The picks are in from around the NFL media landscape for Sunday's regular-season opener between the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins at CenturyLink Field, where kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. PT with live television coverage on CBS (channel 7 in Seattle).
The Week 1 meeting marks the 12th time the Seahawks and Dolphins will face off in the regular season, with Miami owning an 8-3 advantage, including wins in four of the past five matchups dating back to the 2000 season, as well as a last-second 24-21 win on a field goal in November 2012, the last time the two teams met.
But the Seahawks have won seven-consecutive home openers, good for the second-longest streak in the NFL, and many local and national pundits are giving Seattle, winners of 19 of its last 26 games, 42 of its last 56, and 51 of its last 72 dating back to the final half of the 2011 season, the edge this weekend.
Here's a look at the picks:
Elliot Harrison at NFL.com sees Seattle winning, 29-17, "Seattle gets off to a sputtering start, then picks it up in the second half -- like so many of their victories in the Pete Carroll era. Will Adam Gase influence Ryan Tannehill's production? Everyone seems to think so. Yet, even if Tannehill performs much better, this Week 1 matchup is still a tall order. Love Arian Foster getting the starting nod, though look for the Seahawks' RB-by-committee (for now) to rule the day Sunday. Who knows, maybe Mario Williams and Ndamukong Suh will be licking their chops facing this Seahawks offensive line. They might be licking their wounds by day's end. On the subject of pass rushers: Tannehill (184) and Russell Wilson (164) are the two most-sacked QBs in the league since 2012."
ESPN NFL Nation writers Sheil Kapadia and James Walker, who cover the Seahawks and Dolphins, each predict a Seattle victory.
Kapadia, who has the Seahawks winning 27-14, says "Russell Wilson is coming off a year in which he led the NFL in passer rating, and he gets his top three receivers back for 2016. The defense is healthy and returns nine of 11 starters from a year ago. The biggest question going into this game is: Can the Seahawks' offensive line handle the Dolphins' defensive front? As long as Seattle performs adequately in that matchup, it should win comfortably."
Walker sees a similar outcome, taking the Seahawks to win 28-14, "This game has the makings of a blowout. Seattle has matchup advantages all over the field and a team that has kept its core together for several seasons. The Dolphins, who also will travel more than 3,200 miles this week, averaged just 19.4 points per game last year and were 30th in third-down conversions at 30.7 percent. They can't pull off the big Week 1 upset unless those numbers dramatically change."
Mike Florio and Michael David Smith at ProFootballTalk.com share their takes on Sunday's matchup.
Florio sees the Seahawks winning 24-17, writing, "As potential upsets go, this would be the biggest of the weekend. I have a weird feeling about this one, but it's way too early in the year to do anything but pick the home team in an intimidatingly loud stadium that every AFC visits only once every eight years."
MDS also has Seattle on top, 30-10, "Despite the high-profile departure of Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks still have one of the best rosters in the NFL from top to bottom. The Dolphins have something far short of that."
Danny O'Neil at 710Sports.com picks the Seahawks to win 22-16, "The Dolphins went 25 years under one head coach. They also had one of the coolest, campiest logos in the NFL. They've now hired five different head coaches in the span of 11 years, and that's not counting the two interim coaches who've stepped in after Miami ash canned someone in the middle of the season. Oh, and that logo? It now looks like an eyeless space dolphin more suited for an opponent in "Any Given Sunday" than the NFL. The Dolphins haven't won a playoff game since 2000, and they're the largest underdogs on the NFL schedule this weekend."
ESPN.com fantasy analyst Mike Clay likes the Seahawks to win, 29-16,* "I'm as intrigued by Adam Gase as the next guy, but the Dolphins offense didn't exactly jump off the page during the preseason, and the defense is simply not good. Seattle has started slowly the past few years, but it's hard to imagine one of the league's best teams not easily disposing of a grossly inferior squad that will be traveling 3,300 miles across the country. The line on this game has increased recently, but it's still not big enough."*
Chris Burke at SI.com shares his take on Week 1 around the NFL, picking the Seahawks to win big, 34-13, "The Dolphins may have to wait a couple weeks before fully selling everyone on the Adam Gase era—after this opener in Seattle, they visit the Patriots (sans Tom Brady) in Week 2. In the words of Ron Swanson, "I would wish you the best of luck, but I believe luck is a concept created by the weak to explain their failures." Gase's offensive scheme begs for patience. Where Miami might have a chance to make this interesting is up the middle on defense, where Ndamukong Suh might tee off on rookie center Joey Hunt. Granted, getting into the backfield doesn't mean Suh will be able to chase down Russell Wilson."
Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com likes the Seahawks to win, 28-17,* "This is a long trip for the Dolphins -- the longest in the NFL. And it's a tough place to play. Ryan Tannehill will face a fierce defense in his first start for new coach Adam Gase. The Seattle offensive line is a concern, but Russell Wilson will make enough plays to win it."*
Five writers at USA Today predict a Seahawks victory.
Kevin Clark at The Ringer has the Seahawks winning 26-20.
Four of five NFL insiders at FOXSports.com are taking the Seahawks.
All eight analysts at CBSSports.com pick the Seahawks to win straight up.
Nine analysts at SB Nation like Seattle to win.
All 10 of ESPN's NFL experts think Seattle tops Miami this weekend.
These two teams have battled 14 times since 1977, including three times in the postseason. Miami has won 10 out of the 14 games, and the Seahawks will look to win their fifth this Sunday at CenturyLink Field.