The powerhouse back gained 173 yards in 23 carries, including
touchdown runs of 88 and 14 yards, and the Seattle Seahawks won
their fourth in a row by beating the Arizona Cardinals 33-19.
"The run he popped in the second half obviously was a big, big,
important play in this game," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said.
"He's having his best season as far as I'm concerned."
Alexander went to the locker room late in the second quarter
with a stomach ache, then quickly showed he felt much better in the
The 88-yard run, on the first play of the third quarter, tied
the franchise record Alexander set against Oakland on Nov. 11,
2001. In the last three games against Arizona, Alexander gained 467
yards and scored nine touchdowns.
"I think right now he's playing like the best back in the
National Football League," Cardinals coach Dennis Green said. "I
don't think it's just the yardage. He also can catch the ball. He
does a decent job of pass protection, and he makes big plays."
The victory gave the Seahawks a season sweep of Arizona and
improved their record to 6-2, tied with New York, Carolina and
Atlanta for the best record in the conference halfway through the
season. It came after Holmgren unexpectedly gave the team an entire
week off leading into last Sunday's bye. He won for the first time
after a bye week in seven tries.
"They needed the week off," Holmgren said. "They were a
little banged up and sore, so why not? I needed some time off, too.
So we did it."
Neil Rackers kicked field goals of 23, 31, 50 and 44 for the
Cardinals (2-6) and is 26-for-26 this season.
Kurt Warner, replacing Josh McCown as starting quarterback,
completed 29 of 48 passes for 334 yards and a touchdown. He threw
three interceptions and was sacked four times. Warner, booed loudly
by the crowd, fell to 0-4 as an Arizona starter, with two
touchdowns in 16 quarters.
"All across the board again we just made too many mistakes,"
Warner said, "just doing the simple things. We've got to do a
better job on the simple things."
Green, 8-16 in 1½ seasons as Arizona coach, hinted at another
shakeup that could include the quarterback spot.
"I think when you're on a 2-6 year, you know you're in
territory you're not accustomed to, nor do you like being in," he
said. "There's no telling what you'll do."
He gave Warner a mixed review.
"Obviously he made some good throws, made some poor throws, got
rid of the ball sometimes when he could, held the ball when he
shouldn't," Green said.
Matt Hasselbeck, picked off four times in a 25-17 loss at Sun
Devil Stadium a year ago, was 13-for-20 for 158 yards. He passed
for a touchdown, ran for another and was not intercepted.
Seattle pulled out of reach with a 12-play, 93-yard drive that
used up 6:50 of the fourth quarter. Alexander's 14-yard run capped
the drive to give Seattle its 33-19 lead.
"You know, we've had several long over-80 yard drives and
that's just what we expect now," Alexander said. "Then, once we
get in the red zone, it's do what we do, and that's score
touchdowns. It was one of those drives we expect out of ourselves.
I think that's a big difference between this year and the last five
Trufant intercepted Warner's pass to give Seattle the ball at
Cardinals 48. Alexander had runs of 19 and 10 yards to set up
Hasselbeck's 4-yard touchdown pass to Joe Jurevicius and Seattle
After Rackers' 31-yard field goal cut it to 10-6, the Seahawks
scored late in the half. Hasselbeck threw a 46-yard sideline pass
to Jerheme Urban to the Cardinals 13. Hasselbeck ran 1 yard for the
score with 43 seconds left in the half.
Warner finally got Arizona into the end zone on a 14-play,
80-yard drive. He threw 6 yards to Johnson in the back of the end
zone with 35 seconds to go in the third quarter.
Warner's 63-yard pass to tight end Eric Edwards set up Rackers'
fourth field goal, a 44-yarder that made it 27-19.<
^Notes:@ Arizona has three touchdowns in 21 times in the red
zone. ... Cardinals Pro Bowl defensive end Bertrand Berry left the
game in the fourth quarter with a strained pectoral muscle. ...
Alexander has scored 14 touchdowns.