The Seahawks’ 2018 schedule was going to be tough enough given the sudden rise of their rivals in the NFC West. But the presence of the NFC North and the AFC West on Seattle’s 2018 regular-season schedule makes it that much tougher.
The good news for the Seahawks as they look over their schedule for 2018: Most of their toughest opponents have to travel to Seattle. And one of their “away” opponents in 2018, the Raiders, will meet them in London for an October showdown. Neither West Coast team will be happy about that haul.
Bottom line: Despite their division’s tough matchups against the NFC North and AFC West, the Seahawks have a relatively manageable schedule. Based on 2017 results and 2018 projections, Seattle’s home opponents are much stronger than its away opponents, making the home-field advantage of CenturyLink Field that much more important. The Seahawks might be slipping into rebuild mode around Russell Wilson, but while that’s happening, they’re fortunate their 2018 schedule is not tougher. Record prediction: 8-8
In addition to the division games on the Bears’ 2018 schedule, fans will want to circle the date of the showdown against the 49ers as Chicago’s toughest road test. San Francisco, like Chicago, is ushering in a new era with a young quarterback and a relatively new head coach.
Toughest tests: The aforementioned game against the 49ers will be a great test for the Bears in 2018, and if the Giants can bounce back after a dreadful 2017 season, they’ll present another road challenge for Chicago. In addition to the always-tough NFC North games, the Bears’ home contests against the Rams and Patriots will be key.
Biggest breaks: Speaking of those games against the Rams and Patriots, the Bears are fortunate to get them at home. The road games against the Cardinals, Bills and Dolphins — on paper, at least — are winnable. The AFC East draw in general is a positive for Chicago, with New England as always being the tricky exception.