SEATTLE — The 2019 NFL schedule was released, and everyone is already circling matchups.

The Seahawks (see Seattle's complete 2019 schedule) are playing the NFC South and the AFC North this year, along with their division and conference matchups in 2019.

The draft is closing in, and teams are still setting rosters so predicting wins and losses is just for fun at this point. But looking forward to some good matchups is totally plausible.

The divisional matchups are easy to think of as intriguing, so I’m looking at some non-division games that should be enticing.

Week 3

Sept. 22, vs. New Orleans Saints

These are two of the most consistently good teams in the NFC. They have split the games they've played since Russell Wilson became a Seahawk. With this one being played in Seattle, look for the Seahawks to have a slight advantage. The "short quarterback" storyline could also be in full effect. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson are the poster children for shorter quarterbacks, because they’ve proven it does not need to be a hindrance. In the third week of the season, teams are still finding themselves and shaking off the rust of the offseason. This will be a tone-setting game for both teams and could be a barometer for how well they will do this year. 

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Week 7

Oct. 20, vs. Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson will get his first taste of CenturyLink Field and the 12th Man in October this year. Also, a second smaller storyline, Earl Thomas will be playing his first game in Seattle with another team. After leading one of the best defenses of all time for Seattle, his last moment on the field for the Seahawks had him being carted off the field with an injury, and flipping the middle finger to Pete Carroll on the sideline. Think this will be emotional for both teams? I think Thomas will play out of his mind, and the stadium will be rocking. This will also be Seattle’s seventh game in a row, without a bye week until Week 11, they could be battling injuries and getting worn down in general. If the Ravens are the smash-mouth team they want to be, this could be a tough matchup for the Seahawks.

RELATED: Seahawks 2019 schedule revealed

Week 13

Dec. 2, vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings return to Seattle after last year’s 21-7 Seahawk victory. The matchup last year produced less than 300 passing yards combined, and Seattle held onto the shutout until the last two minutes of the fourth quarter. Now Wilson has a new contract, just like Kirk Cousins did last year, but don’t expect this game to be like that one. Besides probable playoff seeding, this game should be entirely different. I think it will be an offensive shootout. This game is the third in a streak of four prime-time games for the Seahawks. And this is the only one of those in Seattle, so fans need to show out for this one, because the rest you will be watching from home.

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Tim Kearny is a Seattle-based sports writer for Oregon Sports News, a KGW News partner. Follow Tim on Twitter here.