Reigning MVP Alexander returns in full stride

SEATTLE (AP) -- Brett Favre's kind of weather. Shaun Alexander's
kind of night.

Dashing through the rare Seattle snow, Alexander ran for a
season-high 201 yards Monday night to return to relevance and rally
the Seattle Seahawks to a 34-24 victory over Favre's Green Bay

Alexander is rounding back into his 2005 league MVP form after
missing six games with a broken foot, and it couldn't have come at
a better time: His career-high 40 carries helped Seattle overcome
quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's shaky return from a sprained knee.

"I feel like I need a massage and a cold whirlpool and some
good rest," said Alexander, who bested a previous high of 35

With the white stuff falling for the first time at a Seattle
home game, it seemed like a more natural setting for the Packers.
Favre, who fell to 41-9 when the temperature is 34 degrees or less,
was making his 252nd straight start -- and possibly his final
appearance on the Monday-night stage he has lit up over his shining

Instead, the evening belonged to Alexander, who skated across
this new frozen tundra for his first 100-yard game of the season
and showed that his still-cracked left foot is far from broken

"Classic Shaun Alexander," fullback Mack Strong said.

The Seahawks (7-4), embarrassed last week in a 20-14 loss at San
Francisco, took a two-game lead in the NFC West. They overcame four
first-half turnovers by Hasselbeck -- including one returned for a
touchdown by Abdul Hodge -- and stayed in the game with four field
goals off the snowy turf by Josh Brown.

Hasselbeck, returning from a sprained right knee, finished
17-for-36 for 157 yards and three touchdowns to offset his three

Alexander, who returned just last week, said he could relate to
his quarterback's struggles.

"I think Matt went through what I went through last week,"
Alexander said. "The game is so fast. It's one of those things,
he's trying to throw and make plays, and at times the ball was
getting away or was a little bit behind, or he was just one step
off. You could tell in the second half he just got a little bit
better, a little bit better, and used to the speed."

Trailing 21-12 early in the second half, Seattle began its
comeback behind Alexander, whose 40 rushes were also a franchise

He ran for 42 yards on four carries to drive Seattle to its
go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter. Hasselbeck ended that
drive with a perfectly lofted, 4-yard touchdown pass onto the hands
of Darrell Jackson for a 27-21 lead.

After Green Bay (4-7) cut the deficit to three, Alexander got
the Seahawks close to the end zone, then Hasselbeck made the best
throw of his up-and-down night -- a 3-yard touchdown dart that stuck
onto the hands of Jerramy Stevens in the back of the end zone to
make it 34-24 and essentially put the game away.

Favre fell to 17-15 on Monday nights and 3-2 against his old
coach, Mike Holmgren, who helped turn the gunslinging quarterback
into a star and combined with Favre for Green Bay's Super Bowl
title in 1996.

At game's end, Favre ran across the field to meet Holmgren on
Seattle's side of the field. They exchanged a long hug and pats on
the back before Favre jogged off the field into his locker room --
knowing the Packers need something short of a miracle to return to
the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.

That Favre was on the field was a testament to his toughness. In
a 35-0 loss to New England last week, Favre was knocked out of the
game with an injured elbow and numb fingers. He didn't practice
until Friday, but gutted it out to keep his starting string alive.

"I thought the ball came off his hand accurately," Green Bay
coach Mike McCarthy said. "I don't know. You'll have to ask him."

But Favre did not make himself available for interviews.

The 16-year veteran had flashes of brilliance, like the
perfectly thrown slant he threw to Donald Driver for a 48-yard
touchdown in the third quarter to give him 410 for his career, 10
away from Dan Marino for the league record.

Besides that, though, this was a struggle for Green Bay.

Favre finished 22-for-36 for 266 yards with three interceptions
-- a season high. The first was a force intended for the
well-covered Bubba Franks after the Packers moved into good field
position in the first quarter. Kelly Herndon intercepted that.

Herndon kept the ball.

"On the ball, I'll probably put, 'An interception from Brett
Favre.'," Herndon said.

The next two Favre interceptions came with Green Bay in comeback
mode -- one an overthrow intended for Chris Francies that Marcus
Trufant intercepted, and the second an underthrow that resulted in
Kelly Jennings' first career pick with 3:46 to go. Favre showed
none of his trademark fire after that one -- simply walking off the

Game notes:
The Seahawks' previous high for rushing attempts was 36,
set by Chris Warren. ... Packers rookie LB A.J. Hawk had 14
tackles, his third double-digit tackle game of the season. ... The
kickoff temperature of 34 degrees was the coldest ever for a
Seahawks home game.


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