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Field Gulls - All Posts

29 September 2023

The stupidest name in smart football analysis.
  • Uchenna Nwosu does not practice, listed on initial injury report with an Achilles
    Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

    Perhaps most troubling is the addition of Uchenna Nwosu to the injury report with an Achilles issue.

    The Seattle Seahawks are preparing for one last game before heading into a much needed bye week in Week 5, which will give the many members of the team who are ailing an opportunity to rest and recover. The injury bug bit hard early in the season for the Hawks, with both starting tackles leaving the season opening loss against the Los Angeles Rams and it’s been downhill since with more and more injuries piling on.

    Thus, the length of the initial injury report for the Week 4 matchup against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football is not a surprise, but the number of key members of the roster not participating in practice, particularly on the defensive side of the ball certainly warrants attention.

    It’s no surprise to see Charles Cross, Coby Bryant and Tre Brown not practicing, but the addition of Uchenna Nwosu is likely to lead to raised eyebrows, especially when considering that he is listed on the injury report with an Achilles, which is potentially not a minor injury. That makes this something that is worth monitoring, not just in the lead up to the game Monday, but potentially in the coming weeks and months as well.

    Obviously injury reports tend to shorten as the week goes on, and hopefully that will be the case again this week.

  • Thursday Night Football picks and open thread: Lions at Packers
    Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

    It’s not a game that will have an immediate impact on whether the Seahawks make the playoffs like the Week 18 matchup between these two teams did, but it could be important down the road.

    The last time the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers met in primetime, it was Week 18 of the 2023 season with a playoff berth on the line. It was a win and in situation for the Pack, while Detroit had been eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the day when the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Los Angeles Rams 19-16 in overtime.

    Most Seahawks fans will fondly remember the Lions coming away with a 20-16 victory at Lambeau Field, a loss which officially eliminated Green Bay from the playoffs and gave the Seahawks the right to get obliterated by play the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card Round. This time around it’s a different matchup, of course, as the Packers sent old man Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets for draft picks, finally giving Jordan Love a chance to show what he can do as a starter. For Detroit, it’s the third year of the Dan Campbell era, and after flirting with .500 in 2022, the Lions are off to a strong start and looking to take an early lead in what appears to be a weak NFC North this season with the Lions and Packers both 2-1 while the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears each sit at 0-3.

    Lions @ Packers — 5:15 pm — Prime Video — O/U: 45

    The winner of this matchup will hold an early advantage in the race for the NFC North, as they will move to 3-1 in September and hold an early head to head win over the only other member of the division to have recorded a win so far this season. Both teams sport a top eight scoring offense so far in 2023 that is paired with a defense that is average to above average in terms of points allowed. That this is true for the Lions in spite of the 37 points allowed to the Geno Smith-led Seahawks in Week 2 makes it even more impressive, and in spite of that performance against Seattle, the Lions enter this game as slight favorites.

    In the first year of the post-Rodgers era, this will be just the fifth start of Jordan Love’s career, including the first in primetime and the second against a division rival after he started in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears. On the flip side it will be Jared Goff under center, who has helped lead the Lions to victory over the Packers in three of four starts since being acquired prior to the 2021 season.

    Check outDraftKings Sportsbook, the officialsportsbook partner of SB Nation.

  • Report: Seahawks fill practice squad by signing WR
    Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

    The Seahawks had an open spot on the practice squad after promoting Jon Rhattigan to the active roster, but that spot has reportedly been filled

    Following their Week 3 victory over the Carolina Panthers, the Seattle Seahawks waived wide receiver Cody Thompson ahead of the Week 5 matchup against the New York Giants. The waiving of Thompson is a move that likely does not come as a significant surprise to those who recognize that Thompson’s value to the team lies in his ability to contribute on special teams, a role that is likely to be taken over by Dareke Young when he returns from injured reserve in the coming weeks.

    However, with Young still not designated to return to practice, the timing of the move could be considered a surprise. What was not a surprise, though, was that after creating an open roster spot by waiving Thompson, the Seahawks quickly filled the spot by promoting special teamer Jon Rhattigan from the practice squad. Rhattigan is tied with several others for the third most special teams snaps played through the first three games, but the promotion of Rhattigan had created an open spot on the practice squad. According to a report from Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, that spot on the practice squad has now been filled.

