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Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

December 26, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Updated Seahawks vs. Rams: National media still picking Seattle to win

Seahawks safety Earl Thomas takes a moment after the St. Louis Rams beat Seattle earlier this season, 28-20.  John Lok / Seattle Times staff

Seahawks safety Earl Thomas takes a moment after the Rams beat Seattle on Oct. 19 in St. Louis, 28-26. The rematch is Sunday.
John Lok / Seattle Times staff

It’s still a shutout. Really.

Through kickoff Sunday every prediction I found from the national media or major newspapers expects the Seahawks to beat the St. Louis Rams.  (Here are our predictions).

The Seahawks are obviously on a roll, having won their past five games with lights-out defensive performances. And last Sunday, their offense matched the defense in the second half of a 35-6 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

But next up are the Rams, a team that beat Seattle the last time they met and always seems to give the Seahawks problems.

» Reader feedback: What fans are saying about Marshawn Lynch’s crotch grab, silence

That doesn’t matter, according to all the predictions I found. Although some are forecasting a close game, they still think the Seahawks are playing too well and have too much at stake to lose in front of their loud, proud fans at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. A few even predict a Seahawks blowout.

What do you think? Does this reinforce what you expect or does it worry you?

Here’s a roundup of media picks for the final weekend. We’ll update them right before Sunday’s 1:25 p.m. PST game (FOX Sports, Channel 13).

SEATTLE TIMES

All four pick the Seahawks.

Jerry Brewer: Seahawks 24, Rams 7 – The Seahawks are playing too well and have too much on the line to overlook St. Louis. And they want payback for that head-scratching loss to the Rams earlier in the season.

Bob Condotta: Seahawks 31, Rams 6 – Seattle is on a roll and at kickoff won’t know if it needs to win this game to get the No. 1 seed. So expect a full-throated effort by Seattle fans and a similar effort by the Seahawks in easily dispatching the Rams. Seattle won’t take any chances in this one.

Jayson Jenks: Seahawks 28, Rams 10 – The Seahawks have played their best defensive football down the stretch, and the Rams simply don’t have enough offensive firepower to dent Seattle’s ultra-confident defense. Expect a couple of turnovers that set up easy Seattle scores.

Larry Stone: Seahawks 28, Rams 18 – The Rams always seem to give the Seahawks trouble, but with a division title and home-field advantage on the line, Seattle will round out the regular season with a decisive victory

NFL.COM

All six pick the Seahawks.

Elliot Harrison: Seahawks 20, Rams 10 – This game will be 17-10 until the final minutes, with St. Louis giving Pete Carroll‘s group all it can handle. Did you know that four of the last five games between these two teams have been one-score contests, and that the Rams have won two of them? In order for St. Louis to win this game on the road, they have to play physical without getting undisciplined. Play aggressive, but don’t lose contain on the edges. Most of all, let the Seahawks commit the dumb penalties. (They have them every game, yet somehow still win.) If the Rams have some stupid flags of the Alec Ogletree variety (like last weekend), they will make this easy peasy for Seattle. St. Louis simply isn’t good enough to mitigate such errors. By the way, Beast Mode should be able to rack up well over 100 yards — if he gets the touches. Seattle is playing for home-field, so he will.

ESPN.COM

All 15 pick the Seahawks.

Terry Blount: Seahawks 27, Rams 7 – The Seahawks are coming off their best offensive game of the season, a franchise-record 596 yards at Arizona, and the Rams are coming off their worst defensive game of the season, giving up 514 to the 6-9 New York Giants. The Seahawks’ defense has allowed an average of only 6.6 points per game in the past five weeks, and has allowed only 10 points at home the past two games. Plus, the Rams have lost the past nine times they have played in Seattle.  7

Nick Wagoner: Seahhawks 23, Rams 6 – This is a much different Seattle team than the one the Rams pulled out all the tricks on to beat earlier this season. Seattle’s defense is yielding a league-low 4.66 yards per play and the Rams’ offense has managed just 5.34 yards per play this year, 18th in the league. This offense has played many top defenses but none like the current Seattle defense. On the road, it’s hard to see how the Rams can pull off another upset.

CBSSPORTS.COM

All eight pick the Seahawks.

Pete Prisco:  Seahawks 23, Rams 20 – Seattle is riding high after blowing out Arizona. They can lock up the No. 1 seed here if they beat the Rams. But St. Louis seems to always play them tough, and beat them earlier this season. That won’t happen here. But the Rams will put up a good fight.

