Unsurprisingly, the St. Louis Rams are not garnering much support from the NFL media to upset the red-hot Seattle Seahawks, especially after their more-than-convincing win over the San Francisco 49ers last week. Still, some Rams’ fans can cling to the fact that St. Louis also beat the 49ers (should have done it twice), and took home the W over the ‘Hawks early in the season without even scoring offensively. If nothing else, the game should be an intriguing matchup between two NFC teams on the rise. The Rams have haven’t lost in their last four trips on the road and are 4-0-1 in the NFC West this season. Seattle is undefeated at home, and has steamrolled their last three opponents, averaging 50+ points per game during that span. Russell Wilson is only a single touchdown away from tying Peyton Manning’s rookie record for touchdowns in a single season. Janoris Jenkins is only one pick-6 away from breaking the rookie record for interceptions returned for a touchdown. There are plenty of story-lines in this one! So, how does the mainstream, NFL media see this game playing out?
Sports Illustrated is less than optimistic about the St. Louis Rams’ chances, even citing a loss in the aftermath of some Seattle disappointment at halftime.
The Seahawks will lose heart when they go into halftime and see “SF 23 AZ 3″ on the CenturyLink scoreboard. No matter. They’ll get the fifth seed and travel to Washington for the Wild Card Battle of the Rookie QBs. Seattle 27, St. Louis 17
Mike Sando, the Seattle native that covers the NFC West for ESPN, but has the game finishing closer than some might expect. He mentions the winner of the game should be crowned Coach of the Year, which is a pretty bold statement.
The Seahawks are 7-0 at home and about as hot as a team could be, having become the first team since the 1950 Los Angeles Rams to score 150 points over a three-game period. St. Louis has gone 3-0-1 in its past four road games, and 4-0-1 against the NFC West. I’m most interested in seeing how the young quarterbacks compare. The Rams’ Sam Bradford faces a tougher test behind a reshuffled offensive line. Advantage, Russell Wilson. Also, the winning coach should be coach of the year in the division, in my view. Sando’s best guess: Seahawks 27, Rams 13.
CBS Sports Chicago typically gives a nice outside perspective on the NFC West, especially this season with the NFC North and West clashing on the schedule. They have the Seahawks taking the game by the narrowest margin so far…
After going winless in the division last season, the Rams have an opportunity to go undefeated this season. Shocking turnaround, and proof of what a real NFL coach can do for a team. However, there are a few small details that may prevent that from happening. Namely, a game on the road against the hottest team in the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have a chance to win the division and won’t take their foot off the gas now. The Rams will keep this game competitive for a while, but Seattle will put the only blemish on their division record. Seahawks 27, Rams 20
Yahoo Sports was fairly one-sided in their prediction of the Seahawks win, citing Seattle’s recent improvement offensively, but failing to mention any change on the Rams since defeating the ‘Hawks earlier in the season.
In the first season of the Les Snead/Jeff Fisher Era, the Rams have an opportunity to finish over .500 and, with a win over the Seahawks, could go undefeated in the NFC West, which is arguably the league’s toughest division. The Rams got four field goals from rookie Greg Zuerlein and scored their only touchdown when rookie punter/holder Johnny Hekker hit Danny Amendola for a two-yard touchdown on a fake field goal. It will take much more than that to beat the Seahawks, who have scored 150 points over the last three weeks, scoring touchdowns on the ground (9), through the air (6) and via returns (4) as they’ve used a four-game winning streak to secure a spot in the NFC Playoffs. With a win over the Rams, and a loss by the 49ers (to the Cardinals), the Seahawks could host a playoff game in January.
Pick: Seahawks 38, Rams 17
After scouring any-and-all credible sources for a pick favoring the St. Louis Rams, the closest I got was CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco predicting the game within a field goal’s reach of a Rams victory; although, 23 points is an awfully odd number (two TD, 3 FG or 3 TD, Safety?).
The Seahawks are flying high, while the Rams are playing consecutive road games. That’s tough, especially being out of it. But Seattle will have a little letdown after their beat-down of the 49ers. The Rams will keep it close. Seattle 23, Rams 21