During July, the Last Word On Sports NFL department will be analyzing the schedules of every team in the NFL and ranking each game in order of difficulty (with one being the most difficult). This series will be split up into the eight most difficult games (ranked 1-8) and the eight easiest games (ranked 9-16) for each team. In this article, the Seattle Seahawks most difficult games are the focus.
Seattle Seahawks Most Difficult Games in 2016
1. Week 10 at New England Patriots
The Patriots and Seahawks became rivals after New England defeated Seattle 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX. This will be the first match up between the two since. Seattle and New England are two of the top teams in the league. The Patriots have four Super Bowl wins on their belt to which they can thank future Hall of Fame quarterback, Tom Brady along with some of the best players in the league, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman.
2. Week 13 vs. Carolina Panthers
Carolina debuted their dominance in the league last season with a record of 15-1. They faced Seattle in week 6, beating the Seahawks 27-23. The two teams met again in the divisional playoffs, with Carolina taking the win again 31-24 at home in Bank of America stadium. The Panthers may have lost against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50, but they remain a top team if not the number one team in the NFL.
3. Week 14 at Green Bay Packers
Despite the Packers 2015 record of 10-6, Green Bay was not up to par with their performance. Many say this was because of wide receiver Jordy Nelson‘s absence, who suffered a season-ending injury in the preseaoson. Now, with Nelson healthy, the Packers are a team to watch out for once again.
4. Week 7 at Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are another team the Seahawks must face to make their way back to the playoffs. They are just two of the four teams in NFC West, with the Cardinals finishing first in the division in 2015. With two matches against each other in 2016, the Cardinals will count on their top players Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, and Tyrann Mathieu to take the win at home.
5. Week 16 vs. Arizona Cardinals
Home games are always an advantage. But against a division rival, it isn’t a guaranteed win. The Cardinals have won two of the last five games they have played at CenturyLink Field since 2011. And they hope to make it a third. Carson Palmer has 541 yards and four touchdown passes in the two games he has played at CenturyLink since becoming an Arizona Cardinal.
6. Week 8 at New Orleans Saints
Week 8 of the 2016 season marks the first game since the Saints traded tight end Jimmy Graham to the Seahawks in exchange for Center Max Unger. Graham’s first season in Seattle was cut short when he suffered a season-ending injury to his knee mid-season. The Saints will look to see which trade became the most valuable.
7. Week 4 at New York Jets
The Jets have been trying to build their talent under head coach Todd Bowles. The team was just shy of making the playoffs in 2015 and have a good chance of making it in 2016. The Jets managed to add more depth to their roster with the 2016 NFL draft, adding seven more players including outside linebacker Darron Lee and quarterback Christian Hackenberg.
8. Week 6 vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons got off to a good start in 2015. They went unbeaten in their first five games. But they ended their season only 8-8, 4-4 when on the road. With players on the Falcons roster like Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Jake Matthews, Mohamed Sanu and rookie Keanu Neal, they have a clean slate to make something of themselves in 2016.
Be sure and check out the easiest eight games on the Seattle Seahawks schedule.