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Rookies, recovery and rest: Why the Seahawks’ schedule is the worst

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NFL: OCT 13 Seahawks at Browns Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2020 very tentative NFL schedule has arrived, and it’s a heck of an opener for the Seattle Seahawks.

Here’s a look again at the start to the season.

September

9/13: at Atlanta Falcons (10:00 AM PT, FOX)

9/20: vs. New England Patriots (5:20 PM PT, NBC)

9/27: vs. Dallas Cowboys (1:25 PM PT, FOX)

October

10/4: at Miami Dolphins (10:00 AM PT, FOX)

10/11: vs. Minnesota Vikings (5:20 PM PT, NBC*)

10/18: BYE

10/25: at Arizona Cardinals (1:05 PM, FOX)

The first two months have Seattle up against two playoff teams in the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings. Two more games are against the massively retooled Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals. An additional two are against the Cowboys and Falcons, both of whom severely under-performed last season and both have top-tier quarterbacks.

Also, the three games that could have been considered the easier matchups are all road games, two of them being east coast 10 AM start times.

To cap it all, the Seahawks have a Week 6 bye, which is in the earliest 10 percent of possible bye options.

Why is this the worst?

Three reasons the Seahawks are not well-suited for this schedule

1) New additions

It’s a year that will be unlike any other the NFL has seen to date. COVID-19 has already altered offseason plans, and it’s going to continue. “Virtual preseason” is happening over Zoom, and other weird stuff that PR has released to make us think that the football team is improving at the moment. It’s not; they’re maintaining weight-lifting strength at best.

Seattle has used its first-round pick for the first time in five decades.* It drafted the position of greatest need by trading up in round two. The third round rookie guard is expected to be the day one starter. Greg Olsen is new to the team and at the age of 41 years probably needs some ramping up.** Quinton Dunbar has never played as part of the Seahawks’ defense and is the presumed second cornerback.
*8 years
**Just turned 35.

And we’re expecting those guys to come out ready at Atlanta, against New England and Dallas? With limited preparation and possibly shortened preseason?

Hooray.

2) Bad bye week

Now, this has been proven to have an inexplicably minimal effect on teams. However, it is explicitly* VERY important to fans. Having a Week 6 bye following a game they can’t be at and before a game they won’t go to is somehow going to wreck the fan base for much of October.
*Not a word, yet.

However, Russell Wilson is 6-2 after the bye, and it’s unfortunate to waste it against the Arizona Cardinals, no matter how much taller Kyler Murray thinks he’s gotten this offseason.

3) It still hurts!

Will Dissly. Chris Carson. Rashaad Penny. K.J. Wright. Whatever Mike Iupati does to his foot in late August walking down the stairs at the VMAC. Add to the mix Jadeveon Clowney, if indeed he does come back.

All significant injuries that mean every day matters for meaningful starters on this roster. They need time to recover. Pete Carroll says Penny is “ahead of schedule,” but considering it was believed he’d miss much of the first-half of the season that doesn’t mean he’ll be a go on day one.

Seattle then went and signed a tight end and drafted two, meaning they’re absolutely not confident in Dissly to ball out an entire season.

To be honest it would be better for the Seahawks if the season were to be delayed. This particular year of all years they need it. Add to the mounting pressure on Pete Carroll and John Schneider to not waste Russell Wilson’s career, and they desperately need to prove they belong in 2020 by doing it early.