SEATTLE – The referee inadvertently announced the Houston Texans as “Dallas” at Sunday night’s opening coin toss. The Texans would be so lucky.

The NFC West-leading Seattle Seahawks methodically plundered Houston with Shaun Alexander’s four touchdown runs, dropping the NFL’s only winless team to 0-5.

Seattle set a franchise record 320 yards rushing. Alexander ran for 141, and his backup, Maurice Morris, added 104.

The Texans’ own string of mistakes completed Seattle’s easy, 42-10 win.

The Seahawks continued to separate themselves from the inconsistent Seattle teams of the last decade. One week after a huge win at division rival St. Louis, the Seahawks breezed through this potential letdown to go to 4-1.

They also are on the verge of separating themselves somewhat from the rest of their relatively weak division. The second-place Rams are 2-3 and have an ominous task Monday night at 5-0 Indianapolis.

Seattle, meanwhile, will begin prepare for the real Dallas. The 4-2 Cowboys come to Seattle for a showdown next Sunday.

Alexander cut back his runs and bounced off flailing Texans defenders en route to scores of 4, 5 and 1 and 23 yards. The third ended Seattle’s initial drive of the second half and extended Seattle’s lead to 28-3, 6 1/2 minutes into the third quarter. The four rushing TDs equaled his quadruple Sept. 25 against Arizona and was the third such feat of his career.

The NFL’s leading runner extended his franchise-record to 26 career games with at least 100. He has 718 rushing yards through six games, after finishing one yard shy of the New York Jets’ Curtis Martin for the league rushing title at the end of 2004.

The six-year veteran also has 74 career rushing touchdowns. That ties him with Earl Campbell and Leroy Kelly for 19th all-time. Campbell played eight seasons. Allen played 10.

After Alexander fourth score, which put Seattle ahead 35-10 early in the fourth quarter, the noted post-score showman pantomimed rocking and burping a baby. Earlier, after his first TD 6:48 into the rout, he grabbed the back of his helmet with his right hand and repeatedly pumped his elbows in a rotating motion, like a sprinkler.

Then came the rain of Houston errors.

When it wasn’t soaked by Seattle’s rushing, the Texans’ 25th-ranked defense was flagged for hands to the face, pass interference, illegal use of hands and holding – and that was just in the first half. In all, Houston had 13 penalties.

Meanwhile, Houston’s last-ranked offense, averaging just 213 total yards and 11 points per game entering Sunday, actually improved. It had to 227 total yards.

The Texans’ best chance to stay in the game came and went midway through the second quarter. With Seattle ahead 14-0, Carr completed five straight passes – including a fourth-down one to Jabar Gaffney – during an 18-play drive to the Seahawks 20. But then Carr fumbled a snap and lost five yards on his recovery. That left the Texans with Kris Brown’s 39-yard field goal as consolation. They still trailed 14-3, and never got closer.

AP-ES-10-16-05 2353EDT

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