The Seahawks (9-5-1) play their final game of the regular season this Sunday, when they head to the Bay Area for a game against the division rival San Francisco 49ers (2-13) at Santa Clara's Levi's Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PT with television coverage on FOX (channel 13 in Seattle).
Here's a look at which side the national media is predicting to win the New Year's Day matchup:
Sheil Kapadia at ESPN.com predicts a 23-10 Seahawks victory, "The Seahawks are 2-3 in their last five games and are not playing well. But during the Pete Carroll-Russell Wilson era, they've never lost consecutive games in the second half of the season. Seattle needs a victory to keep its chances for a first-round bye and the No. 2 seed alive."
Nick Wagoner at ESPN.com predicts a similar score, going with a 24-10 Seattle win, "The 49ers haven't beaten the Seahawks in their past six meetings, and Seattle has won eight of the past nine. While this game is at Levi's Stadium and Wilson has been much worse on the road than at home, it's awfully difficult to see how San Francisco wins. The 49ers are without many key players, and the loss of running back Carlos Hyde is only going to make things more difficult. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have a chance to bolster their spot in the postseason."
Elliot Harrison at NFL.com picks the Seahawks to win 30-10, "Seattle still has an opportunity to get the second seed in the NFC. Will Pete Carroll's guys blow that opportunity against a two-win 49er team? Yes -- if former Niners Alex Smith, Frank Gore, Anquan Boldin, Mike Iupati and Patrick Willis get special permission to run around at the Big Blue Jean this weekend. This pick probably makes it seem like I don't trust the 49ers' low-octane attack against a motivated Seahawks defense. I am comfortable with that. San Francisco hasn't beaten these guys in a long time. Seattle just needs to pray the Falcons lose Sunday."
Chris Burke at SI.com thinks the Seahawks pull out a 26-20 win, "Seattle, despite its loss last week, still has a shot at a first-round bye—it needs a win plus an Atlanta loss. That should cover the motivation angle, but the 49ers have a handful of pass rushers that could give Seattle's maligned O-line trouble. Whether anyone has noticed or not, Kaepernick has played well down the stretch, and the Seahawks' D has not been the same without Earl Thomas. This is a bigger test than it probably should be for Seattle. If Pete Carroll's team wins, it will be via the run game—San Francisco has been horrid there defensively, allowing 4.9 yards per attempt."
Get to know the faces of the San Francisco 49ers offensive and defensive units heading into the team's Week 3 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.
Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com likes the Seahawks to win 30-17, "If the Falcons lose, the Seahawks could end up with the second seed. They need to win this one. The 49ers won last week, but the Seahawks are a big step up in class. That matters. Seattle takes it."
Peter Schrager at FOXSports.com believes the Seahawks will take care of the 49ers, 16-10, "For as many notable veterans who dot the Seahawks roster, it's the rookies and unknown players they need to step up come January. The Seahawks — unlike any team in the league — have relied on first-year players to step up. Seventeen — yes, 17 — rookies have gotten on the field for Seattle this year. The Seahawks need to win to keep any shot of a first-round bye alive. They should take care of the 49ers."
Michael David Smith at ProFootballTalk.com sees Seattle coming away with a 31-13 victory, "The Seahawks have been struggling of late, but even a struggling Seattle team shouldn't have too hard a time with the 49ers."
Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com also has the Seahawks getting the win, 34-17, "One last afternoon of Santa Clara traffic problems. That somehow won't keep Seahawks fans from getting to the stadium."
David Steele at Sporting News sees the Seahawks winning 37-21.
Eight of nine analysts at ESPN.com see a Seattle victory.
And all five writers at USA Today like the Seahawks' chances this weekend.