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Gallant: After Seahawks’ loss to Cards, I’ve got a bad feeling about this

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was sacked five times Sunday, four by Chandler Jones. (Getty)

I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

Cardinals 27, Seahawks 13 | Carson hurt | Instant ReactionKey moments

It’s a quote said by countless characters in the Star Wars movie universe. It’s a line I said to myself while walking into CenturyLink Field on Sunday. And worst of all, it’s the gut feeling we should all have about the Seahawks going into their Week 17 finale against the 49ers.

While I’ve got Star Wars on the brain, let me create my own screenplay.

[Slow motion shot: Multiple Seahawks raise their hands in jubilance after Nick Bellore’s 3-yard touchdown reception capped off a nine-play, 89-yard TD drive where Seattle didn’t even face a third down.]

[Freeze frame / Super zoom on the happiest Seahawks player]

[Narrator]: “Hi! It’s me, the Seattle Seahawks. And you’re probably wondering how we got from this moment… to losing to Brett Hundley.”

[The Benny Hill theme plays while Kenyan Drake runs for an 80-yard touchdown on the very next play]


No one should be surprised by the Seahawks’ bad day on defense. They’ve struggled when 100% healthy, especially when it comes to generating pressure. So considering they were without Jadeveon Clowney, Quandre Diggs and Shaquill Griffin, I wasn’t that frustrated with their inability to contain the cat-nipped crazed quickness of Kyler “Cat-man” Murray.

(This is his nickname now. I have spoken.)

But then Brett Hundley joined the fray. And he looked really good, especially on the Cardinals’ game-clinching touchdown drive in the fourth quarter:

• A 28-yard toss to Maxx Williams.
• A third-and-2 scramble for 14 yards.
• A second-and-11 scramble for 12 yards to the Seattle 3.

Maybe he was extra motivated having played here last season. Whatever the case, the Seahawks’ defense had no answer for a quarterback who’s played for three teams the last three seasons.

It’s bad enough that the Cardinals averaged 6.3 yards per carry to the tune of 253 yards. More sloppy tackling – an all-season problem for Seattle – was a major factor. But I’m most concerned by just how visibly slow the Hawks’ defense played. If they’re going to win a playoff game, they need to get healthy – and fast.

But the defense? That’s a secondary concern. Remember that opening drive touchdown for the Seahawks? Here’s how the rest of their drives ended (viewer discretion advised):

• Punt (after taking a delay of game on fourth-and-1 in field goal range)
• Punt (three-and-out)
• Punt (three-and-out)
• Punt (three-and-out)
• Punt (three-and-out)
• End of half
• Fumble
• Punt (three-and-out)
• Field goal
• Field goal
• Downs

All season long, the Seahawks’ offense has been the team’s biggest strength. I doubt it’s possible for it to be that going forward.

First off, any injury that actually keeps Duane Brown out of a game is probably quite serious. Brown, considered one of the toughest Hawks in the locker room, has been playing through a biceps injury for most of the season. But after the game, we found out that he’s getting his knee operated on Monday. He’ll at least miss the season finale, and he was very much missed Sunday, as Arizona sacked Russell Wilson five times, four times alone by Chandler Jones.

Second, the Seahawks are now down to their fourth-string running back. Fourth! Chris Carson might be done for the season with a hip injury. C.J. Prosise broke his arm and is definitely done for the year. And with Rashaad Penny’s knee injury a few weeks ago, Travis Homer is now No. 1 on the depth chart. I like his burst, but can the Hawks establish offensive balance while leaning on him?

Third? It’s the biggest problem of all. Despite facing the 28th-best pass defense in the league, MVP candidate Russell Wilson was completely incapable of getting Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf going. Wilson threw eight passes to a healthy Tyler Lockett but only completed one for 12 yards. Metcalf, meanwhile, dropped the only pass that went his way. If Russ and this offense, which went 1 for 12 on third downs, can’t click against that defense, can they click against anyone?

The season isn’t over, and the Seahawks’ biggest game of the season, next week’s Sunday night showdown against the 49ers, hasn’t even been played yet. But as I walk out of CenturyLink Field, I can’t help but believe this scarred Seattle squad is operating on borrowed time.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Paul Gallant on Twitter.

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