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Seahawks get both help and hindrance from NFL schedule makers

Kansas City Chiefs v Seattle Seahawks zPhoto by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The NFL released the schedule for the 2019 season on Wednesday, and while the opponents had been known since the end of the 2018 season, fans now know the week and time for all sixteen games for their favorite teams. For the Seattle Seahawks this means opening the season at home, as Mookie Alexander has long been predicting, along with multiple early starts and a string of primetime games late in the season.

Specifically, many fans were quick to recognize and jump on the fact that the Seahawks are slated for four 10 AM starts. While that has traditionally been a time slot which has been attributed to struggles for the team in decades past, in recent seasons the team has performed well in early starts.

So, while many will lament that, one friendly piece of the schedule that I have yet to see mentioned is the fact that the Seahawks get to face two respectable opponents, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings, in primetime. For those who have blacked out the 2018 season, the Hawks were victorious in multiple primetime games during the second half of this past season, including games against the Green Bay Packers, the Vikings and the Kansas City Chiefs. (Author’s note: This article has been updated. A previous version incorrectly listed the game against Philadelphia as a home game.)

The reason these games are so noteworthy is that while fans are quick to accept that 10 am starts are detrimental for west coast teams, last fall I dug into how west coast teams have the ability to benefit from playing teams whose body clocks are farther ahead. Specifically, I dug into primetime games teams have played when their opponent was from at least two time zones away. The results were far from conclusive, but they certainly lended some level of credence to the idea that there could be something at play.

In any case, the Seahawks now has their 2019 schedule, and fans can start figuring out which games they will attend and start buying tickets. Meanwhile, the coaching staff can begin game planning for how to run-run-pass-punt most efficiently for specific opponents.