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Updated Monday, December 24, 2012 at 09:21 PM

Believe it, Hawks are best team in the NFL right now

By Jerry Brewer
Seattle Times staff columnist

OK, now the nation knows, too: The Seahawks are on something ridiculous right now. Something more effective than Adderall, even.

And it's pure and potent. It's a level of focus and spirit and commitment that you haven't seen from this football team since, oh, 2005.

The Seahawks, who struggled to beat middling teams convincingly just six weeks ago, are now a butt-kicking waiting to happen. It seems as if they could stomp anyone, anywhere in any way. As they turned a marquee matchup with the San Francisco 49ers into a 42-13 thrashing Sunday night, the Seahawks went beyond finally proving that they are on the Niners' level and headed straight toward a bolder, more emphatic statement.

Right now, they're the best team in the NFL.

In case you think that's a typo, one more time: The best team in the NFL.

If you disagree, perhaps Kam Chancellor should come to your house and deliver a hit like the one he put on Vernon Davis.

The Seahawks are the baddest birds in the air presently. They just gave the 49ers, the most consistent team in the NFL over the past two years, the Arizona/Buffalo treatment.

They pounded a legitimate Super Bowl contender from start to finish, and yet there's a part of you that was disappointed that they didn't score 50 points for a third straight game.

Cumulative score for the Seahawks the past three games: 150-30.

If they keep this up, they're going to force NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to implement a mercy rule.

This was the kind of game that would make former 49ers coach Mike Singletary drop his trousers. Current coach Jim Harbaugh could only stand in frustration on the sideline and bark out sentences that a roaring CenturyLink Field crowd of 68,161 drowned out easily.

The Seahawks handed Harbaugh, who turned 49 on Sunday, the worst loss of his two-season tenure in San Francisco. Their 42 points are the most the 49ers have allowed since Harbaugh took over, too.

Seattle clinched a playoff berth with this victory, and who wants to play these dudes in a high-stakes game right now?

Actually, who wants to play the Seahawks at all? The stakes could be a fingernail clipper, and the Seahawks would thump you for it.

"Who's been playing better than us the last few weeks?" defensive end Red Bryant asked.

There was silence, of course.

"This is the National Football League," Bryant continued. "You don't get no gimmies."

Then Bryant flashed a look as if to say, "So, what's that tell you?"

It tells you that the Seahawks are for real. But 42-13 real?

"I know that, with anybody we play, when we play right — offense, defense, special teams — this is what we expect," Bryant said. "I'm not surprised."

The Seahawks' dominance starts with their exquisite offensive execution. They didn't punt in the first half against the 49ers, widely considered the best defense in the NFL.

They rushed for 176 yards against a San Francisco defense missing All-Pro defensive lineman Justin Smith, led by 111 from Marshawn Lynch. They converted 11 of 13 third downs.

Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was incredible again, completing 15 of 21 passes for 171 yards and four touchdowns, two of which were to receiver Doug Baldwin.

Wilson stands one touchdown pass shy of Peyton Manning's rookie quarterback record of 26.

On defense, the Seahawks shut down the 49ers' run game early, and once they built a big lead, they were able to hound San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who completed only 19 of 36 passes and seemed rattled by a crowd so loud and hyped that the press box shook several times.

And on special teams, the Seahawks enjoyed one of their best performances, including a Bryant field-goal block that led to Richard Sherman's 90-yard touchdown return.

"We're just putting it together, clicking at the right moment," defensive tackle Brandon Mebane said. "We've just got to stay humble."

It doesn't seem like that will be a problem for the Seahawks. They know how fleeting success can be in the NFL.

If they need a reminder of the league's parity, they need only to refer to the first half of their season, when nearly every game came down to the last possession.

"We're trying to do something great," Wilson said. "We're trying to do something special. The biggest thing, the biggest accolade, that we want is the Lombardi Trophy, obviously."

Momentum is a tricky thing in football. One week doesn't always translate to the next.

You might fear that the Seahawks are playing too well too soon and should save some of this for the postseason.

Then again, this is a young team with ample room left to grow. It feels like they're still toying with their superpowers.

Which is scarier than that 150-30 cumulative score.

Jerry Brewer: 206-464-2277 or jbrewer@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @JerryBrewer.


JOHN LOK / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman celebrates with the cheering crowd after intercepting a pass in the end zone Sunday night.








DEAN RUTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Seahawks fans celebrate an early Christmas gift, a blocked field goal returned 90 yards for a touchdown.




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