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AP Story: Packers Top Seahawks 23-17


If this game were the last of Brett Favre's career, at least he went down slinging.

And, in his first losing season with the Green Bay Packers, at least he went out a winner as they beat the playoff-bound Seattle Seahawks 23-17.

"If this were to be his last game, then I'm really glad I was here," said Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, Favre's former coach in Green Bay. "He has nothing to prove to anybody."

Favre threw his first touchdown pass in the past five games, but the game still featured a few more reminders of why Favre is considering retirement. He was intercepted again, his career-worst 29th of the season, and played the end of the game with a shoulder injury.

And he was upstaged for a half by Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander, who set an NFL record for touchdowns in a season with 28 and surpassed the New York Giants' Tiki Barber for the NFL rushing crown.

Favre, 36, said in recent weeks he is unsure whether he will play next year. He did not speak to the media after the game, an unusual move for him.

Favre left the field waving to the crowd, surrounded by a swarm of photographers and others.

Packers coach Mike Sherman, whose own future with the team is in doubt, said he expects to visit Favre soon to "take a ride on his tractor" and talk about next season.

There is no timeline for Favre's decision, although he has had preliminary talks with Packers general manager Ted Thompson.

"Probably in the next month or so," Sherman said. "I'm not that sure."

The Seahawks, meanwhile, plan to spend the next month in the playoffs.

"Now our second season starts," Holmgren said. "Fortunately we have a first-round bye, so we can heal up a little bit and get ready to play in the playoffs."

Alexander scored his record touchdown on a 1-yard run in the second quarter.

He piled up 73 yards by halftime, enough to pass Barber for the league rushing lead.

Alexander's only misstep was a lost fumble at the end of the first half, his first this season.

"I'm very happy about that and so was he," Holmgren said. "He was disappointed because he fumbled on the last carry, and he hadn't done it all year where we lost one. He's had a great season."

Last year, Alexander blamed Holmgren for costing him the NFL rushing title. But despite the Seahawks (13-3) having already clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, Holmgren let Alexander run wild in the first half.

"I was hoping he didn't need as many yards, quite honestly, but then last night Tiki Barber went for a whole bunch," Holmgren said. "We wanted him to have the record, he wanted to have the record, the linemen wanted the record for him."

Packers fans, meanwhile, made it clear they want Favre to return next season.

Favre gave the Packers (4-12) what might be one last taste of his glory with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Chatman on third-and-goal to put the Packers ahead 20-14 in the third quarter. Favre hadn't thrown a touchdown pass in the Packers' previous four games, the longest drought of his career.

Favre had been sacked six plays earlier, but a tripping penalty gave the Packers (4-12) a new set of downs. Fans began chanting "one more year," a chant they would repeat several times in the second half.

Favre was 21-for-37 for 259 yards, aiming most of his passes at wide receiver Donald Driver, one of the few familiar faces in the Packers' huddle these days.

Driver, who has become Favre's preferred target in the wake of injuries to wide receiver Javon Walker and tight end Bubba Franks, caught six passes for 118 yards.

Driver said the team gave Favre a game ball.

"No one knows what the future holds right now," Driver said. "He's a great friend of mine, as well as a player and partner. I'm just hoping that he comes back for another year. If he doesn't, I wish the best for him."

Favre converted three third-down passes to Driver on the Packers' first drive, and Ryan Longwell kicked a 26-yard field goal to put the Packers ahead 3-0.

Longwell added another field goal to put the Packers ahead 6-0. Alexander's record-setting touchdown gave the Seahawks a 7-6 lead in the second quarter.

The Packers answered with an 11-yard touchdown run by rookie Noah Herron for a 13-7 lead before the half.

Holmgren rested Alexander and starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in the second half. Backup Seneca Wallace threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Joe Jurevicius, the first of Wallace's career, to put the Seahawks ahead 14-13.

Then Al Harris' interception of Wallace's pass set up Favre's touchdown pass to Chatman, which put the Packers ahead 20-14.

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