The Seattle Seahawks will look to put an offseason of trade rumors involving quarterback Russell Wilson firmly in the rearview mirror when they kick off the 2021 regular season on Sept. 12 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Wilson embarked on a media tour during Super Bowl week in early February and aired his grievances, ranging from a lack of input on personnel decisions to the lackluster protection he'd received from the offensive line. While speculation about his future popped up, he's remained in Seattle.
Let's check out the Seahawks' full slate followed by a look at some key storylines concerning the team's 2021 opponents.
2021 Seattle Seahawks Schedule
*Television listings can be found on the team's official website
The one thing that immediately stands out about the Seahawks' schedule is the number of opponents that are going through quarterback changes for 2021.
Along with the division rival Rams and potentially the 49ers, they also match up with the Bears, Lions, Jaguars, Saints, Colts and Washington following changes under center. That should help a defense that ranked 31st in passing yards allowed last season.
Seattle ranks in the middle of the pack with the 11th-hardest strength for schedule based on opponents' records from 2020, according to the NFL.
The home portion of the slate appears manageable, and that will be important in the face of a tricky group of road games. If the Seahawks can post a record of 6-2 or better at Lumen Field, then they will only need to play around .500 football on the road in order to make the playoffs.
Anything less and they will likely struggle to match last year's 12-4 mark and potentially find themselves still fighting for a playoff berth in the season's final weeks.
As always, the NFC West games take precedent for the Seahawks. If they can take care of business within the division, everything else tends to take care of itself in terms of seeding. There's nothing in the schedule to suggest that will be any different this year.
The concern is if the 49ers, who reached the Super Bowl two years ago before going 6-10 last year, can return to form, the division could end up being the NFL's toughest. The Niners' addition of quarterback Trey Lance with the third overall pick in the draft adds to that possibility.
So while Seattle would love to sweep its divisional games, going at least 4-2 would be an accomplishment.
Otherwise some games of note in case the Hawks don't win the division would be those against teams who could end up in the wild-card race. The Vikings and Washington both fall into that category, so those two contests could carry some extra weight.
That said, the bottom line is the Seahawks' schedule doesn't feature many "gimmes," so they won't be able to afford any type of extended lull in their play. A fast start would alleviate some of the pressure.