Seahawks’ 5 biggest games for 2023
Alright 12’s, it is officially time to start the clock for the 2023 season. Free agency has come and gone, we’re through the draft, and now the official schedule for the Seattle Seahawks has been released.
As fans can start circling the calendar (and checking their pocketbooks) to determine which games stand out, I figured it was time we do so at Seahawks Wire as well.
Seattle is coming off a surprisingly resurgent 2022 where they won nine games and made it to the playoffs. But make no mistake: the Seahawks have their sights set much higher than simply qualifying for the postseason.
However, in order to help get to where they want to go, they’ll have to prove it in these five biggest games for them this year.
Honorable Mention - MNF at New York Giants
You might be asking “how could this not be higher?” It’s a fair question, especially since it’s a primetime game against a fellow playoff team, after all. The reason I don’t have this higher is because the Seahawks handled the Giants fairly easily last season in a 27-13 rout which was not nearly as competitive as even a 14-point margin might suggest.
New York did advance further than Seattle in the playoffs, and they’ll have a second year under 2022 Coach of the Year Brian Daboll, but the Giants were serious overachievers last season.
The Seahawks shouldn’t overlook New York by any means, but Monday Night is Seattle’s night, as the Seahawks boast the best win percentage in Monday Night Football’s history.
No. 5 - Week 3 vs Carolina Panthers
Before you start rolling your eyes at me for putting a Week 3 game over a Monday Night Football game, may I remind you these same Panthers marched into Lumen Field late last year and bullied the Seahawks at home?
Carolina was a much more competitive team than their record might’ve indicated, but they were still a team Seattle could – and should – have been able to defend home turf against. Now they boast No. 1 overall pick and former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Bryce Young to lead them.
It will be an early test to see if the Seahawks can A.) get a little revenge and more importantly B.) show vast improvement in defending the run game. The Panthers cruised to 223 rushing yards as a team in their 30-24 victory last December.
No. 4 - Week 13 @ Dallas Cowboys (Thursday Night Football)
The Seahawks have a wild stretch during late November and into early December. From Weeks 11-14 Seattle has three division games (two against the 49ers, more on them later of course) and two Thursday Night Football games in back to back weeks.
One of these TNF games will be a trip to Big D to face the Cowboys in Jerry World. The Cowboys suffered the same fate as the Seahawks last year: a frustrating loss to the 49ers in Santa Clara. However, Dallas was far more competitive, anchored by their stout defense with Dan Quinn at the helm of the unit.
Seattle will have a late season test in prime time against a fellow conference playoff contender – one who has little issue slowing down high-flying offenses. With two NFC heavyweights in both the Seahawks’ and Cowboys’ divisions, a win over Dallas could become crucial for Wild Card implications.
No. 3 - Week 6 @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Seahawks are making a trip to the Queen City for the first time since 2015, and will be hoping for better results. The last meeting resulted in a 27-24 overtime loss despite leading 24-7 late in the third quarter. The 17-point blown lead is the largest in Seahawks franchise history.
Back then, Seattle was near the top of the NFL world and the Bengals were up-and-comers looking to prove something. Now the tables are reversed a bit. Cincinnati, led by superstar quarterback Joe Burrow, is in the midst of building something special. They’ve been to the last two AFC Championship games and are less than two years removed from a trip to the Super Bowl.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks are now the team looking for an early signature win to help bolster their case for legitimacy. This is an early opportunity to see how they stack against one of the best the AFC has to offer.
No. 2 - Week 15 vs Philadelphia Eagles
The Bengals may be among the best in the AFC, but what is undisputed is right now the Eagles are the best in the NFC. Seattle will host the reigning Conference Champions for a mid-December showdown as both enter the playoff stretch.
The rest of the NFC is chasing Philadelphia, and it’ll be a challenging race to run. The Eagles seemingly reloaded an already stacked roster, most notably by drafting dominant Georgia defensive linemen in the draft – such as Jalen Carter, whom the Seahawks famously passed on. Seattle will hope that decision won’t come back to haunt them.
As both teams will be likely playing for playoff positioning, how the Seahawks fare against the conference standard-bearers will go a long way to determining their overall legitimacy this late in the season.
No. 1 - Week 12 - vs San Francisco 49ers (Thanksgiving)
Of course, no path to the postseason (or beyond) for Seattle exists without squaring off against their hated division rivals: the San Francisco 49ers.
The Seahawks were swept 0-3 by the 49ers last year for the first time ever, and none of the games were particularly competitive. Seemingly every offseason move Seattle made was to close the gap between them and the Niners, and San Francisco’s general manager John Lynch admitted they feel the Seahawks coming. But it won’t matter unless it shows up on the field, and Seattle gets their first crack at the Niners on Turkey Day.
Naturally, both games are going to be of equal importance, but the Seahawks need to show early they can hang with the reigning NFC West champions – who won the division in their building last season.
The Seahawks/49ers rivalry is officially back on.