In week 5, Carolina has a bye.
In week 10, Arizona has a bye.
In week 11, San Francisco has a bye.
And in week 12, Pittsburgh has a bye.
And each of those teams, in the week following that bye, play the Seahawks. That gives Seattle a league-high four opponents in 2015 coming off of their bye week. In addition, the Seahawks play the Rams in week 16, when St. Louis will be coming off of ten days’ rest, having played on Thursday Night Football against the Bucs in week 15. You can view the full schedule here.
There is one saving grace for the Seahawks: all five games take place in the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field. Is that a coincidence? Probably not, although don’t expect Seahawks fans to give the NFL the benefit of the doubt here.
Playing four opponents off of a bye is a lot (tho not unheard of). In fact, only one other team has more than two such games, and that’s Washington. In weeks 5, 6, and 11, the Jets, Bucs, and Giants have their respective byes. And those teams are Washington’s opponents in weeks 6, 7, and 8 (the Jets game is on the road; the other two are home games).
In week 8, New England plays on Thursday Night Football, and week 12 is Thanksgiving, when the Dallas annually plays. The Patriots and Cowboys play Washington in weeks 9 and 13, respectively, giving New England and Dallas extra rest before their Washington game, too.
Seattle and Washington are the only teams in 2015 that play five games against teams coming off of extra rest. On the other hand, we have Tampa Bay and Carolina. Neither the Bucs nor the Panthers play a single opponent coming off of extra rest in 2015! Carolina has its bye before a trip to Seattle and a Thursday game (Thanksgiving) before a trip to New Orleans, so the extra rest on the team side (rather than the opponent side) could come in handy. Tampa Bay travels to Washington after its bye and hosts the Bears after the Thursday night game against the Seahawks, and well, the Bucs could use all the help they can get. [click to continue…]