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Since 2010, the Seahawks have played the fewest 10 AM regular season games of any west coast team

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Seattle Seahawks v New York Jets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks have a pretty desirable road schedule for the 2017 NFL regular season. They only have one 10 AM PT road game (a December matchup at Jacksonville), when they theoretically could’ve had as many as five. The last time the Seahawks had just one regular season early kickoff was 1982, an otherwise strike-shortened year.

Seahawks fans are fully aware of the great “early game” debate. Numbers suggest that west coast teams are at a clear disadvantage with the “morning body clock” in effect for 1 PM ET (or 12 PM CT) matchups when they travel east. There was even a recent Field Gulls fanpost challenging Football Outsiders’ data and arguing that 10 AM PT road starts aren’t significantly favorable for home teams. Whatever opinion you have on the matter, when the NFL changed its scheduling system in 2009, they did so to accommodate the eastern teams, because of course they did.

Anyway, out of pure curiosity, I wanted to see how many regular season early road games the Seahawks have had to play in the Pete Carroll era, and compare them with the other west coast teams. As it turns out, Seattle has had the fewest 10 AM regular season kickoffs of any west coast team during this time span.

There are a few footnotes here:

—San Francisco (in 2010 and 2013) and Oakland (2014) played neutral site games in London, both at 10 AM PT. I’m counting those in the stats, whether or not they were technically considered a “home” team, because those games were announced well in advance of the official schedule release, and they’re uh ... still 10 AM games. Just in another country.

—The Seahawks had a 2015 road game at Baltimore moved from Sunday Night Football to 10 AM due to the Ravens’ awful record. In 2010, the Chargers-Bengals week 16 game was moved from SNF to a 1 PM kickoff. Two years later, the Chargers at Jets was flexed out of SNF and moved to 10 AM due to neither team being in the playoff hunt.

—This list only includes teams based in the pacific time zone. This disqualifies Denver and Arizona as a result, and my reasoning is that unlike those teams, the west coast sides have to travel at least two time zones for a 10 AM game.

10 AM regular season games for west coast teams (2010-2016)

Team 10 AM games Maximum 10 AM games possible Games played at 1 PM PT Played in primetime 10 AM wins 10 AM win %
Team 10 AM games Maximum 10 AM games possible Games played at 1 PM PT Played in primetime 10 AM wins 10 AM win %
Seahawks 25 38 9 4 12 0.48
Raiders 34 41 6 1 12 0.353
49ers 27 39 6 6 12 0.444
Chargers 26 39 8 5 11 0.423

Seahawks 10 AM regular season kickoffs (2010-2016)

Year 10 AM kickoffs Maximum AM games possible Games played at 1 PM PT Played in primetime 10 AM wins
Year 10 AM kickoffs Maximum AM games possible Games played at 1 PM PT Played in primetime 10 AM wins
2010 2 4 2 0 1
2011 5 6 1 0 2
2012 4 6 2 0 1
2013 5 6 0 1 4
2014 3 5 1 1 1
2015 4 6 1 1 2
2016 2 5 2 1 1
Total 25 38 9 4 12

49ers

Year 10 AM kickoffs Maximum AM games possible Games played at 1 PM PT Played in primetime 10 AM wins
Year 10 AM kickoffs Maximum AM games possible Games played at 1 PM PT Played in primetime 10 AM wins
2010 6 6 0 0 1
2011 5 6 0 1 5
2012 3 6 2 1 1
2013 2 6 2 2 2
2014 2 4 1 1 2
2015 5 6 0 1 1
2016 4 5 1 0 0
Total 27 39 6 6 12

Chargers

Year 10 AM kickoffs Maximum 10 AM games possible Games played at 1 PM PT Played in primetime 10 AM wins
Year 10 AM kickoffs Maximum 10 AM games possible Games played at 1 PM PT Played in primetime 10 AM wins
2010 2 5 1 2 1
2011 1 6 3 2 0
2012 5 6 0 1 3
2013 5 6 1 0 3
2014 4 4 0 0 2
2015 5 6 1 0 1
2016 4 6 2 0 1
Total 26 39 8 5 11

Raiders

Year 10 AM kickoffs Maximum AM games possible Games played at 1 PM PT Played in primetime 10 AM wins
Year 10 AM kickoffs Maximum AM games possible Games played at 1 PM PT Played in primetime 10 AM wins
2010 4 5 1 0 1
2011 5 6 1 0 3
2012 5 6 1 0 0
2013 5 6 1 0 1
2014 5 6 1 0 0
2015 5 6 1 0 2
2016 5 6 0 1 5
Total 34 41 6 1 12

If the Raiders are anything to go by, it’s evident that west coast teams have a better chance of escaping a deluge of early road games when they’re playoff contenders, as opposed to perennial cellar-dwellers. This year’s Oakland team has three of their six possible morning starts moved to primetime: at Washington, Miami, and Philadelphia. Compare them to the 49ers, whose entire non-NFC West road schedule will be played at 10 AM.

Television networks value the afternoon doubleheaders and primetime games for big ratings, so the Seahawks’ consistent run of playoff success over the last several years has been quite beneficial in terms of avoiding the 10 AM slot. The games at Green Bay, Dallas, and NY Giants are all featured 1:25 PM kickoffs in the doubleheader window for FOX or CBS.

As long as the schedule rotation remains unchanged heading into next regular season, the Seahawks will play no more than three 10 AM games in 2018. The NFC West plays the AFC West, and Kansas City (the only team in either division who can host a 10 AM home game) is at the Seahawks. Seattle’s road opponents include Chicago, Detroit, and the NFC South team that finishes in the same spot as them in the 2017 standings.

Long story short: If it’s ever felt at any point like the Seahawks have gotten a raw deal with morning kickoffs, that’s certainly not been the case under Pete Carroll. You should also be thankful that Seattle has somehow avoided the dreaded pointless trip to London, which Arizona and the LA Rams will get to experience this October.