Monday, November 12, 2001

Seattle's Alexander runs for 266 yards

Seahawks beat Raiders 34-27 in Sunday night game

The Associated Press

        SEATTLE — Shaun Alexander, the second-year running back from Boone County (Ky.), rushed for 266 yards and an 88-yard touchdown as the Seattle Seahawks beat the AFC West-leading Oakland Raiders 34-27 on Sunday night.

Shaun Alexander breaks an 88-yard TD run.
(AP photo)
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        It was the fourth-best rushing game in NFL history behind Corey Dillon's 278 yards set Oct. 22, 2000, against the Denver Broncos in Cincinnati, the late Walter Payton's 275 for the Chicago Bears Nov. 20, 1977, against Minnesota, and O.J. Simpson's 273 for the Buffalo Bills Nov. 25, 1976, against Detroit.

        “I think like that,” Alexander said, not surprised by his performance. “I dream so big. I think big with everything.”

        Alexander, starting his fifth straight game in place of the injured Ricky Watters, also had TD runs of 6 and 10 yards for the Seahawks (4-4).

        “He thinks he's pretty good, and he is,” coach Mike Holmgren said. “He was marvelous tonight.”

        The 266 yards on 35 carries broke the team single-game record of 207 yards set by Warner at Kansas City in overtime Nov. 27, 1983. His 88-yard TD run that broke a 20-20 tie late in the third quarter was the longest in team history, breaking the mark of 86 yards on a reverse for a touchdown by Galloway, a receiver, on Nov. 12, 1995, against Jacksonville.

  The top rushing performances in NFL history with yardage, player, number of attempts in parentheses, team, opponent, touchdowns and date:
  278 — Corey Dillon (22), Cincinnati, vs. Denver, 2 TDs, 2000.
  275 — Walter Payton (40), Chicago, vs. Minnesota, 1 TD, 1977.
  273 — O.J. Simpson (29), Buffalo, vs. Detroit, 2 TDs, 1976.
  266 — Shaun Alexander (35), Seattle, vs. Oakland, 3 TDs, 2001.
  251 — Mike Anderson (37), Denver, vs. New Orleans, 4 TDs, 2000.
  250 — O.J. Simpson (29), Buffalo, vs. New England, 2 TDs, 1973.
  247 — Willie Ellison (26), Los Angeles, vs. New Orleans, 1 TD, 1971.
  246 — Corey Dillon (39), Cincinnati, vs. Tennessee, 4 TDs, 1997.
  243 — Cookie Gilchrist (36), Buffalo, vs. New York Jets, 5 TDs, 1963.
  237 — Jim Brown (31), Cleveland, vs. Los Angeles, 4 TDs, 1957.
  237 — Jim Brown (34), Cleveland, vs. Philadelphia, 4 TDs, 1961.
  237 — Emmitt Smith (30), Dallas, vs. Philadelphia, 1 TD, 1993.
  237 — Barry Sanders (26), Detroit, vs. Tampa Bay, 0 TDs, 1994.

        On his 88-yard burst, he got a good block at the line of scrimmage from rookie guard Steve Hutchinson and then it was just a matter of whether the Raiders could catch up to him. They couldn't.

        “It just felt good to go out there and bust a long run,” Alexander said. “The biggest thing that I've learned from everybody is to trust your speed. You're in the pros, so you must be fast.”

        That one even surprised Holmgren. It came on a first-and-12 situation after Bobby Engram made a fair catch of Shane Lechler's punt.

        “I don't think you ever expect any back in this league to pop an 88-yarder unless it's a blitz situation and that wasn't a blitz situation,” Holmgren said.

        Alexander's teammates have a nickname for him.

        “We call him O.J. '76 because he reminds you a little bit of the old-time backs,” middle linebacker Levon Kirkland said.

        The Raiders (6-2) had a five-game winning streak broken, and lost after their Monday night victory over Denver at home. They beat the Seahawks 38-14 in Week 3 in Oakland.

        After the game, coach Jon Gruden had his Raiders baseball hat pulled down over his face.

        “I don't know if that was Alexander or Jim Brown out there today,” Gruden said. “You're asking me if he's good. He ran for a franchise record. He's real good, man. Real good.”

        Alexander has had three 100-yard games rushing since Watters was lost 6-to-8 weeks with a shoulder injury Sept. 30 in Oakland. He had 176 yards on 31 carries against Jacksonville on Oct. 7.

        After Alexander's third TD run gave Seattle a 34-20 lead with 7:03 remaining, Oakland cut the deficit on Rich Gannon's 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Roland Williams with 3:40 left.

        The Raiders got the ball back on their 23 with 67 seconds left after a Seahawks punt.

        The Raiders took a 20-13 lead when Terry Kirby ran back the opening second-half kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, and Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 37-yard field goal midway in the third.

        In the first quarter, Seattle's Rian Lindell kicked two field goals and Janikowski booted a 52-yard field goal, his longest of the season.

        Gannon threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Tim Brown for Oakland, and Matt Hasselbeck had a 9-yard TD pass to Darrell Jackson with 20 seconds left in the first half.

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