    So, in summary Thompson was waived to create room on the 53 man roster to promote Rhattigan, whose promotion created an open spot on the practice squad for Thompson.

  • 12 Thoughts as the Seahawks gear up for ‘Monday Night Football’

    A collection of FTR thoughts that weren’t turned into their own articles...

    Geography is a funny thing.

    Or, rather, people’s perception of geography is a funny thing.

    Case in point: The New York Giants (and the New York Jets) play their home games in New Jersey - East Rutherford, New Jersey, to be exact.

    We all know this, and yet, we never refer to them as the Jersey Giants, except when we’re being condescending or playful.

    And, I get it . . . Saying “as theSeahawks head to Jersey” was never an option for the headline of this article - even though the team will presumably land at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey rather than JFK or LaGuardia in New York City.

    Geographical musings aside, I have some thoughts about the week that was and the week that is in the NFL.

    Let’s get started . . .

    Thought No. 1

    My first thought was going to be about Seattle’s run defense, but when I passed 500 words, I decided to make it a standalone article:

    Seahawks have a top-3 run defense through first 3 weeks of NFL season.

    I was going to pivot to Seattle’s pass defense, but Mookie covered that with an interesting / depressing article on Wednesday afternoon about how the Seahawks pass defense is giving out explosive plays like they’re Halloween candy.

    So . . .

    How about those special teams?

    Somewhat surprisingly, but only because I don’t often look at special teams stats, Seattle is No. 8 in kickoff returns with a respectable average of 24.6 yards on 7 returns, with a long of 34.

    The Denver Broncos are No. 1 with an average of 44 yards, but 99 of their 176 yards came on one return so we’ll roll with the “small sample size” disclaimer here.

    The same disclaimer applies to the Buffalo Bills who are averaging 41 yards per return, but only have one return in three games.

    Ditto the Carolina Panthers with their one return for 37 yards.

    In fact, there’s only one team that has MORE kickoff returns than the Seahawks do and that’s the New Orleans Saints who have 9 returns with an average return of 21 yards.

    No. 3 is the Green Bay Packers with 5 returns.

    So kudos to Seattle for keeping the kickoff team busy and at least semi-relevant.


    The Seahawks are ranked even higher on punt returns.

    No. 7 overall.

    They have four returns for 59 yards which is an average of 14.8 yards per.

    Again, the Broncos are No. 1, but with an asterisk . . .

    . . . they have all of ONE return.

    It was for 45 yards though, so they’re way ahead of the second-place team (the Saints) and their paltry average of 24.5 yards on their 4 returns.

    Thought No. 2

    Everyone loves a good “revenge” game, right?

    Well, I certainly hope so, because Week 4 is chock-full of them . . . by my count, there are at least six, maybe seven:

    1. Adam Thielen vs. the Minnesota Vikings? CHECK!
    2. Calvin Ridley vs. the Atlanta Falcons (from London)? CHECK!
    3. Ezekiel Elliott vs. the Dallas Cowboys? CHECK!
    4. Jameis Winston vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? CHECK!
    5. Mecole Hardman vs. the Kansas City Chiefs? CHECK!
    6. OBJ vs. the Cleveland Browns? CHECK!

    The final revenge game on the Week 4 schedule is, of course, Geno Smith’s return to New York Jersey to face the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.

    I’m not sure I would classify it as a revenge game though.

    I mean, not really.

    Partly because Geno’s already “been there, done that” with the Giants after having faced them in Week 8 last season.

    Mostly though, I wouldn’t classify MNF tilt as a “revenge” game because Geno didn’t publicly take the bait make much of his “reunion tour” last year - a tour which included:

    • A 37-23 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 7
    • A 27-13 victory over the New York Giants in Week 8
    • A 23-6 win over the New York Jets in Week 17

    Geno was 3-0 against his former teams last year and Seattle outscored them 87 to 42.

    If success is the best revenge, Geno’s already had his.

    Not that he’d actually admit it.

    At least not publicly.

    Thought No. 3

    Here’s a stat that probably won’t surprise you . . .

    The Seahawks are currently yielding 407.3 yards per game which ties them with the Chicago Bears for third-worst league-wide.

    The Chargers are No. 31 at 450.7 yards per game, and the Broncos are dead last with a defense that is allowing an eye-popping 458.3 yards per game.

