Is anybody picking the Seahawks against NFC West behemoths, the Los Angeles Rams. Nope. Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and that intimidating defense haven't lost yet this season, and nobody expects CenturyLink Field to stand in the way.
Nine of 10 panelists pick the Rams straight up.
Brady Henderson: Rams 28, Seahawks 21
“Los Angeles leads the league by a fairly wide margin in yards per play at 7.38, and Jared Goff has the most completions of 20-plus yards of any quarterback with 23. Slowing down Sean McVay’s offense would be a tough-enough task even at full strength. It’s hard to imagine the Seahawks doing that now that their defense is missing its eraser on the back end in Earl Thomas, in addition to Pro Bowl linebacker K.J. Wright.”
Lindsey Thiry: Rams 32, Seahawks 21
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“The Rams are 4-0 and sit atop ESPN’s Power Rankings, but their matchup against the 2-2 Seahawks is not one they’re taking lightly, in large part because of the noise at CenturyLink. And don’t forget about Russell Wilson. “He can beat you himself,” defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. “Not many quarterbacks can do that. You have to cover him for a long time, and that makes it hard.”
Seven of eight panelists pick the Rams straight up.
Andy Benoit: “K.J. Wright where art thou? The eighth-year linebacker remains out following August knee surgery. Now his replacement, Mychal Kendricks, is suspended indefinitely as the league tries—aimlessly, it appears—to figure out how to punish him for pleading guilty to insider trading. That means Seattle is again relying on Austin Calitro, a second-year journeyman. (And no, “second-year journeyman” is not oxymoronic. Seattle is one of four NFL cities the undrafted linebacker has, perhaps ironically, already called home.) Sean McVay has a very specific target for his patented play-actions and backfield screens this week.”
Benjamin Hoffman picks the Seahawks (+7).
“If there was any doubt that the Rams (4-0) had established themselves as the top team in the N.F.C. in the first quarter of the season, it is now gone. They’re getting so much respect, they’re favored by a touchdown in the hostile confines of Seattle’s CenturyLink Field. The Rams have an offense every bit as exciting as Kansas City’s, and the potential for a blowout is certainly there, but the Seahawks (2-2) have always played so much better at home and should be able to keep the game respectable, even with Earl Thomas out with a broken leg.”
Mike Florio: Rams 27, Seahawks 21
“Seattle has rebounded nicely since starting the year 0-2. But the Rams are one of the best teams we’ve seen in recent years, and it will be very hard for the Seahawks to overcome a team that isn’t just balanced but great on both sides of the ball.”
Michael David Smith: Rams 30, Seahawks 20
“The Rams have an opportunity to run away with the NFC West, and with a win here they’ll be well on their way to doing just that.”
All eight panelists pick the Rams straight up.
Three of eight panelists pick the Seahawks (+7) against the spread.
Pete Prisco: Rams 27, Seahawks 24
“The Rams are flying high on offense, and will be rested after playing last Thursday. The Seahawks are coming off a solid defensive game last week against Arizona, but this is a much tougher challenge. Seattle plays much better at home, and I think that will help them keep this one closer than expected. Rams take it, but it’s tight.”
Elliot Harrison: Rams 35, Seahawks 17
Can the Seahawks slow down Jared Goff without Earl Thomas? They slowed Goff and the aerial circus last year in Seattle (with Thomas), mostly because the Rams were up five scores and didn’t have to throw. Goff only dropped back 23 times in that game while watching Todd Gurley, Malcolm Brown and Co. carry the ball 43 times for 244 yards and three touchdowns. With Thomas out for the Seahawks, there is no reason for Rams coach Sean McVay to pump the brakes on the most lethal passing attack in pro football. Noise could play a role — if it does, turn around and hand the ball to No. 30. Seattle’s run defense has stunk thus far (27th in the NFL). As for the other side, Russell Wilson isn’t taking off much these days, averaging a scant 2.8 carries per game. He might need to triple that figure for the Seahawks to stay in this one.
Two of three panelists pick the Rams (-7).
Consensus pick: Rams 31, Seahawks 20
Gary Davenport (picks Seattle ATS): I have regretted this pick from the moment I decided on it. The Rams are well-rested coming off a huge [Thursday night] win over the Vikings, and this could be a statement game—not just the passing of the NFC West torch, but the Rams bludgeoning Seattle into goo with it. However, Seattle has long been a tough out in front of the 12th Man, Doug Baldwin’s back, and while the Seahawks aren’t great, they aren’t awful, either. I’m not about to predict a Seahawks win, but getting a touchdown at home is a hard spread to pass on.”