Consistency is the key for Alexander

Shaun Alexander's 2006 season has largely been a disappointment compared with his record-setting, MVP performance in 2005, but lately, there have been glimpses of a return to form for the six-year veteran. As he's gone, so the team has gone and he spoke with the media about the short work week and the offense's ability to become more consistent.

"That's the crazy thing about our offense," Alexander told the assembled media this week. "At times you see it, but football is really all about chemistry. And at times you don't and you wonder where the lapse is, and I just think it's guys not playing together as long. We had kind of built that offense up for three years, four years, and then you got to see the fruits of it. And then this year it's been injury to injury to loss of a guy. We're not making excuses.

"We're happy with where we are, but we have to bring this chemistry back. Because we have this game and if it goes well for us, then we have to find a way for these last two games after that to really be on all cylinders for the playoffs."

Since returning from a foot injury after a seven-week absence, Alexander has appeared to be more like the old Shaun – putting up 404 yards and one touchdown in four games.

Alexander noted that one reason for the problems this season is the first drive of the game for the offense.

"Our first drive is not as solid as it used to be," Alexander admitted. "Our third quarter first drive is. And I think that penalties, turnovers in the first two drives really have hurt us. Instead of us being up by 14 or 10 in the beginning of the games, we're usually down 14 or 10. And it's because we have a penalty which either sets us back, and then a punt which gives them half the field, or a turnover that gives them half the field. And that's just football. As soon as we figure that out, we're going to be ok."

After a short week, Seattle has the luxury of playing at home, but they are still dealing with the bumps and bruises from 13 weeks of action. Alexander said it isn't as big of a deal as people make it out to be though.

"It's just football," Alexander said. "When you're a little kid and you're asked if you could play back-to-back days, you would've said yes in a heart beat. So for us getting through bumps and bruises is tougher, but (San Franscisco's players) have the same situation as we have.

"Everyone is a little sore after games. At the end of the day, we love the games. Everyone is going to love to play this game. We love getting in front of our home crowd and letting it rip. So this is going to be fun."

And if Seattle manages to win the game on Thursday, they will win their third-straight NFC West title.

"That's one of our number one goals at the very beginning was to get in here and win the division, no matter what keep on climbing the mountain, and that's what we've done," Alexander said. "If you would have asked us that if Shaun would've been out two months, Matt (Hasselbeck) would've been out a month, Robbie (Tobeck) would've been out almost the whole season, Bobby (Engram) would've missed the whole season, Jerramy (Stevens) missed two games, (Darrell Jackson) is now going to miss the last three and you guys would still have a chance to win the division with one game at home, we would take it in a heart beat. So we're not going to cry about where we are. We've just got to go out there and play."

Also on Alexander's mind is his touchdown record that was broken last week by San Diego's LaDanian Tomlinson.

"Records are made to be broken," Alexander said. "I think that for me, I thought I was going to break it. I think Larry (Johnson) thought he was going to break it. And I think LaDanian thought he was going to break it.

"I guess guys that score touchdowns, you don't really think that nothing is too far. So I wasn't really thinking that this was going to go for a long time. That never crossed my mind."

What will cross Alexander's mind will be leading the Seahawks into battle against he 49ers on Thursday night at Qwest Field and the chance to assure the team of a playoff birth for the fourth-straight season.

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