    Note: I was going to point out that the Broncos are on pace to SHATTER the NFL record for yards allowed in a season (7,042 by New Orleans in 2012), but then I did the math and saw that the Seahawks are on pace to allow 6,924, so I’m leaving it alone.

    To be fair, more than half of the yards the Broncos have allowed (726 of 1,375) were amassed by the Miami Dolphins in their completely dominant / almost-record-setting performance in Week 3.

    Miami’s possessions vs. Denver:

    • 3 plays, 75 yards, TOUCHDOWN
    • 9 plays, 81 yards, TOUCHDOWN
    • 11 plays, 75 yards, TOUCHDOWN
    • 4 plays, 9 yards, Downs
    • 6 plays, 86 yards, TOUCHDOWN
    • 1 play, 3 yards, TOUCHDOWN
    • 1 play, 6 yards, End of Half
    • 11 plays, 90 yards, TOUCHDOWN
    • 9 plays, 77 yards, TOUCHDOWN
    • 2 plays, 8 yards, TOUCHDOWN
    • 3 plays, 8 yards, Punt (their only one of the game)
    • 3 plays, 68 yards, TOUCHDOWN
    • 2 plays, 75 yards, TOUCHDOWN
    • 6 plays, 51 yards, Downs

    Note: The Dolphins finished 9 yards shy of the NFL record for yards in a single game (735 by the Rams, vs. the Yanks, in 1951) and took a knee on 4th down from the Broncos 27-yard line rather than attempting a field goal that would have given them a share of the all-time record for points (set by the Chicago Bears in the 1940 NFL Championship Game).

    Thought No. 4

    Speaking of the Dolphins . . .

    There is what can best be described as an urban myth which would have us believe that the surviving members of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins team get together every year for a champagne toast when the NFL’s last unbeaten team suffers their first loss.

    Whether or not that’s true makes no difference.

    My question is this:

    With the first three weeks in the books, there are currently only three undefeated teams left in the NFL: the San Francisco 49ers, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Miami Dolphins.

    Obviously everyone is going to celebrate when the 49ers and Eagles lose - well, everyone outside of their respective fanbases anyway.

    But what about the Dolphins?

    I find it very difficult to root against them this year. I want them to go them 17-0 and, if they aren’t facing us in the Super Bowl, I’m 100% okay with them going 20-0.

    But what about the surviving members of the 1972 team?

    Are they rooting for the 2023 team to join them (and, technically, pass them) in the NFL record books, or are they going to raise a glass if the 2023 team falls short?

    Note: As good as the Dolphins look thus far, especially last week, going undefeated is going to be tough when they face the Buffalo Bills twice (this week, plus Week 18), and also have games against the Eagles, Chiefs, and Cowboys.

    Thought No. 5

    On the flip side of the NFL’s parity coin, there are currently four winless teams: the Carolina Panthers, the Chicago Bears, the Denver Broncos, and the Minnesota Vikings.

    The good news (for them) is that half of them will get in the win column this week. Strike that! (Ties are always a possibility.)

    The good news is that at least half of them won’t be 0-4 after Sunday’s games.

    The bad news (for us) is that the NFL schedule makers have the most twisted sense of humor on the planet (and I can say that since the season is scripted) . . .

    Week 4 “features” the 0-3 Vikings at the 0-3 Panthers and the 0-3 Broncos at the 0-3 Bears.

    You can’t make this stuff up!

    Thought No. 6

    In the middle of typing out Thought No. 5, I suddenly feared that Sunday’s TV lineup in the Seattle area would include at least one of the 0-3 turd-burger match-ups.

    Huge. Sigh. Of. Relief.

    If I’m reading the TV maps correctly (which is no sure thing), this is the local lineup for the 12s this week:

    Yay! Not a single winless team among them.

    Thought No. 7

    From the great minds that brought us the NFL on Nickelodeon and the Manning-Cast for Monday Night Football . . .

    . . . at least I would assume it’s the same folks who signed off on this . . .

    Sunday’s game between the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars in London will be “simulcast” from Andy’s room.

    Yes, the iconic location from the Pixar Toy Story franchise is now home to NFL football games - and the first one (because, of course, there will be more than one) has a very special halftime show featuring Duke Caboom that you can only see on Disney+ and ESPN+.

