Hawks are back at the top — like it or not

Pete Carroll talks with line judge Jeff Seeman and referee Tony Corrente before Seattle's game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. (Getty)
Not a good sign: This was Pete Carroll talking with line judge Jeff Seeman and referee Tony Corrente BEFORE Seattle was called for a season-high 14 penalties against the 49ers (Getty)

You know the Seahawks are back to normal when they are No. 1 again — not just in defense but in penalties.

It’s fairly obvious the two go hand in hand on Pete Carroll’s club.

When the defense is playing like it has the past two weeks, the Hawks can pretty easily overcome high penalty totals. Just ask all of the Hawks who were on the team in 2013, when the Hawks walked off with their first Super Bowl title despite leading the league in flags.

After drawing a season-worst 14 penalties for 105 yards Thursday in a 19-3 domination of the San Francisco 49ers, the Hawks once again lead the NFL in penalties. They had been as low as fourth over the last few weeks, but they have assumed their accustomed place.

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Hawks suddenly look like strong contender

As Bobby Wagner pursues, Colin Kaepernick winds up to throw a ball that ends up intercepted by Richard Sherman (Getty)A week ago, the Seahawks were coming off a tough loss in Kansas City, sitting at a precarious 6-4, with a muddled team identity and facing the toughest finishing slate in the NFL. Needless to say, there were plenty of doubters.

It’s funny what five days can do to change a team’s image.

Thanks to an attitude adjustment on defense and the league’s top-ranked running attack, the Seahawks are suddenly looking pretty good for the playoffs.

A second straight 19-3 domination of a contending NFC West foe proved the Hawks are back to their 2013 form and ready to make a charge into the postseason.

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