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Seahawks Roll Back Into the Playoffs

Alexander, Jackson Set Seattle Records: Seahawks 24, Cardinals 21

By Tim Korte
Associated Press
Monday, December 27, 2004; Page D09

SEATTLE, Dec. 26 -- The Seattle Seahawks are back in the playoffs, led by a couple of record-setting performances by Shaun Alexander and Darrell Jackson.

Alexander rushed 30 times for 154 yards with three touchdowns and Jackson caught six passes for 101 yards, leading Seattle to a 24-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

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With the victory, the Seahawks (8-7) secured no worse than a wild card, and they'll win the NFC West and get a first-round playoff game at home if Philadelphia beats St. Louis on Monday night.

"We accomplished our first goal for the season, getting into the playoffs" Alexander said. "It's a good feeling to know we may get another one accomplished by the end of tomorrow night."

It's the first time Seattle has made the playoffs in consecutive years since 1983-84.

The Seahawks, though, have infamously collapsed late in several games this season, and the Cardinals (5-10) sure made things interesting again before being eliminated from playoff contention.

Josh McCown (21 of 33 for 248 yards) threw a pair of 29-yard touchdown strikes to rookie Larry Fitzgerald in the fourth quarter, pulling the Cardinals to 24-21 with 2 minutes 30 seconds to play. He also found Fitzgerald for a score with 11:32 remaining.

"This is just a game where we didn't hit on all cylinders for four quarters," Arizona Coach Dennis Green said.

Neil Rackers was wide left on a 52-yard field goal attempt midway through the period for Arizona, or things might have been different.

"If you bought a season ticket to the Seattle Seahawks, you got your money's worth," Coach Mike Holmgren said. "It was a great win."

Alexander has a career-high 1,616 yards rushing this season, breaking Chris Warren's 1994 franchise record of 1,545. His 19 touchdowns also are a franchise mark, beating the 18 he scored two years ago.

Jackson, meanwhile, has 84 receptions, breaking the franchise record of 81 by Brian Blades in 1994. His 1,186 yards receiving this season also are a career high, and he's reached the 5,000-yard mark in 76 games.

"I've been doing this every year," said Jackson, a fifth-year pro. "I think I've been very consistent. It's not like I've been having a big jump from 600 to 1,300 yards."

He did it two games faster than any other receiver in franchise history. Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent reached the mark in 78 games. The Cardinals almost got one final chance. On third and six from the 24, Trent Dilfer fled the pocket under pressure and scrambled -- stumbled might be a better word -- for a seven-yard gain that took the clock to the two-minute warning. From there, all Dilfer needed to do was take a knee to run out the clock.

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