It’s good to be king, at least when it comes to NFL predictions.
The defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks, who lost at home last week to the Cowboys, got the benefit of the doubt by national media this week heading into Sunday’s road game against the Rams. (It also helps that the Rams are 1-4 and coming off a short week.) With a couple of exceptions, various national outlets are expecting the Seahawks to bounce back in St. Louis.
Bob Condotta: “Seattle will get back to basics and back on the winning track with a victory that is critical to the rest of the season.” 23-10, Seahawks
Jayson Jenks: “After spending all season talking about what’s wrong with the Seahawks, they remind us what’s right with a dominant performance.” 28-10, Seahawks
Jerry Brewer: “Seattle returns to its formula: A Marshawn Lynch-based offense and an overpowering defense.” 24-13, Seahawks
Larry Stone: “They’ll get another scare on the road, but the Seahawks will learn from last week and ride Marshawn Lynch to victory.” 28-21, Seahawks
How they line up: All 13 pick the Seahawks.
How they line up: Seven of eight pick the Seahawks. Jason La Canfora picks the Rams
Comment: Don Banks — Probably a bad time for the 1-4 Rams to be catching the Seahawks. St. Louis is dealing with a short week after a tough loss to the visiting 49ers on Monday night, while Seattle has to be in a mood following its home-field upset loss to those high-riding Cowboys. The Seahawks haven’t lost consecutive games since dropping a pair of road games at San Francisco and Detroit in Weeks 7-8 of 2012. That’s a span of 34 games, including playoffs. St. Louis got a strong first quarter or so out of unheralded starting quarterback Austin Davis against the 49ers, and then almost nothing from him for the balance of the game. Jon Gruden loved him some Davis in the opening 15 minutes, gushing as only he can gush, and then, not so much. Even those great 1999-style retro Rams uniforms couldn’t turn Davis into another incarnation of Kurt Warner.
How they line up: All five pick the Seahawks.
Comment: Elliot Harrison — Been taking some mild heat for putting the Seahawks at No. 5 in the Week 7 Power Rankings. Funny — when they win, their followers chime in as if they’ve reeled off five straight Super Bowls. No, they’re not dominant, but I don’t see them not winning in St. Louis. That’s a double negative — kind of like the Rams‘ passing game faltering (because guys don’t run routes well) while their defense fails to stop the opposition’s aerial attack. Perhaps the most unreal stat of the season is that St. Louis has one sack after tallying 53 in 2013. Maybe that injury to Chris Long should have been more widely reported. And maybe Seattle should start giving Marshawn Lynch the rock more. Seventy-nine attempts in five games? Seriously?
How they line up: Both picked the Seahawks.
Comment: Vinnie Iyer — The Rams got prepared for this short week turnaround against Russell Wilson by letting Colin Kaepernick rip apart their hapless, rushless, pass defense. The Seahawks almost fell in the dome last season. Seattle will have that in mind, as well as the loss to Dallas last week. The result will be Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and Percy Harvin going wild on the fast track indoors. Austin Davis is about to be swarmed by an angry mob of ‘Hawks. Seahawks 34, Rams 0
Comment: David Steele — Just when the Brett Favre comparisons were reaching critical mass against the 49ers (same alma mater, and that’s about it), Austin Davis hit the wall and reverted to the third-stringer he had been. The Seahawks show soft spots defensively from time to time, but not enough to cost them against this team. Seahawks 31, Rams 16
How they line up: All seven pick the Seahawks.
How they line up: Both pick the Seahawks.
How they line up: Fifteen out of 16 pick the Seahawks.
Comment: Gary Davenport — At the end of Rocky IV, as the title character fights Ivan Drago in Moscow, Rocky cuts the big Russian. It’s one of the turning points of the bout, and it leads Rocky’s trainer to proclaim, “You see? You see? He’s not a machine! He’s a man; he’s a man!”
Well, the Seattle Seahawks got cut last week, punched in the mouth at home by the Dallas Cowboys.
At least one of our voters thinks that punch staggered the champs. NFL National Lead Writer Ty Schalter predicts that a Rams team that played the Seahawks tough in St. Louis last year will pull an upset that would set off a firestorm on social media.
There are only two problems with the Rocky IV analogy. First, this isn’t the movies, and the plucky underdog more often than not ends up getting plucked in the NFL.
Second, the Rams aren’t Rocky Balboa. St. Louis ranks 26th in the NFL in run defense, allowing nearly 140 yards per game. The team is dead last in sacks, with one all season long.
If you can’t stop the run or pressure Russell Wilson, you aren’t beating an angry Seattle team.
How they line up: All seven pick the Seahawks.