The picks are in for the Seahawks' Week 2 matchup with the Rams in Los Angeles, Seattle's first NFL game in Southern California since 1994 against the Raiders.
The Seahawks, looking for a franchise-record sixth-consecutive road win dating back to last season, meet the Rams for the 36th time, with Seattle leading the series 21-14. But the Rams swept the NFC West division series last year and have won three of the past four games between the two clubs. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. PT at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with live television coverage on FOX (channel 13 in Seattle).
Here's a look around the web at who the local and national media are predicting to win this weekend:
Elliot Harrison at NFL.com predicts a 23-13 Seahawks win, "Thinking the Rams will come out of the tunnel slightly pissed off. Jeff Fisher's team looked terrible Monday night, appearing much worse than it really is. The Rams traditionally play the Seahawks tough, particularly at home. And it'll be very interesting to see what kind of home-field advantage the Los Angeles Coliseum provides. It was great in the preseason, but we'll have to see how that plays out over the course of the Rams' first year in L.A. It's the unknown quantity. Another unknown: Russell Wilson and that injured/not-injured ankle. Anticipate a ground-heavy approach for Seattle (the 49ers ran the rock 42 times against L.A.), especially if Wilson is ailing more than the 'Hawks are letting on. That would, in theory, play into Los Angeles' hands, as Seattle's offensive line is no great shakes. Neither is the Rams' quarterback situation. Still don't understand why, down 21-0, Case Keenum didn't take more chances downfield for L.A. Whether it was play calling, the protection or Keenum himself, if you don't go vertical often, the field shrinks awfully quick. You don't want Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor camping out in an eight-man front all day."
ESPN NFL Nation reporters Sheil Kapadia (Seahawks) and Alden Gonzalez (Rams) are split in their predictions, with Kapadia picking the Rams and Gonzalez taking the Seahawks.
Kapadia, who predicts a 17-13 Los Angeles win, writes, "On the surface, this is a game the Seahawks should win. They are considered Super Bowl contenders, and the Rams got shut out in Week 1. But Jeff Fisher's squad consistently gives the Seahawks problems. The Rams won both meetings last season, and going back to 2014, they've won three out of four. Russell Wilson is expected to be at less than 100 percent on a sprained right ankle, and the offensive line had its fair share of issues in Week 1. That's a bad combination going up against the Rams' talented front."
Gonzalez, who has the Seahawks winning 17-7, writes,* "The Rams will be riding the emotional wave of about 90,000 fans being present for their highly anticipated return to Los Angeles Coliseum, and they'll be facing a division rival that they beat twice last season. But the Rams' offense struggled against a lackluster 49ers' defense on Monday night. It's hard to see how the Rams can do anything against an elite, aggressive Seahawks defense that consistently suffocates its opponents. It's hard to imagine how they can win this game."*
Chris Burke at SI.com sees a 14-13 Seattle win, writing, "One of the dwindling redeeming qualities of Jeff Fisher's Rams tenure has been his ability to play the Seahawks tough. The Rams have split the season series with their NFC West rivals in three of Fisher's four years at the helm. So even though Los Angeles played last week like it was trying to get Fisher fired—he can't be or else Cthulhu is released from the depths of hell—the Seahawks better be ready. The Rams' chances, as usual, hinge on their defensive line's ability to control the line of scrimmage. Given the struggles Seattle had there against Miami last week, this one could go down to the wire."
Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com takes the Seahawks 17-13 over the Rams, "Will Russell Wilson play against the violent Rams defense that for some reason didn't show up Monday night against the 49ers? The Rams beat Wilson up when they play him, so mobility will be a key if he does play. The Rams looked terrible Monday night. Can they be that bad in the home opener?"
Michael David Smith and Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com both like the Seahawks to win this weekend. MDS has Seattle winning 20-7,
"Pete Carroll returns to the Coliseum facing a Rams team that could have a hard time against the best editions of his Trojans."*
Two of four sports writers at the Seattle Times are taking the Seahawks over Los Angeles, including beat reporter Bob Condotta, who sees a 17-6 win, "Russell Wilson sprained ankle and all, the Seahawks will put at least a momentary end to the hex the Rams have had on them the last couple of years. Thomas Rawls will get back in the saddle as the lead running back and take some pressure off of Wilson and the defense will dominate an ineffectual Los Angeles offense."
Kevin Clark at TheRinger.com predicts a 24-14 Seattle win.
All five writers at USA Today pick the Seahawks over the Rams.
Five of the eight NFL experts at CBSSports.com like the Seahawks to win.
And eight of nine NFL experts at ESPN.com predict a Seahawks win.
Throughout their history, the Rams and the Seahawks have played each other 35 times with the Seahawks winning 21 of those games. This Sunday the Seahawks will take on the Rams in Los Angeles for the first time since 1988.