Shaun for MVP

Published 7:54 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2005

By By Matthew Nascone
The national media insists on introducing Shaun Alexander to the world, but to people in Alabama he is no secret.
He is the man from the University of Alabama who led the nation with 13.1 points per game and helped the Crimson Tide win the SEC Championship in 1999. He was named to the All-SEC team his junior and senior seasons and was the SEC Player of the Year in his senior season.
He was also a first team All-American his senior year, as well as an Academic All-American. There was no avenue this man did not shine in while in college.
He transferred that success to the NFL in. In his six years in the NFL, including this year, he has never had below a four yards per carry average for a season and his career average is 4.6 yards per carry.
In 2004 he was one yard shy of the NFL rushing title as Curtis Martin beat him 1,697-1,696. That must have fired Alexander up because this year he has a shot to break the 2,000-yard plateau.
Granted, he needs 193 yards in the final game, but there is a shot. And through week 16 he has 27 total touchdowns, tying him with Priest Holmes' performance in 2003 for the most touchdowns in a single season.
If he scores one touchdown he can break that record and if he scores twice on the ground that would give him 28 rushing touchdowns, another NFL record. Priest Holmes set both records in 2003 when he rushed for 27 touchdowns.
Alexander deserves to be the Most Valuable Player of the league and this is a weird thing for me to say because I am an Auburn alumnus rooting for an Alabama running back to be crowned MVP of the NFL.
But hey Alexander is a good guy and he is a great running back that deserves credit for what he has done. And he has done it without any of the flair other players display.
Every week Chad Johnson is yapping about how many touchdowns and yards he will gain this week, while Alexander is quietly putting up one of the best seasons in NFL history.
I mean Holmes only rushed for 1,407 yards when he set the record for touchdowns. Alexander has a complete rushing attack going. He is wearing defenses down and getting in the end zone. He only has 78 receiving yards, but when you gain 1,800 yards on the ground what need is there for receiving yards.
He has only fumbled four times in 350 carries, or an average of one fumble every 87.5 carries and he has recovered all of them, so he has not cost his team any turnovers.
To me that is a complete back and is extremely deserving of the MVP award. But it will probably be given to Carson Palmer who is having a monster year as well and is a quarterback.
Whatever happens, the Seahawks will be running into the playoffs on the back of their horse Shaun Alexander, because he is the best player in the NFL.
Matthew Nascone is sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123.

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