carroll to loosen the team’s practicing schedule as a way to preserve the roster. The Seahawks training staff will play a key role in keeping everyone healthy and in one piece to survive the season.
Seattle Seahawks Most Difficult Games in 2019
1) Week 14 at Los Angeles Rams
Last year, the Rams swept the Seahawks in both games as they were highly competitive, with the outcome in doubt late into the fourth quarter in each contest. This late-season affair could have huge ramifications on the divisional and wild card chase. This will be the most difficult of the Seahawks games as they hope to establish the running game early to keep the Rams high-powered offense off the field.
2) Week 3 vs New Orleans Saints
If both teams play their cards right, the Saints and Seahawks could face-off once again in the NFC playoffs this January. It’s the classic matchup of a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback, Drew Brees, battling wits against a very good pass defensive unit. The Seahawks have a distinct advantage in this contest as the noise generated inside CenturyLink Field makes life difficult for opposing teams. Still, you can expect this game to come down to who has the ball last.
3) Week 12 at Philadelphia Eagles
This will be another tough late-season road game against a possible playoff opponent. The Eagles are expected to contend for a Super Bowl, but their success is dependent upon the health of their starting quarterback, Carson Wentz. One consolation for the Seahawks is they head to Philly off their bye week, so Carroll should have plenty of time to design an effective defensive gameplan to neutralize Wentz and Co.
4) Week 6 at Cleveland Browns
No question, the Cleveland Browns are the Seahawks biggest out-of-conference opponent this season. The matchup seems like a bad fit all around for the Seahawks as they’re playing on the road against a high-powered offense with a 10 a.m. kickoff. Despite being perfect in those games last season, it’s still a challenge for a West Coast team like the Seahawks to adapt to the early starting time. Limiting the number of mistakes made will be key to whoever wins this contest.
5) Week 2 at Pittsburgh Steelers
The 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers were the poster child for being the NFL’s most dysfunctional team. Star running back Le’Veon Bell held out for the entire season due to a contract dispute. Talented wideout Antonio Brown feuded with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a point of no return. Now, the locker room seems to be one big happy family as both Bell and Brown have found new homes for 2019. The roster seems ready to rid themselves of past distractions and focus more on disputing the claim of their sudden demise. It doesn’t hurt to have a talented young defense rounding into shape as well. Plus, opponents have a hard time defeating (regular-season record: 104-39-1) the Steelers at Heinz Field.
6) Week 5 vs Los Angeles Rams
It will be a short week for both teams, but the Seahawks have the advantage as they’re hosting this Thursday night primetime matchup at the Link. Under Carroll, the Seahawks have gone 26-5-1 in primetime games, mostly because of their aggressive style of defense taking advantage of lineup mismatches. If the Seahawks can force Jared Goff into turning the ball over, then convert that into quick scores by the offense, they may find themselves out in front early in the chase for the NFC West crown.
7) Week 13 vs Minnesota Vikings
It’s a rematch that Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback Kirk Cousins hasn’t circled on his calendar, especially after his lackluster performance in last season’s disappointing 21-7 defeat. It was a defensive struggle before the Seahawks scored two late touchdowns to stretch out their lead. And the final caveat in favor of the Seahawks is Russell Wilson holding a perfect 5-0 record against the Vikings.
8) Week 8 at Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons have been the NFL’s biggest disappointment since their meltdown against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Falcons coach Dan Quinn revamping his coaching staff to try shaking up his roster to play up to their potential. Despite all of the recent struggles, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is still a dangerous passer. Especially if he gets a couple of completions in a row to start the game.
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