    There is ZERO chance that I’ll be getting up early to watch that live, but . . .

    I thought the Manning-Cast was going to be a disaster and it’s actually a lot of fun (as long as your team isn’t playing), so . . .


    Thought No. 8

    From the In-Case-You-Missed-It file . . .

    DK Metcalf on what separates good players from great ones (and who his favorite receiver is/was):

    And, just because I love seeing DK in NFL commercials (especially funny ones) . . .

    CLICK HERE to see DK suggest that he have the first 198-yard touchdown in NFL history (on Thanksgiving Day, no less).

    Note: I had to post a link because the NFL won’t let us embed the YouTube video.

    Thought No. 9

    Last week, I used Thought No. 9 to self-identify as a Swiftie.

    It seems I’m not the only one.

    According to multiple sources, including this ESPN article, Tay-Tay’s decision to take Travis Kelce up on his offer to watch him play at Arrowhead stadium led to:

    • An almost-400% increase in sales of Kelce’s jersey
    • A 276% increase in Kelce’s Instagram followers (with a similar uptick on Twitter X)
    • An across-the-board increase in the female demographic watching the Chiefs game, including an 8% increase in the 12-17 age group
      and . . .
    • The absolutely hilarious sight of two-time NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes acting like a goofy teenager on the sidelines

    Admittedly, Mahomes handles it much better than I would have.

    He still looks like a goofy teenager though.

    Thought No. 10

    On Thursday morning, Tyler Alsin posted an article about the Seahawks being No. 10 in ESPN’s latest Power Rankings - which is pretty cool.

    What Tyler didn’t mention is that as part of their write-up on each team, ESPN looked at their offensive efficiency (per ESPN Analytics’ Football Power Index).

    Despite the turd-burger that was their Week 1 performance against the Rams, Seattle’s offense has been surprisingly efficient.

    How efficient?

    How does the 4th-most efficient offense in the league strike you?

    Yeah, number 4; behind only the Dolphins (obviously helped by their 70-point output in Week 3), the 49ers (no comment), and the Chargers.

    What is particularly impressive about Seattle having the 4th-most efficient offense is that at one point in Sunday’s game against the Panthers, the only Week 1 starter on the O-line who was in the game was Center Evan Brown - and he had missed a handful of snaps the previous week.

    Obviously, every NFL team deals with injuries, but the fact that Seattle has the 4th-most efficient offense with a patchwork offensive line speaks volumes to the work the players and the coaches have been doing the first three weeks of the season.

    The offensive players and coaches anyway.

    According to ESPN’s FPI ratings, the Seahawks special teams unit is the league’s 12th-best unit (which seems appropriate for the obvious reason).

    The defense, however, is No. 26 . . . which is actually higher than I expected.

    Add it all up, and Seattle’s No. 14 overall.

    One spot behind the Cardinals :/

    Thought No. 11

    Here’s a fun tweet (whatever the heck we’re supposed to call them now) . . .

    Admittedly, I would have had this a lot higher in my thoughts if the Mariners weren’t losing ground in their playoff chase, but . . .

    Looking at the results posted by NFL teams over an MLB-style 162-game schedule, @JayCuda determined that the Seahawks are awesome!!!

    Okay, that’s my interpretation of Jay’s findings.

    But it’s still true.

    Over the last 162 regular season games, the Seahawks have the third-most wins (102), behind only the Kansas City Chiefs (116) and the New England Patriots (109). The Pittsburgh Steelers (101) and Green Bay Packers (100) round out the Top 5.

    Focusing in on the NFC West, the Seahawks (102-59-1) hold a commanding 18-1/2-game lead over the Rams (84-78-0). The 49ers (81-81-0) are 21-1/2 games behind Seattle, and Cardinals (79-81-2) are 22-1/2 games back.

    Quite impressively, the 18-1/2 game lead over the Rams is the largest lead by a first-place team over a second-place team in the NFC.

    But . . .

    Seattle’s lead over the Rams pales in comparison to the lead the Chiefs have over the Broncos - KC’s lead is literally DOUBLE Seattle’s lead with the Broncos (79-83-0) a mindboggling 37 games behind the Chiefs.

