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Alexander Gets Rolling: Five Touchdowns

September 30, 2002|From Associated Press

SEATTLE — Shaun Alexander kept saying Seattle's offense was ready for a big game, and he wasn't kidding.

Alexander set an NFL record with five first-half touchdowns, scoring three times within a span of 1:05, and the Seahawks beat the Minnesota Vikings, 48-23, Sunday night.

"I don't know if it was adrenaline," Alexander said. "You know when everyone's watching, your mom and dad, your friends in high school who thought they were better than you. You get your chance to get in the spotlight and shine."

Alexander scored on runs of two, 20, three and 14 yards and took a screen pass from Trent Dilfer for an 80-yard touchdown, igniting the offense after the Seahawks (1-3) averaged 54.7 yards rushing in three losses.

"He's a touchdown machine," Dilfer said. "That's what we've got to do to be successful, get the ball in his hands."

Alexander missed a chance at the NFL record of six touchdowns in a game, set by Ernie Nevers in 1929 and matched by Dub Jones in 1951 and Gale Sayers in 1965. He was stopped for a one-yard gain inside the Viking five-yard line with three minutes to play.

"I had it in my mind," Alexander said. "I knew six was the number, but I didn't know who it was by. We were just trying to move the ball and end our drives in the end zone."

After rushing for 36, 37 and 37 yards in Seattle's first three games, Alexander eclipsed that with a 43-yard run in the first quarter. He finished with 139 yards.

"He's got to feel pretty good about his performance, but running the football is more than just running," Seahawk Coach Mike Holmgren. "You've got to block, too. I think we just blocked better for him."

Receiver Randy Moss started for the Vikings (0-4) five days after his arrest and a night in jail. He was charged with pushing a Minneapolis traffic officer with his car.

But he wasn't a factor, with six receptions for 50 yards, and he dropped four passes in the end zone. The Vikings' 0-4 start is their worst record since Bud Grant's first season in 1967.

"The balls touched my hands. I really don't have a word," Moss said. "The balls came off my fingertips. They bounced off my chest. I think the more I dropped, the more I got down on myself."

Moss was booed all night, and his frustration showed when he exchanged gestures with Minnesota quarterback Daunte Culpepper after the Vikings couldn't score on one series in the third quarter.

Culpepper, who had a career-high four interceptions against Carolina last week, was 29 for 53 for 273 yards with two interceptions.

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