Earl Thomas—foe now, not friend—will return to Seattle to play against his now-former team in late October.
The two key showdowns with the defending NFC-champion Los Angeles Rams will both be nationally showcased prime time games, with the first one at CenturyLink Field on a Thursday night in week five.
That plus four consecutive prime time games grouped around Seattle’s latest bye in six years, in week 11, and home games against division rivals in the final two weeks of the regular season highlight the Seahawks’ official 2019 schedule the NFL released Wednesday.
The Thursday night home game against the division-champion Rams is on Oct. 3.
Seattle’s other prime time games are Monday night Nov. 11 at San Francisco, at Philadelphia on Sunday night Nov. 24, home against Minnesota on Monday night Dec. 2 and an NFC West rematch at the Rams inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday night Dec. 8.
The bye is Nov. 17. That’s between the Monday night game at the Richard Sherman’s 49ers and the Sunday nighter at Philadelphia.
The only time in the last half-dozen years the Seahawks have had a later weekend off was in week 12 of the 2013 season. Seattle went 10-1 in the long, uninterrupted stretch before that bye. They went 3-2 after it through the end of the regular season to clinch the top playoff seed in the NFC. Three postseason wins later the Seahawks had their only Super Bowl championship, in Feb. 2014.
Five of Seattle’s 16 games are against playoff teams from last season: the Rams (twice), the Saints, the Ravens and the Eagles.
Thomas signed as a free agent with Baltimore last month after nine seasons as a bedrock star for the Seahawks. The final one was acrimonious with his holdout, refusal to practice, season-ending broken leg and then flipping off his team on his way out.
Yet expect a hero’s welcome for Thomas when he and the Ravens will play at CenturyLink Field on Oct. 20, a 1:25 p.m. kickoff in week seven.
The Seahawks begin the 2019 season at home against Cincinnati at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8. The Bengals haven’t played in Seattle since 2011, coach Pete Carroll’s second season in charge of the Seahawks.
Week two Seattle stays against the AFC North by playing at Pittsburgh. The last time the Seahawks played at the Steelers was their 24-0 loss in Pittsburgh on Sept. 18, 2011. That’s the only time Seattle’s been shutout in Carroll’s nine years leading the franchise.
That game at Heinz Field is one of four Seahawks games scheduled to kick off at 10 a.m. Pacific Time in 2019.
Seattle returns home in week three for a 1:25 p.m. game against New Orleans, which lost to the Rams in last season’s conference championship. The Seahawks close out September with a division game at Arizona on the 29th at 1:05 p.m.
After that Thursday night home game against the Rams, the Seahawks play at Cleveland at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 3. The last time Seattle played the Browns in Ohio, Marshawn Lynch was ruled out with a back injury, Charlie Whitehurst was the quarterback and the Seahawks gained just 137 yards and lost 6-3 on Oct. 23, 2011.
The Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson six months later.
After Thomas’ return with Baltimore to Seattle in week seven, the Seahawks play at Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 10 a.m., host Tampa Bay on Sunday Nov. 3 at 1:05 p.m., then have that Monday nighter at San Francisco before the bye.
One year after Seattle caught a schedule break with four of the final five games at home, the NFL gave the Seahawks three of the final five games of 2019 at CenturyLink Field.
The first one is that post-bye Monday night game against the Vikings. Then Seattle plays the Sunday night game at the Rams before travelling to Carolina for their seemingly annual game against the Panthers on Sunday Dec. 15 at 10 a.m.
Those Rams and Panthers games are the only times in 2019 Seattle will play consecutive weekends on the road. The Seahawks alternate home and road games over the first 10 weeks.
The regular season ends at CenturyLink Field against Arizona on Sunday, Dec. 22 at 1:25 p.m., and against the 49ers on Sunday, Dec. 29 at 1:25 p.m.
The NFL can “flex” Sunday-morning/afternoon kickoff times into Sunday night for games that become more attractive as the season goes on, beginning in week 5. The league can flex up to two games to Sunday night from weeks five through 10.
After week 10 any Sunday day game can switch to night, and the league can flex out to Sunday afternoon any Sunday night game that is not the attraction the NFL thought it would be in April. Such changes must be announced no later than 12 days before the games, with the exception of six days out for week 17.
SEAHAWKS 2019 SCHEDULE (times PT)
Sept. 8 CINCINNATI 1:05 p.m. (CBS, Ch. 7)
Sept. 15 at Pittsburgh 10 a.m. (Fox, Ch. 13)
Sept. 22 NEW ORLEANS 1:25 p.m. (CBS, Ch. 7)
Sept. 29 at Arizona 1:05 p.m. (Fox, Ch. 13)
Oct. 3 (Thur) L.A. RAMS 5:20 p.m. (Fox, Ch. 13)
Oct. 13 at Cleveland 10 a.m. (Fox, Ch. 13)
Oct. 20 BALTIMORE 1:25 p.m. (Fox, Ch. 13)
Oct. 27 at Atlanta 10 a.m. (Fox, Ch. 13)
Nov. 3 TAMPA BAY 1:05 p.m. (Fox, Ch. 13)
Nov. 11 (Mon)at San Francisco 5:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Nov. 17 BYE
Nov. 24 at Philadelphia 5:20 p.m. (NBC, C. 5)
Dec. 2 (Mon) MINNESOTA 5:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Dec. 8 at L.A. Rams 5:20 p.m. (NBC, Ch. 5)
Dec. 15 at Carolina 10 a.m. (Fox, Ch. 13)
Dec. 22 ARIZONA 1:25 p.m. (Fox, Ch. 13)
Dec. 29 SAN FRANCISCO 1:25 p.m. (Fox, Ch. 13)