    Thought No. 12

    This is a carryover / follow-up from the Bonus Thought last week, and it isn’t technically NFL-related (although one might argue that it is since college football is the NFL’s de facto minor leagues) . . .

    A week ago, there were 39 unbeaten college teams and ESPN’s Bill Connelly ranked them using “a combination of computer rankings and (his) own opinions”.

    This week, there are 12 fewer unbeaten teams, but the No. 1 team (on Connelly’s list) remains the same . . .

    The Washington Huskies !!!

    Here’s what Connelly wrote about ranking the Dawgs at No. 1 . . . again:

    I’m sticking with the Huskies in the top spot and it appears a few more are joining me on the bandwagon. Kalen DeBoer’s squad rose to seventh in this week’s AP poll — with a first-place vote! — following an absolute show of force against Cal. It’s come to this with the ridiculous UW offense: I found myself thinking, “Hmm, seems like they’re out of sync a little bit this week” in the first half... in a game in which they scored on six of their first seven possessions, gained 301 yards in the first half and headed into halftime with 45 points.

    The defense grew pretty leaky against Cal as the game got out of hand, but the Huskies are still up to 25th in defensive SP+, which is all they need when the offense is this ridiculous. I’ll repeat what I wrote last week: I don’t know how long this will last, but the Huskies have been the best team of 2023.

    On a related note, I might be about six weeks away from unofficially launching a campaign to try to convince John and Pete to keep Michael Penix Jr. in the Pacific Northwest long-term.

    Go Hawks! (and Huskies!)

  • 5Qs, 5As with Big Blue View: Giants facing Seahawks in ‘must-win’ Week 4 game
    Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

    The Seattle defense has struggled to stop opponents from scoring, while the New York offense has struggled to score. Something’s gotta give.

    The Seattle Seahawks and New York Giants will close out Week 4 of the 2023 NFL season on “Monday Night Football” in a game that will see the return of Jamal Adams to New York and the first appearance of the Hawks in primetime this season.

    The Seahawks come in looking to head into the Week 5 bye sitting pretty at 3-1, while the Giants enter the game looking to avoid a 1-3 start with games against the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins in the subsequent two weeks. That combination, added into the Seahawks playing in the stadium where they hoisted the Lombardi trophy a decade ago with Adams returning to the defense and Geno Smith poised to write the second chapter of his revenge tour, should make for an exciting game.

    As always, Field Gulls teamed up with Big Blue View to preview the game, with Ed Valentine courteous enough to answer the five questions this week.

    1. Expectations were somewhat lofty for the Giants coming off a postseason berth in Brian Daboll’s first season, and so far 2023 hasn’t gone as many fans had hoped. What’s the feeling for the direction of the team in general among fans, and is the 1-2 start considered a bump in the road or are fans beginning to fear the post-Joe Judge rebuild has gone into the ditch?

    You know how fans are — at the first sign of trouble everything and everybody should be tossed overboard. There were raised expectations, but realistically most prognosticators would have said 1-2 after three games is where the Giants were likely to be. The way they have played over that stretch, being embarrassed by Dallas, needing a miraculous comeback to beat Arizona, not yet showing improvement on offense and playing poorly on defense has raised alarm bells.

    At Big Blue View, we have always discussed how last year’s team over-achieved and regression could happen this season. Is that what we’re seeing? I think it’s too soon to tell. Monday’s game is really a must-win for the Giants with games the two following weeks against Miami and Buffalo.

    2. A lot of Seahawks fans hoped that the team would draft John Michael Schmitz, but they opted to go another direction and add a center on Day 3. How has Schmitz performed for the Giants so far, and are fans happy with his performance as a second round pick?

    Schmitz has been very good. Due to injuries and poor performance there has been a lot of chaos around him. He has been a bright spot overall. (Editor’s Note: Schmitz was selected five picks after Zach Charbonnet, just in case anyone wants to take notes for future Creed Humphrey-ing.)

    3. Seattle fans are familiar with the big names on the roster - Daniel Jones, Leonard Williams, Saquon Barkley, Kayvon Thibodeaux, etc. Who are the more unknown players who could be significant factors whose names Seahawks fans may not know?

    On offense, wide receivers Jalin Hyatt and Wan’Dale Robinson. Hyatt was the Giants’ third-round pick and he has to be more involved in their offense with his speed. Robinson was a second-round pick a year ago and played his first game in

    Week 3 after tearing an ACL last year.

