Shaun Alexander wasn’t even supposed to play that night.
Alexander, the second year player out of Alabama, was still spending most of his second season in the NFL watching starting running back Ricky Watters take most of the carries in the Seattle Seahawks’ backfield.
But an injury to Watters allowed Alexander to start against the Oakland Raiders in a nationally televised game in 2001 on ESPN’s Sunday Night Football. Alexander didn’t balk at the opportunity and certainly did not disappoint.
At the time, the Raiders were on a five game win streak and the news that Alexander would be starting was sweet music to their ears. After all, Alexander had not even established himself as a threat thus far in his young career. What ensued that night, however, was Alexander ripping Oakland’s defense for 266 yards and three touchdowns.
The performance was good for fourth among the NFL single-game rushing leaders.
Alexander led the NFL in rushing touchdowns that season with 14 and tied Terrell Owens in total touchdowns with 16. Consider that feat and then consider what Alexander did in the ’05 season. If the ’01 season brought him to the proverbial NFL party, the ’05 season marked how Alexander now is the party.
In ‘05, Alexander broke the franchise record for the most rushing yards in Seattle Seahawks' history with 1,880.
On November 20, 2005, in San Francisco, Alexander became the first player in NFL history to score 19 rushing or receiving TDs in only 10 games. That mark eventually aided him in breaking the single-season mark for touchdowns with 28. He wasn’t done either. In a December victory over the San Francisco 49ers, he ran for his ninth 100-yard rushing game of the year, breaking Chris Warren's franchise record of eight 100-yard games. He currently holds the Seahawks’ records for career rushing yards with 7,817 and touchdowns with 89.
Led by their star player, the Seahawks eventually went to ’06 Super Bowl in Detroit, their first appearance in the history of the franchise. Although they suffered defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Alexander led all rushers with 95 yards. He also won 19 out of the 50 votes to earn his and the Seahawks first MVP trophy. Shortly after winning the trophy, Shaun was also named the Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year.
In March of ’06, the Seahawks signed Alexander to an eight-year, $62 million contract, which made him the highest paid running back in the history of the NFL. However, he suffered a serious foot injury in 2006 and hurt his wrist in 2007, leading to two unproductive seasons.
There is speculation that Alexander's time in Seattle might be coming to an end.
Seattle Seahawks Official Player Bio: Shaun Alexander
The official website of the Seattle Seahawks provides in-depth career notes, stats and a small personal section on their star running back.
NFL.com Player Bio: Shaun Alexander
Small bio on Alexander, but the true value of this site from NFL.com is the amount of stats they provide on Shaun.
The Shaun Alexander Official Web Site
Buy official Shaun Alexander gear, including jerseys, videos and memorabilia at ShaunAlexander.com.
Rotoworld Player Page: Shaun Alexander
Rotoworld.com has some of the best fantasy reporting and advice on the web. Click on the “Previous News” tab to get current and past information on Shaun Alexander for your fantasy football team.
Shaun Alexander Wikipedia Page
Find a comprehensive background on Shaun Alexander's life and football career at Wikipedia.com.
Latest on Alexander
Alexander had a very disappointing 2007. He only rushed over 100 yards in two games and finished the season with just 207 carries, 716 yards and four touchdowns. He also had to have surgery in January to mend the left wrist that he broke in Week 1.
News and Commentary
Seahawks should show Alexander the exit door
Art Thiel of the Seattle Post Intelligencer writes that the Seahawks have no reason to bring running back Shaun Alexander back in 2008.
Shaun Alexander's productivity tailing off
A prolific back only two years ago, when he was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player after scoring a record 28 touchdowns and leading the NFL with 1,880 rushing yards, Alexander's production the past two seasons has been eroded by injuries and ineffectiveness.
RB Alexander among six Seahawks to undergo surgery
Alexander had to undergo surgery in January to mend the left wrist he injured in Week 1.
No longer about being No. 1 for Alexander
A new baby daughter and a small chat with his best friend and wife, has Shaun Alexander a more mature and less self-centered individual.
Alexander registers a Seahawks first: MVP
Shaun Alexander is the first Seattle Seahawk every to win an MVP trophy with is amazing 2005 season.
This article was from the 2001 ESPN Sunday Night Game against the Oakland Raiders that made Shaun Alexander a household name.
On what he thought he'd get for winning the 2006 MVP award:
"I have no idea. A high five?"
On people trying to be perfect:
"A lot of people try to be perfect or they try to have this appearance where they're perfect. For me, people mistake confidence with trying to be perfect. I, by no means, think I'm anywhere close to perfect. At the same time, I have confidence."
On rushing for a career and franchise record 266 yards against the Raiders in 2001:
"I dream so big. I think big with everything. When I got to the game, I was just feeling like it was going to be a good one. I was so pumped up early and I kept wanting the ball."