John Breech: Seahawks 31, Rams 13

USA TODAY

All seven pick the Seahawks.

FOXSPORTS.COM

All five pick the Seahawks.

Peter Schrager: Seahawks 31, Rams 6 –  Home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs is on the line. The Seahawks aren’t losing this one. Seattle’s fans got on me for picking them to lose to Ryan Lindley last week, and rightfully so. I’m not sure anyone’s going into their building and winning in January.

BLEACHER REPORT

All 16 pick the Seahawks.

Gary Davenport: Maybe we were a little hasty.

Maybe we were hasty when, after the New England Patriots were blown out by the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this season, we threw dirt all over the dynasty in Dorchester.

And maybe, just maybe, we were hasty to do the same with the one in the making in the Pacific Northwest after the Seattle Seahawks committed the cardinal sin of losing back-to-back games.

Since then, the Seahawks have won eight of nine, including their current five-game winning streak, during which the team has allowed all of 33 points.

Virtually all that stands between the Seahawks and another NFC West title and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, per NFL.com, is a win over the St. Louis Rams at home Sunday afternoon.

A win that every one of our writers believes the Seahawks will get.

SI.COM

Don Banks: Seahawks 33, Rams 20 – Are there really still any Russell Wilson doubters out there? They must be down to a deluded handful or two at most after watching Seattle’s third-year, dual-threat quarterback destroy a quality Arizona defense last Sunday night. Wilson threw for 339 yards with two touchdowns, and ran for 88 yards and a score, making him, according to the NFL, the first player in league history with two career games topping 300 yards passing and at least 85 yards rushing. Wilson has passed for 3,236 yards and rushed for 842 this season, logging 4,078 yards of offense in 15 games. Seeing him do virtually anything he wanted to do against the Cardinals last week, it was pretty easy to imagine him back in that same stadium, taking the big confetti shower again, in another six weeks.

SB NATION

All six pick the Seahawks.

SPORTINGNEWS.COM

Two picks for the Seahawks.

Vinnie Iyer: Seahawks 40, Rams 10 – The Rams’ upset of the Seahawks in St. Louis was a real anomaly. The Seahawks dominated that game offensively with Russell Wilson, but lost because of the Rams’ big plays on special teams. This time, it’s the Seahawks’ turn to dominate defensively to make up for their only division loss. Knowing they can stay home for the playoffs in their quest to repeat as Super Bowl champs with a win, look for them to build a big lead and not relent. This will feel like a replay of the Cardinals game.

David Steele: Seahawks 30, Rams 17Coronation of the week … If the Seahawks somehow let a Rams team that caught them off-guard and beat them in midseason, come into their place, stop their roll and ruin their march back to the Super Bowl now, then they’re not the Seahawks we thought we knew, and thought they were back to being. Suggested Marshawn Lynch repeated postgame quote: “See you in two weeks.”

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

Dan Caesar: Seahawks 24, Rams 17

LOS ANGELES TIMES

One picks the Seahawks.

Sam Farmer: Seahawks 31, Rams 14 – The Seahawks are rolling just like last season. Their defense is smothering, and Russell Wilson is scorching. The Rams are wobbly, having lost winnable games the last two weeks.

HOUSTON CHRONICLE

One picks the Seahawks.

John McClain: Seahawks 24, Rams 13

MIAMI HERALD

One picks the Seahawks.

Greg Cote: Seahawks 24, Rams 16 – Seattle clinches division title, firstround bye and home field throughout by winning. St. Lou will not stand in the way. Rams won first meeting 28-26 but ’Hawks have won 23 of past 25 at home. As impressive as SEA looked last week in downsizing Arizona 35-6, though, the bet-line still feels way big.

SYRACUSE.COM

One picks the Seahawks.

Bud Poliquin: Seahawks 35, Rams 14

SPORTS BLOG

One picks the Seahawks.

Marty Strachan: Seahawks 23, Rams 13 – Seahawks at home, primed for the playoffs. Enough said.

Want to be a reader contributor to The Seattle Times’ Take 2 blog? Email your original, previously unpublished work or proposal to Sports Editor Don Shelton at dshelton@seattletimes.com or sports@seattletimes.com. Not all submissions can be published. Opinions expressed are those of authors, and The Times reserves the right to edit and publish any submissions online and/or in print.

 

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