The Seahawks started fast in Sunday's game, but it was a struggle the rest of the way, and the result was a 27-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals that dropped the Seahawks to 11-4 heading into the final week of the regular season.
Here are five rapid reactions to Sunday's loss to the Cardinals:
1. That was a tough loss, but the Seahawks still have a lot to play for next week.
As bad as things went for the Seahawks on Sunday, there is still a lot to play for when they host the 49ers next weekend. The Seahawks are 31-7 following a regular-season loss since the start of the 2012 season, including 3-0 this year, and if they can bounce back with a win in Week 17, it would give them the NFC West title and at least one home playoff game.
Sunday's loss wasn't without consequence, however, as the Seahawks now could end up the No. 3 seed and not get a bye if they win next week, depending on what happens with other NFC division leaders. Had the Seahawks finished 13-3, they would have been guaranteed at least the No. 2 seed.
2. The offense started great, then struggled, in no small part due to injuries.
The first time the Seahawks got the ball on Sunday, they quickly marched 89 yards on nine plays to take a 7-0 lead on a Russell Wilson touchdown pass to fullback Nick Bellore. So efficient was the offense on that drive, it never faced a third down on its way to the end zone.
The rest of the game proved to be a struggled for the offense, however, with the Seahawks managing just three first downs on their next nine possessions through the end of the third quarter, not counting a two-play series at the end of the half. Even worse, one of those first downs came on a play on which David Moore fumbled after a 20-yard reception, turning a positive play into a negative one.
While the players who were on the field will always say they should have executed better, injuries were definitely a factor in the offensive woes. The Seahawks started the game without left tackle Duane Brown, who was inactive due to knee and bicep injuries, then they lost left guard Mike Iupati to a neck injury, though he returned in the second half. Including center Justin Britt, who is on injured reserve with a knee injury, the Seahawks were without three of their five O-line starters for a good portion of the game and two of them for the entire game.
Making matters worse, Seattle's top two running backs, Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise, left the game in the second quarter with injuries. With those two out and with Rashaad Penny on injured reserve, the Seahawks were down to only rookie Travis Homer at running back for more than half of the game.
3. Chandler Jones was a problem.
Very much related to Seattle's offensive woes was the performance of Arizona's Pro-Bowl outside linebacker Chandler Jones, who after a quiet performance against Seattle in Week 4, had a monster game on Sunday.
The Seahawks held Jones without a sack in their Week 4 win in Arizona, but on Sunday Jones had 4.0 sacks, giving him 19 for the season, as well as the forced fumble on the aforementioned Moore catch and fumble, as well as a forced fumble on a sack that was recovered by the Seahawks.
4. Russell Wilson made some history.
With a 9-yard completion to Travis Homer in the third quarter, Russell Wilson reached a pretty significant milestone in his career. Already the franchise leader in touchdown passes, Wilson moved past Matt Hasselbeck for the most passing yards in Seahawks history with 29,501 in his eight-year career.
5. Rasheem Green keeps coming up with big plays.
A year after struggling to get on the field as a rookie, defensive end Rasheem Green has become a big contributor for the Seahawks, and the former third-round pick seems to come up with one or two huge plays every week.
Seattle's sacks leader with 4.0, Green has also forced three fumbles this year, and while he didn't add to either of those totals, he had some impact plays again on Sunday. Green started his day with a pass breakup at the line of scrimmage, a play that led to an Arizona punt, then he came up big on special teams in the third quarter, blocking a field goal, which Marquise Blair returned to give the Seahawks a short field they would turn into a field goal. The field goal block was Green's second in the past three games, having also blocked one against the Rams in Week 14.