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Plenty of flags fly during Seahawks-Broncos

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll talks with the referee during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) Photo:

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll talks with the referee during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

DENVER (AP) The Seattle Seahawks' preseason opener against the Denver Broncos devolved into a game of flag football, which wasn't unexpected in light of the NFL's renewed emphasis on illegal contact and holding.

Surprisingly, only a handful of the 25 penalties called in Denver's 21-16 win Thursday night fell into those categories - and all of those were whistled on the Broncos.

Many believe the NFL's crackdown is in direct response to the Seahawks' ''Legion of Boom'' defense and the Super Bowl champs' habit of pushing, pulling, tugging and shoving wide receivers.

Most were for old-fashioned transgressions, some stemming from the bad blood that developed between the teams in the wake of Seattle's 43-8 shellacking of the Broncos in the Super Bowl.

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