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Alexander collects record 28th TD and rushing title

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Shaun Alexander said his offensive line
was more excited about a chance at the league rushing title than he
was. The NFL touchdown record was another matter.

"It's more fulfilling to be 13-3, to know we're in the playoffs
and we don't have to play next week," Alexander said. "Those are
more fulfilling than the rushing title. The scoring title, the
touchdowns, I do like that. That's pretty cool."

Alexander set both marks on Sunday in the Seattle Seahawks'
23-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

First, he established the NFL single-season mark for touchdowns
by scoring his 28th early in the second quarter. On third-and-goal
at the 1, Alexander took a handoff from Matt Hasselbeck, got a
block from fullback Mack Strong and raised his hand in triumph,
untouched, for his 100th career TD.

Alexander carried the ball eight of the last nine plays of the
69-yard scoring drive.

"I know there was one play that there was no reason in the
world for Green Bay to line up the way they lined up
[defensively]," he said. "You kind of understood that the game
was not a normal game for us or them, and it was just weird. I like
the other way better."

Preist Holmes set his mark in 2003 with 27 touchdowns -- all
rushing. Alexander, who ran for 73 yards on 20 first-half carries
Sunday, also had 27 touchdowns rushing and added one receiving this
season.

Just before halftime, Alexander's 3-yard run vaulted him ahead
of New York Giants' running back Tiki Barber as the league rushing
leader. Alexander finished with 1,880 yards, 20 ahead of Barber,
who ran for 203 yards on Saturday night in a 30-21 victory over the
Oakland Raiders.

Barber ran for a franchise-record 95-yard touchdown in that
game.

"I think right when I got here Tiki had just broken the long
run. I didn't know what was going on, but you've landed, you get
off the plane, get to your room and suddenly my phone is ringing
off the hook," Alexander said. "Of course, I'm not answering
it."

On Alexander's final run, a 12-yard effort, he was stripped and
lost a fumble for the first time this season after 369 carries
without a turnover.

Alexander said it was a difficult week because of the funeral of
his aunt, Debbie Clifford.

"It was an emotional roller coaster -- going from Christmas,
then your aunt dies, and then all the stats come out and you might
get all these records," Alexander said. "I've been asked, 'How do
you feel?' Tired. I'm really blessed we do have this week off where
I can kind of grab a hold back to reality."

He admitted he wasn't completely into the game, but his
teammates weren't letting him down.

"They were just like, 'Shaun, we're going to kind of take
everything over for you.' I was just running," he said. "Mack
would come in from series to series and he'd be like, 'OK, Don't
lose any yards on this play because it's a setup for the next
play.'"

This season, Alexander became the only NFL player to score at
least 15 touchdowns in five straight seasons and became the 16th
player to rush for 1,800 yards in a season.

But last year, he said coach Mike Holmgren "stabbed me in the
back" after he was rested and finished a yard short of the rushing
title to the New York Jets' Curtis Martin.

"We wanted him to have the record, he wanted to have the
record, the linemen wanted the record for him," Holmgren said.
"I'm very happy we got that done."

Alexander could be a free agent on March 3 if the Seahawks don't
find a way to re-sign him after designating him their franchise
player in the preseason. But he said he's focused on Seattle's
ultimate goal, a Super Bowl title, and he can't think of a better
group of people to try to accomplish it with.

"This is the best family atmosphere we've had in six years
here," Alexander said. "That's what family members do, when
somebody's not there, they say, 'We're going to carry you for a
while.' And that's how the whole game went."

Other milestones around the league
INDIANAPOLIS -- Arizona's Neil Rackers broke the NFL's
single-season field goal record by hitting a 42-yarder with 10:59
left in the game Sunday at Indianapolis, his 40th field goal this
season.

Rackers broke the mark set by Miami's Olindo Mare in 1999 and
tied by St. Louis' Jeff Wilkins in 2003. Despite missing one game,
Rackers finished the season 40-of-42. He tied the record with a
28-yarder in the second quarter.

The Cardinals also hit another milestone late in the game,
becoming the first team in five years with two receivers to catch
100 passes.

Larry Fitzgerald caught his 100th pass in the first quarter
Sunday, and Anquan Boldin caught his 100th pass in the fourth
period. It marked the first time a receiving duo on the same team
had 100 receptions in the same season since the 2000 Denver Broncos
with Ed McCaffrey and Rod Smith.

Fitzgerald finished with six catches for 80 yards and one
touchdown, giving him 103 receptions and 1,409 yards this season.
Boldin had eight receptions for 81 yards, finishing with 102
catches and 1,402

Both players also topped the 1,400-yard mark, only the third duo
to achieve that in NFL history. They joined Detroit's Herman Moore
and Brett Perriman, who accomplished the feat in 1995, and St.
Louis' Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, who did it in 2000.

"Records don't mean a thing," Fitzgerald said. "When you go
out, you want to leave a legacy of winning and championships."