That most definitely was not how the Seahawks wanted to enter the most important week of their season.

Before Seattle could host the 49ers in a winner-take-all battle for the NFC West title, the Seahawks played host to the visiting Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, and their tune-up did not go well whatsoever.

Seattle actually began the game on a high note, ending an eight-play, 89-yard opening drive with a touchdown. But it was all downhill from there.

The Cardinals outscored the Seahawks 27-6 from midway through the first quarter on, and limited Seattle to just 135 total yards of offense after that opening scoring drive. Meanwhile, Arizona totaled 412 yards of offense -- and that was with No. 1 overall draft pick Kyler Murray departing the game in the second half with an injury. Backup quarterback Brett Hundley took over for Murray, and the Seahawks struggled to stop him, too.

Seattle went 1-for-12 on third down and 0-for-1 on fourth. None of the Seahawks' wide receivers had more than a single reception, quarterback Russell Wilson had his lowest passing total of the season and head coach Pete Carroll had some questionable play-calls and decisions. But that wasn't even close to the worst of it.

The Seahawks suffered some brutal injuries, too.

After the loss, Carroll informed the media that running backs Chris Carson (hip crack) and C.J. Prosise (broken arm) have been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Additionally, starting left tackle Duane Brown -- who was inactive for the game -- will have knee surgery, but could return at some point in the playoffs.

 

Obviously, all three players will miss the much-anticipated game against the 49ers in Week 17.

Basically, leading into their most important game of the year, the Seahawks had arguably their worst performance of the season. The result might not have changed much about their playoff possibilities, but one certainly could define their performance as revealing.

The 49ers won't have any sympathy for Seattle, as they're dealing with plenty of injuries to critical players as well. They also know that a down performance, such as their Week 15 loss to the Falcons, doesn't guarantee that another one will follow. In fact, as evidenced by San Francisco's thrilling win over the Rams on Saturday night, it's often quite the opposite.

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So, while the Seahawks looked as unimpressive as they have all season on Sunday, a bounce-back performance in Week 17 wouldn't necessarily be surprising, especially with a division title -- and possible first-round bye -- on the line.

One wonders, though, if Seattle will be able to prevail over San Francisco a second time without so many of the players that had a major impact in their first encounter.