SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers were so focused on snapping a four-game losing streak Sunday, they spent no time last week preparing for what turns out to be an important showdown with the Seattle Seahawks.
"We talked about it in the offseason: Our base offense should be set up to beat your three division opponents," Chryst said Tuesday. "That way, you're not trying to install a new offense in such a limited amount of time."
Small sample size, but so far that philosophy hasn't exactly worked for Tomsula & Co.
The 49ers have played one NFC West team already this season, and they appeared both overmatched and unprepared. The result: A 47-7 shellacking at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals.
The 49ers will try again Thursday night, when they face the Seahawks in what amounts to an elimination game of sorts between 2-4 teams.
Unfortunately, not installing a new offense could mean going into the game with Jarryd Hayne carrying the ball on plays scripted for Carlos Hyde, and Quinton Patton running pass patterns designed for Anquan Boldin.
Both Hyde and Boldin are questionable for Thursday's game. Neither was able to participate fully even in a pad-less workout Tuesday, Hyde because of a foot injury and Boldin due to a hamstring issue.
So, the 49ers face the prospect of facing a team against which it totaled 10 points in two games last season, using a preparation plan that produced all of seven points earlier this season, and going without their top back and wideout.
The Seahawks have been installed as the favorite in the game.
That probably didn't take a whole lot of film review, either.
SERIES HISTORY: 33rd regular-season meeting. Seahawks lead series, 17-15. The 49ers have lost three straight to the Seahawks, including both matchups last season in which San Francisco totaled just 10 points. Before that, the 49ers had won five in a row at home. The most important head-to-head between the franchises came on Jan. 19, 2014, when Seattle, at home, beat San Francisco 23-17 to earn a trip to the Super Bowl.
--If Carlos Hyde isn't 100 percent (or cannot play at all), the 49ers will have to hope Colin Kaepernick can continue a hot hand he's developed against two of the league's weakest pass defenses. The Seattle unit is near the other end of the spectrum, but the 49ers might have no choice but to attack it.
The key to staying competitive in the game will be slowing Marshawn Lynch as the 49ers have done to Adrian Peterson, Eddie Lacy and Justin Forsett in their previous three home games. In large part because they've held that potent trio to 183 yards and no touchdowns, the 49ers have given up just 40 points in their three home games.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
--49ers RB Carlos Hyde vs. Seahawks run defense.
Seattle had bent but hadn't broken in its first five games before giving up two rushing touchdowns to Carolina's Jonathan Stewart last week. If the Seahawks suddenly are vulnerable to the run, a healthy Hyde possibly could take advantage. But the 49ers star injured his foot in Sunday's win over Baltimore, and the chances of him being at full speed Thursday are slim.
--49ers TE Vernon Davis vs. Seahawks pass defense.
Davis has a history of big games against Seattle. History as in a long time ago. The former star hasn't done much against pretty much anybody in recent seasons, and has just eight total catches this year. That said, the Seahawks already have given up touchdowns to lesser tight end talents -- Lance Kendricks and Richard Rodgers -- this season, so perhaps Davis could turn back the clock.
--49ers ILB NaVorro Bowman vs. Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch.
Bowman ranks second in the NFL in tackles, but this promises to be his biggest challenge. It is, after all, his first game against the team that was opposing the 49ers when Bowman blew out his knee in the 2013 NFC Championship Game. Lynch's injury problems are more recent, but he did return last week to carry 17 times and produce a touchdown in Seattle's loss to Carolina.