Originally created 11/29/06

Packers get a full dose of Alexander



SEATTLE - The field was so white, no one could make out the horse Shaun Alexander rode in on to save his Seahawks.

Alexander's 201-yard performance on a career-high 40 carries across the snow-covered turf Monday night did far more than rescue Seattle from a 21-12 deficit in the second half to beat the Green Bay Packers.

It returned Alexander to his league MVP level of 2005 after three months of irrelevance caused by a badly bruised left foot that was eventually broken and caused a seven-week layoff.

"I'm definitely tired, but I feel good," Alexander said at the end of his gigantic night. "I'm probably in better shape than even I thought I was."

That had all of Seattle sighing in relief Tuesday.

"All of the fans and all of the coaches get used to him having good days," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "I think that was one of the real good days he's had."

"We opened some holes for him, he hit them, he cut back," fullback Mack Strong said. "He did all the stuff that is sort of classic Shaun Alexander."

Alexander's second career 200-yard rushing game in his second game back from the injury trumped Matt Hasselbeck's obvious rust in returning from a sprained knee that sidelined the Pro Bowl quarterback for four weeks.

It also gave the Seahawks (7-4) renewed belief that with Alexander running wild again and Hasselbeck now through his icy "warmup" game, they are primed for a push toward a second seed in the NFC playoffs.

Seattle leads the snow-soft NFC West by two games with five to go in the regular season. It has just two games remaining against teams with a winning record.

The Seahawks are also tied with New Orleans and Dallas for the second-best record in the conference behind Chicago (9-2), which beat Seattle in October. The No. 2 playoff seed gets a first-round bye and is guaranteed at least one home playoff game.

And yes, that's big in Seattle. The Seahawks are 27-4 at home in the regular season since the end of the 2002 season, the best mark in the NFL during that span.