    On defense, Jason Pinnock is the replacement at safety for Julian Love. He’s more athletic and splashier, but maybe not as consistent.

    4. The most points theLos Angeles Rams have scored this season came in Week 1 against the Seahawks. The most points theDetroit Lions have scored this season came in Week 2 against the Seahawks. The most points theCarolina Panthers have scored this season came in Week 3 against the Seahawks. The Giants scored 31 against theArizona Cardinals in Week 2, so will Daniel Jones and company put 32 or more on the board against the Seahawks defense and keep the trend alive?

    I have my doubts about that. The last two quarters against Arizona marked the only good offense the Giants have played in three games. Will Saquon Barkley play? Can the Giants, for the first time all season, block well enough to give Jones a chance to use his playmakers adequately?

    5. There’s been a lot of movement in the line since it opened earlier in the week, but as of right now the Giants are favored by a point. Do you think the desperation to avoid 1-3 with Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills on the schedule in Weeks 4 and 5 will be enough to help the Giants come away victorious? And will there be enough scoring that fans should be the over, which currently sits at 47?

    Funny that you framed the question that way. Desperation is exactly why I chose the Giants to win when we did our weekly staff picks. In sports, the more desperate team is often the one that plays with more aggression, more abandon and comes out on top. The Giants know what comes next and they know that if they don’t win Monday they face a strong possibility of starting the season 1-5. Which means that the season is basically over. As for the over/under, that’s hard. I wouldn’t be shocked if it is really close to that number one way or the other. I will take the over, but it won’t be by a lot.

    And now we’re on to Monday Night Football. But first, “Thursday Night Football” and then a quadruple header on Sunday.

  • Seahawks a top-10 team in ESPN power rankings
    Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

    A couple of spots behind the Lions, though.

    The Seattle Seahawks opened the 2023 season far below expectations with a 30-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

    But they - and much of the media - believed that the team is set up for success this year, and the subsequent games have trended in that direction.

    Two much more complete games have led to consecutive wins and landed Seattle in the top-10 of this week’s Power Rankings on ESPN.

    The Seahawks climbed four spots after beating the Carolina Panthers with around 30% of the starters going through something or not playing altogether. There are four NFC teams ranked higher: the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions.

    Seattle is behind Detroit, whom they defeated, who in turn are behind the Kansas City Chiefs, whom they defeated.

    With the Cowboys losing to a Cardinals team that’s supposedly not trying to win and led by a quarterback who’s strangely interested in transportation methods, it remains clear that the NFC is wide open outside of the 49ers.

    The ‘Hawks have an extremely winnable game against the New York Giants on Monday Night, which likely won’t move this particular needle very much.

  • Open thread: Has anything surprised you about the Seahawks season thus far?

    Seattle’s September schedule is over and the team is 2-1, but has anything surprised you about the Seahawks in this young season?

    The Seattle Seahawks have one more game to go before the early (and, given the injury situation, much-welcome) bye week. Barring the rare tie outcome, Seattle will be either 3-1 or 2-2 following Monday’s showdown with the New York Giants to start the October slate.

    Expectations for the Seahawks among fans is considerably higher than last season, when just being watchable would’ve been a big positive following the Russell Wilson trade. The playoffs should be within reach for this year’s team in an NFC field lacking demonstrably elite teams outside of the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.

    Today’s question (which may just turn into a weekly thing we do on Thursdays) is all about the unexpected. Have you been surprised by anything Seattle has done through the first month of the season? This can be good or bad, and generally based on what you expected coming into the regular season. Surprised at the play of the offensive line? Or that the Seahawks are once again a pass-first offense under Pete Carroll? Or that they still can’t run screen passes all that well? (Okay that last one may not surprise you)

    Discuss away!

    Head to the comments section to leave your answer and join the conversation! Don’t be shy! You cansign up for a commenting account below and we have full-time moderators and Alaric10000 to enforce the Community Guidelines.

  • Seahawks have a top-3 run defense through first 3 weeks of NFL season
    Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Getty Images

    On a per-play basis, only two teams are tougher to run against than Seattle.

    The “big” question about the Seattle Seahawks defense when the season started was how it would do against the run.

