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Seahawks face playoff teams in half their games next year

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-Seattle Seahawks At Green Bay Packers USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The 2021 NFL schedules are already out, and the Seattle Seahawks have a different sort of test next year than 2020.

Seahawks 2021 Home Games:

Seahawks 2021 Road Games:

This is a significant departure from the entirety of both East divisions in 2020, with six of those eight teams finishing below .500.

The Rams, Bears, Titans, Saints, Packers, Colts, and Washington all landed in the postseason this year.

That’s eight games against playoff teams. Three of them made it to the divisional round. One of them is still alive for a Super Bowl.

Seattle also faces a pretty fascinating quarterback schedule next year, coupled with the tumultuous situation of several teams. Obviously Aaron Rodgers will lead the pack as toughest opponent, but I’m also interested in the situations of Deshaun Watson and whomever the Jacksonville Jaguars draft, as potentially two high-caliber quarterbacks on bad (read: desperate) teams. Additionally, there’s three near-elite teams in the Saints, Colts, and Washington defense, who will be up against quarterback changes next year that will make for stories to watch.

Round it out with whichever version of themselves the Titans are next season, followed by a recovered Niners team and another year of Kyler Murray-DeAndre Hopkins growth.... this is radically different than the 2020 schedule. Outside of the division, the Seahawks played good teams in the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, and only Dak Prescott as a plus-plus quarterback.

For context, the Rams trade out the Saints and Washington to instead play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants, a nearly identical strength of schedule. 12-4 will likely not be as easy to achieve next year, but might not even be needed to repeat as NFC West champs.