American Football: Alexander's delivery fires Seattle comeback

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The Independent Online

The Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander has long had the reputation of a player who delivers the goods, but it seems he is taking things rather too literally. While his team-mates were playing the St Louis Rams on Sunday, Alexander was otherwise engaged at the bedside of his wife, Valerie, as she gave birth to a baby girl.

The new father proudly cut the umbilical cord, then swiftly hopped into a taxi for a police escort to the stadium, where he found his team trailing 14-7. However, his presence on the field inspired his colleagues, because although he only rushed 14 times for 58 yards, the Seahawks rallied with a pair of special deliveries from the quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck, to pinch it 24-23.

The Seahawks remain unbeaten this season, and with players as devoted to the cause as Alexander, things looks promising. "I was happy for him in one sense, and I was wishing he was here for the ball-game on the other," the Seattle head coach, Mike Holmgren, said. "Clearly the birth of a daughter is a special occasion, and he had to be there."

Ricky Williams needed no additional incentive as the Miami Dolphins crushed the Buffalo Bills 17-7. The former New Orleans running back set a Dolphins record with 42 carries as he pounded the Bills into submission. Williams gained 152 yards in total as the Dolphins had possession for 41 minutes, and it was appropriate that he scored the game-sealing touchdown with a one-yard run with less than two minutes remaining. Miami's vaunted defence did the rest.

The Minnesota Vikings remain unbeaten following their 23-13 victory in Detroit. Their quarterback, Daunte Culpepper, scored twice but was then forced out of the game with a back injury.

Indianapolis also continued their strong start, beating winless Jacksonville by the same scoreline on the strength of 10 catches and two touchdowns by the receiver Reggie Wayne.

The Kansas City Chiefs continue to look ominous. For the second consecutive game they scored more than 40 points, with the Houston Texans probably relieved to get away with a 42-14 drubbing.

There were first wins of the season for the Arizona Cardinals and the Cleveland Browns, the Cardinals shocking Green Bay Packers 20-13 and the Browns edging out San Francisco 13-12.