Check out which side the national media is picking to win Sunday's matchup between the Seahawks and Rams at CenturyLink Field.
Elliot Harrison at NFL.com picks the Rams to win a close one, 26-24, "It's like the Rams have been living in a video game this season, as Los Angeles is averaging a plump 30.5 points per game. Can the Seahawks hold the Rams under 30? If the pass rush gets home, you bet. Both of Jared Goff's offensive tackles were banged-up in last week's draining affair with the Eagles. Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein are expected to go in Seattle -- and they had better."
Alden Gonzalez at ESPN.com expects the Rams to take hold of the NFC West with a 24-17 win in Seattle, "The Rams are the better team, and they'll show it on Sunday. The Rams lost to the Seahawks earlier this year, but they outgained them by 134 yards in that game. Russell Wilson is a legitimate MVP candidate, but the Rams have done a decent job of containing him in recent years. The Rams have the NFL's second-highest point differential and are a lot healthier on defense. This will be the game in which they essentially lock up the division."
Brady Henderson at ESPN.com projects a three-point win for the Rams, 24-21, "The Rams may be the NFL's most complete team. They're also much healthier than the Seahawks. Yes, the Seahawks held them to 10 points in a six-point win in October, but they needed five takeaways and a dropped pass in the end zone to do it. And that was with a defense that was still mostly intact. Already missing Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, Seattle could be without linebackers Bobby Wagner (hamstring) and/or K.J. Wright(concussion), the team's leading tacklers. It's a lot to overcome against an excellent offense, even at home."
Chris Simms at BleacherReport.com thinks Los Angeles will come away with a 24-23 victory, "The matchup between the Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams is one of the best of the week. The big thing here is that the Rams are the better overall team without question. What makes this tough to pick is the fact the Seahawks are at home and have Russell Wilson at quarterback. Let's remember, though, that the Rams controlled the game the first time these two teams met this season. While Seattle ultimately won, it was largely because of mistakes from Jared Goff. I don't see him playing as poorly this time around, especially against a banged-up Seahawks defense. While Wilson is fantastic and always gives Seattle a chance, guys like Aaron Donald and Mark Barron will make it difficult for him to take off and run. I don't expect him to struggle as much as he did in the loss to Jacksonville last week, but I don't expect him to make his usual magic either. Expect Wilson and the Seahawks to fall just short in another physical battle between division rivals."
Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com sides with the Seahawks, 26-20, "This will likely decide the division title. The Rams have a one-game lead, but I think Seattle is good in this type of spot. They will respond to a bad showing in Jacksonville by looking like the team that showed up against the Eagles two weeks ago."
Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com likes Seattle to win 27-24 and his colleague Michael David Smith feels the same way, predicting a 28-27 Seahawks win, "In a huge game for the NFC West race, I like the Seahawks to do just enough on defense to slow down the Rams' high-scoring offense, and Russell Wilson to make a couple of big plays late to win a close game."
David Steele at Sporting News sees a 24-19 victory for Seattle, "A Seahawks win would put them in a tie for the NFC West lead, with the tiebreaker."
Sam Farmer at the Los Angeles Times believes the Rams will bounce back after last week's loss with a 34-24 win at CenturyLink Field, "Every time the Rams have lost this season they have rebounded with a strong performance. This should be no different, against a team they should have beaten in their first meeting."
Benjamin Hoffman at the New York Times picks the Rams to win straight up, "...the Rams have Robert Woods, the team's best wide receiver, back, and if Jared Goff can deal with the crowd noise at CenturyLink Field, he should carve up Seattle's injury-depleted secondary with passes to Woods, Sammy Watkins and the rookie standout Cooper Kupp."
Jim Moore at 710Sports.com believes injuries may catch up with the Seahawks this week and predicts a 34-20 Rams win.
Seven of eight experts at CBSSports.com like the Seahawks to win this weekend, three of five writers at USA Today pick Seattle, three of eight analysts at SBNation.com predict a Seahawks victory, and four of six polled at SI.com think Seattle comes out on top.