The NFL announced its slate of games for the 2012 preseason today. The NFL is always geographically friendly for the preseason so the 2012 schedule is no surprise to me. It is very similar to past years. We play three teams from the AFC West for the second consecutive season. Here is our 2012 preseason schedule along with an analysis of each game:
Week 1: Tennessee Titans (August 9-13): Of all our preseason games, this matchup offers up the best storylines. Matt Hasselbeck makes his return to Seattle for the first time since signing with Tennessee prior to the start of the 2011 season. In addition to Hasselbeck, Titans quarterback Jake Locker will also be returning home. Hasselbeck will no doubt get applause from me before the game. He was my favorite Seahawk throughout the 2000’s and he is a great person and player who deserves nothing but respect and cheers from the 12th Man. I expect a lot of UW fans in attendance as well to welcome Locker back. He was a very popular player during his time at Washington and this may be the only time in a long time that fans will get the chance to see him play the Seahawks in Seattle. The nice thing about having the first preseason game at home is you get to see all of our new players for the very first time. I am especially excited to see how the quarterback battle between Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Flynn plays out.
Week 2: At Denver Broncos (August 16-20): Our first road game is in Denver this preseason. The Seahawks lost to the Broncos 23-20 in the 2011 preseason. It was in this game that wide receiver Doug Baldwin made his presence known when he returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown in the 4th quarter. This is the first home game for the Broncos, meaning that this is the first time Peyton Manning will suit up in orange for the Mile High faithful.
Week 3: At Kansas City Chiefs (August 23-26): Our starters will get the most work of the preseason in Kansas City as we visit the Chiefs in week 3. I believe we will know by this game who our starting quarterback will be this season. The starter will most likely play the first three quarters and this time will be extremely beneficial as we get closer to the start of the regular season.
Week 4: Oakland Raiders (August 29-30): For the seventh consecutive season and the second straight at home, the Seahawks will conclude the preseason against their old AFC rival, the Oakland Raiders. The last tune-up will include many players fighting to make the 2012 roster, which in my opinion is why I actually enjoy the last preseason game. Many fans hate this game because of the lack of talent on the field, but what I realize is the final cuts may determine the future of this team and what direction the team is going. I also especially enjoy this game because of the presence of my friend Josh, who is a die-hard Raiders fan. His presence along side me at CenturyLink Field adds a bit of team pride and of course a friendly wager here and there. Although most of you probably HATE the Raiders like I do, check out his Raiders blog if you get the chance. (Good stuff if you are a Raiders fan or just an NFL fan in general!)
Although I look forward to the announcement of the Seahawks preseason games, it is another step taken before we get to the better stuff, which includes the Seahawks regular season schedule announcement, the NFL Draft, and the start of our offseason programs and organized team activities!