Getty Images

SEATTLE (AP) — By this point, they might as well consider Seattle and Carolina a divisional game.

For the seventh time in five years, the Panthers and Seahawks will meet on Sunday night each with a different sense of urgency heading into the final month of the regular season.

Seattle (7-3-1) reverted to its inconsistent form of earlier this season in a loss last week to Tampa Bay that now leaves the Seahawks, while still in complete control of the NFC West, with no room for error in trying to hold off others in the NFC for the No. 2 seed and a coveted first-round bye in the playoffs.

The level of urgency is far greater for the defending NFC champion Panthers.

After last week's loss in Oakland , the Panthers (4-7) are three games behind in the NFC South race and 2½ games behind Washington for the final wild-card spot with five games to go.

There is time for Carolina, but it's running short to avoid joining the list of Super Bowl participants to miss the postseason the following year.

The Seahawks are the only unbeaten team at home in the NFL this season. But it's been four years — 2012— since Seattle finished the season 8-0 at home.