Russell Wilson reportedly opening his 1st non-Seahawks season playing...at the Seahawks

The Seahawks don’t have to wait — at all — to play against Russell Wilson for the first time.

Wilson’s first game for anybody but Seattle will be...at Seattle.

Hours before the NFL announced the dates and times for its 2022 schedule Thursday, multiple reports including from Altitude Sports in Denver revealed the most anticipated Seahawks game is the first one: Wilson and his Denver Broncos at Seattle inside Lumen Field on Monday night, Sept. 12, 5:15 p.m. in ESPN’s national showcase game.

Former longtime Fox Sports mainstay announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will make their regular-season ESPN debut calling that Monday night opener.

That night Wilson will become the fifth quarterback in NFL history to play against the team with which he won at least 100 games. The others: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Joe Montana.

Wilson won 104 with a Super Bowl title for Seattle from 2012 through last season. The Seahawks traded him to Denver in March.

The fun surrounding this Monday night showdown has already started, four months before kickoff.

The Seahawks had been in at least four primetime games every season from the year after they drafted Wilson in 2012 through last season, when Seattle had five primetime games.

Wilson getting injured in a 7-10 season, Seattle’s most losses since 2009, and missing the playoffs for only the second time in 10 years could mean the Seahawks in 2022 have is the fewest number of primetime games in a decade. Seattle had two in 2012, when the league set its schedule before Wilson became Seattle’s starting quarterback.

The maximum times a team can play in primetime games during the 17-game regular season is six. That can become seven if the league flexes a game in-season to primetime later in the year. (It could become eight, but only for a flex for that featured team into the final Sunday night game in week 18, for a must-win-to-make-the-playoffs game).

Seattle’s and every team’s opponents, home and away, were set in January with the end of the 2021 league season. The NFL slots opponents according to rotations and finishes in league standings from the previous season.

The league announced last week the Seahawks will play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Munich, Germany, in week 10, Sunday, Nov. 13. That first NFL regular-season game in Germany will kickoff at 6:30 a.m. Pacific Time.

The Seahawks have the 11th-toughest strength of schedule in the 32-team league for this year. That’s based on their opponents’ records from 2021. Seattle playing in the ultra-competitive NFC West that includes the Super Bowl-champion Rams and fellow playoff teams Arizona and San Francisco from last season raise Seattle’s strength of schedule.

But per the NFL’s parity-driven scheduling system, finishing last in the division at 7-10 in 2021 gives the Seahawks games against the lowly New York Jets and Giants, too.

thenewstribune.com