Seahawks vs. Patriots: Air quality unlikely to be an issue for ‘Sunday Night Football’ after positive trend

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons

Air quality in California and the state of Washington have become a lead issue for the NFL with wildfires raging in the western part of the United States, with questions going into Week 1 regarding the viability of the Los Angeles Rams hosting the Dallas Cowboys, as one example. The game ultimately went off without a hitch, given the green light because the Air Quality Index (AQI) never exceeded the league’s threshold to halt the game — namely 200 or above (deemed very unhealthy) — but it was at that very level earlier this week in Seattle, threatening the Seahawks‘ attempt to host the New England Patriots on “Sunday Night Football.”

The good news is the AQI hasn’t simply fallen, it’s plummeted to only 19, per Gregg Bell of The Tacoma News Tribune. That means the Seahawks and Patriots are out of harm’s way as it relates to the air they’ll breathe and, as such, the game will go on as scheduled, barring a rapid and unpleasant turn of events.

Until the wildfires are under control, the AQI will continue to be something discussed by the league as it assesses games to be played on the West Coast. The Seahawks were away in Week 1, feeding the Atlanta Falcons their lunch in a 38-25 beatdown that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate, but are looking forward to some home cooking with Bill Belichick and Cam Newton on the opposing sideline. They won’t have the benefit of the 12th Man though, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic leading to a ban on having any fans at CenturyLink Field for at least the first three games. 

That will make this contest even more interesting than it already is, considering the Seahawks feed heavily on their home crowd — arguably the most raucous in the entire NFL. The show must go on though, and now it can, as long as the air remains non-toxic.

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