    And rightly so, given that the team was embarrassingly awful against the run last year.

    Through the first three weeks, the answer to that question is . . .


    . . .

    Week 1 vs. theLos Angeles Rams:

    • Top Rusher: Kyren Williams: 15 carries for 52 yards and 2 TDs
    • Team Totals: 40 carries for 92 yards (2.3 per carry) with 3 TDs


    Week 2 vs. theDetroit Lions:

    • Top Rusher: David Montgomery: 16 carries for 67 yards and 1 TD
    • Team Totals: 27 carries for 102 yards (3.8 per carry) with 1 TD


    Week 3 vs. theCarolina Panthers

    • Top Rusher: Miles Sanders: 9 carries for 24 yards and 1 TD
    • Team Totals: 14 carries for 44 yards (3.1 per carry) with 1 TD


    Lest one think that the Seahawks have benefited from playing against teams that aren’t good at running the ball . . .

    Here are the rushing totals from the Rams’ other 2 games:

    Seattle allowed 2.3.


    Alas, the Seahawks gave up slightly more yards (on a per-carry basis) than the other teams the Lions have faced:

    • In the NFL Kickoff game versus the Kansas City Chiefs, the Lions ran for 118 yards on 34 carries (3.5 average) with 1 touchdown.
    • Last week against the Atlanta Falcons, the Lions had 115 yards on 31 carries (3.7 average) with 1 TD.

    Seattle allowed 3.8.


    Seattle righted the ship against the Panthers though:

    • Week 1 vs. the Falcons, Carolina ran the ball 32 times for 154 yards (4.8 average).
    • Week 2 vs. the New Orleans Saints, the Panthers ran 19 times for 100 yards (5.3 average).

    Seattle allowed 3.1.


    Now, here’s where it gets really interesting . . .

    Through the first three weeks of the season, teams have run the ball 81 times against the Seahawks. That’s smack dab in the middle of the pack, league wide:

    • Fifteen teams have had the ball run on them more times than Seattle has (the New York Jets are No. 1 at 106).
    • Fifteen have faced less running plays than Seattle (led by the 49ers at 43).
    • The Washington Commanders are tied with the Seahawks at 81.

    Yet the Seahawks have allowed the 6th-lowest total rushing yards (208 through the first three games), and . . .

    . . . the 3rd-lowest yards per carry.

    For some perspective on that last stat, here’s the Top 5:

    1. Tennessee Titans, 2.6
    2. Cleveland Browns, 2.8
    3. Seattle Seahawks, 2.9
    4. Philadelphia Eagles, 3.0
    5. Detroit Lions, 3.2

    Want some more perspective?

    The league average through the first three weeks is 4.1 yards per carry.

    Note: Super amusingly, because math is fun like this, there’s not a single NFL team currently allowing 4.1 yards per carry. Overall, the Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are closest at 4.2. On the low side, the Kansas City Chiefs are closest at 3.9.

    The next test for Seattle’s run defense is Monday night in New York Jersey against the struggling Giants, who may or may not be without their best running back.

    Here’s how the Giants have done on the ground thus far:

    Week 1 vs. theDallas Cowboys

    • Leading Rusher: Saquon Barkley: 12 for 51, long of 18
    • Team Totals: 28 for 108 (3.9 average)


    Week 2 vs. theArizona Cardinals

    • Leading Rusher: Saquon Barkley: 17 for 63 with 1 TD, long of 16
    • Team Totals: 27 for 127 (4.7 average) with 2 TDs


    Week 3 vs. the San Francisco 49ers

    • Leading Rusher: Matt Breida: 4 for 17 with 1 TD, long of 8
    • Team Totals: 11 for 29 (2.6 average) with 1 TD


    Obviously, the Giants are less effective on the ground with their backup running back. I think that’s the case with most teams.

    It certainly didn’t help that they were facing the Niners last week without their top back.

    For the season though, the Giants are averaging 4.0 yards per carry (66 for 264 with 3 TDs) and the 49ers are allowing an average of 3.7 (43 for 159 with 2 TDs), so . . .

    On paper . . .

    Seattle’s run defense should have another strong showing at MetLife Stadium on Monday night vs. the Giants.

    Especially if Saquon Barkley is watching in street clothes.

    Go Hawks!


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