Sando's best guesses: Week 17 predictions

December, 28, 2012
12/28/12
12:10
PM ET
We're down to the final two NFC West games of the 2012 regular season.

Let's jump right into the predictions before too much thought steers me away from two straightforward games:
  • St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. ET: The Seahawks are 7-0 at home and about as hot as a team could be, having become the first team since the 1950 Los Angeles Rams to score 150 points over a three-game period. St. Louis has gone 3-0-1 in its past four road games, and 4-0-1 against the NFC West. I'm most interested in seeing how the young quarterbacks compare. The Rams' Sam Bradford faces a tougher test behind a reshuffled offensive line. Advantage, Russell Wilson. Also, the winning coach should be coach of the year in the division, in my view. Sando's best guess: Seahawks 27, Rams 13.
  • Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25: The 49ers had a hard time on the road with Tom Brady and Russell Wilson over their past six quarters. A cure is in sight. Arizona's Brian Hoyer is making his first NFL start. He becomes the Cardinals' fourth starting quarterback this season after John Skelton, Kevin Kolb and Ryan Lindley. On the plus side for Arizona, the Cardinals' pass defense gave Brady, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford and others trouble (those three combined for one touchdown and nine interceptions against Arizona). The 49ers were the one team to shred Arizona's secondary, but that was with Alex Smith and a healthier receiving corps. What can Colin Kaepernick do? Handing off to Frank Gore wouldn't be a bad idea. Sando's best guess: 49ers 24, Cardinals 9
Noted: I went 2-1 on picks last week, moving my record to 33-17 for the season when picking games involving NFC West teams. We've also got the "You called it" competition going, plus the Pigskin Pick'em group.

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