SEATTLE - Brett Favre spoke softly and shrugged his aging shoulders, saying for perhaps the last time in his legendary career: “I don’t have all the answers.”
Mike Holmgren had some, and took a victory lap through the snow in his last game in Seattle.
If this is Favre’s kind of weather, then the magic for the three-time MVP quarterback just disappeared with the Jets’ playoff chances.
Seattle’s Maurice Morris sliced through the snow like a sled for a season-high 116 yards and John Carlson scored the only touchdown on a short pass from backup Seneca Wallace as the lowly Seahawks ended New York’s stay atop the AFC East with a 13-3 upset Sunday.
“Three points is obviously not enough. There are a lot of reasons for that,” Favre said. “We are well aware of what opportunities that have been there for us. That’s what’s disappointing.”
Holmgren, who’s taking a sabbatical from football in 2009, walked around the edge of the field with tears in his eyes immediately after the second win in eight games for Seattle (4-11). Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” blared over the public-address system amid a weird scene of snowballs pelting down around the 60-year-old coach.
“That was the first time in my life that I enjoyed having snowballs thrown at me,” Holmgren said.
He and Favre embraced and spoke briefly after the game. Holmgren told the man he brought to Green Bay in 1992 and then made a champion that he wanted to catch catfish with him next year at Favre’s home in Mississippi.
“Pretty special. I’ll never forget this day,” Holmgren said.
Neither will New York.
Favre came up short when the Jets (9-6) needed him most. Then again, New York has felt that way for a month.
The Jets were 8-3 and an apparent shoo-in for the playoffs. But New York has lost three of four while Favre has thrown just one touchdown pass and six interceptions.
On Sunday, he started 8-for-9 but finished 18-of-31 for 187 yards and two interceptions. He underthrew Coles near the Seahawks 30 in the fourth quarter, and David Clowney earlier when he was 3 yards behind Josh Wilson at the Seahawks 40. That brought to mind questions a 39-year-old passing shoulder is finally betraying Favre.
New York was down 10-3 and started at its own 12 with 3:06 left, but Darryl Tapp sacked Favre on first down. On fourth-and-2, Favre heaved perhaps his longest and best pass of his skittish day. The ball reached Coles in stride at the Seahawks 40, but bounced off his chest and that of defensive back Kelly Jennings before falling to the turf.
Favre trudged off the field emotionless as snowballs thrown by the jubilant fans smacked into the turf near his feet.
Olindo Mare then kicked the clinching field goal.
For all of Favre’s renown as a wizard in the cold and snow, he’s actually only a whiz in the cold and snow of Green Bay. Favre is now 1-6 in road games played in temperatures of 34 degrees or below — Sunday it was 31 degrees. He was 43-6 in such conditions in home games with the Packers.
New York must now beat AFC East co-leading Miami at home next week, and pray. Either New England or Baltimore, also 10-5, must lose for the Jets to get in the playoffs. The Patriots are at Buffalo next week and the Ravens, aiming for the conference’s last wild-card spot, host Jacksonville (5-10).
“We had everything in front of us and we just didn’t take care of business,” offensive tackle Damien Woody said. “We don’t have anybody to blame but ourselves.”
The Jets gave away seven potential points on two decisions by coach Eric Mangini. Their lone score came on a 20-yard field goal by Jay Feely to end the opening drive, after Mangini decided against going for it on fourth down with a half-yard to go at the 2 against the league’s 30th-ranked defense.
“I anticipated the game being tight, and I thought at that point the important thing would be to get points,” Mangini said.
Even Seattle’s defenders were shocked Mangini didn’t go for the touchdown, with linebacker Lofa Tatupu saying, “Why wouldn’t they?”
Favre said: “There was no sense in thinking we wouldn’t be back there.”
But New York never got inside Seattle’s 27 after that.
That was early in the fourth quarter. The Jets were then inexplicably penalized for delay of game just before Feely made a 45-yard field goal that was good by more than 5 yards. But after the 5-yard penalty, Mangini chose to punt. Feely angrily protested to his coach as he stomped off the snowy field.
Notes: Carlson made his leaping catch of a 2-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone late in the first half with snowflakes and linebacker David Harris’ hands in his face. The native of Minnesota said he’d never before played in snow. His eight-game high school seasons ended by Nov. 1. ... Seattle scored its fewest points in a home win since Nov. 27, 1994, a 10-9 win over Kansas City.
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