|Hasselbeck can't trump snow, dropped passes or Packers in Seahawks' loss|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 12 January 2008 14:56|
Instead it was crucial dropped passes and a defense that allowed the most postseason points in Green Bay's history as the Seahawks lost 42-20 Saturday night in an NFC divisional playoff game.
It was the eighth consecutive postseason loss away from Seattle since the Seahawks won at Miami on Dec. 31, 1983, in their first playoff game.
And it was an inglorious end to quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's first playoff game in Green Bay since 2004, when he boldly proclaimed ``We want the ball, and we're going to score!'' during the overtime coin toss - then threw the interception that Al Harris returned for game-winning touchdown.
Seattle's most indispensable player set team records this season for yards (3,966), completions (352) and attempts (562) and made his third Pro Bowl in five years. But Saturday, he was left shaking his head after finishing 19-for-33 for 194 yards and a touchdown.
Some fans came into Lambeau Field wearing funky, half-Seahawks, half-Packers jerseys. The names Hassel-arve and Farv-elbeck were across the back, with half a number 4 and half an 8 below - a tribute to Hasselbeck and his mentor a decade ago in Green Bay.
Nothing about the game was half and half. It was all Packers, after the first four minutes, that is.
Grant's fumbles on two of Green Bay's first three plays gave Seattle a 14-0 lead. Hasselbeck found a leaping Bobby Engram between two Packers in the back of the end zone for the second score just 4:01 into the game.
The first of Favre's three touchdown passes and then a 1-yard touchdown run by Grant tied the game after one quarter, the highest scoring opening period in the postseason since 1969.
On the first play of the second quarter, Marcus Pollard - Seattle's most experienced postseason player - fumbled when Atari Bigby hit him after a catch. Aaron Kampman recovered at the Seahawks 18. Three plays later, Favre perfectly plopped a 3-yard touchdown pass into the arms of Greg Jennings, who beat Jordan Babineaux to the back corner of the end zone.
About as fast as the snow covered Lambeau Field, Seattle's 14-0 lead had become a 21-14 deficit.
Hasselbeck was left playing catch-up, and playing frustrated, the rest of the night.
The Seahawks were poised to retie the game on the ensuing drive when they reached the Packers 10. But D.J. Hackett had a third-down pass bang off his chest incomplete. Josh Brown made a 29-yard field goal, so Seattle still trailed 21-17.
But only briefly.
Favre led the Packers on a 14-play drive. On third-and-8 from the Seahawks 14, Favre spun away from a sack by Brandon Mebane, stumbled, and then tossed the ball underhanded to Donald Lee for an 11-yard gain that epitomized his near-perfect half.
On the next play, Grant ran 3 yards for his second score. The Seahawks were down 28-17 and Lambeau Field was rocking.
The largest crowd in the stadium's history, wearing foam cheeseheads and antlers sticking out of foam cheeseheads, were jumping up and down to ``Jump Around'' - by the aptly named House of Pain.
Seattle had just allowed its most points in the first half in its postseason history.
The second half was more of the same: Grant running wild. Hasselbeck throwing to receivers who couldn't catch.
Nick Barnett yelled obscenities at Hasselbeck after an incompletion off Leonard Weaver's chest. Hasselbeck responded by barking back at Barnett - then completing consecutive passes for 29 total yards to get Seattle into Green Bay territory.
The Seahawks could have pulled to within 35-24, but the fading, 35-year-old Pollard allowed Hasselbeck's perfect pass to sail through his hands in the back of the end zone. Josh Brown kicked a 29-yard field goal to make it 35-20.
Down 42-20 and desperate, Hasselbeck had another pass go off Ben Obomanu's hands at the Packers 28. On fourth down, Pollard let another throw sail through his arms at the 25.
All Hasselbeck could do was shake his head and clap his hands at his waist as if to say, ``What else can I do?'' as he walked to the sideline.
There, Hasselbeck stood just five feet from coach Mike Holmgren, who might have coached his last game. The quarterback, his shoulders slumped under the team coach with the hood pulled up, and coach stood, watching the snow.