As they do every week, a panel of six ESPN experts picked all the weekend matchups. In addition to the human element, ESPN included its Accuscore prediction, a computer simulation of the weekend games, and the fan vote. Add them all up and you get 10 opinions of the NFL action for the week.
The San Fransisco 49ers, hosting division rival St. Louis, are heavily favored in the picks. All six ESPN pickers, as well as Accuscore and the fans, chose the 49ers to knock off the St. Louis Rams in San Fransisco on Sunday. Both teams are coming off wins — San Fransisco over Denver in London and St. Louis over Carolina — and should be well-rested coming out of the bye week. The Rams are young and have struggled away from home, leading many to wonder whether playing on the road will rattle them.
The panel was decidedly more split when choosing between the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. Four of the pickers — Ron Jaworski, Merril Hodge, Mike Golic and Eric Allen — chose the Seahawks. The other four picked the Cardinals to roll at home. Accuscore and the fans chose the Cardinals, as well.