By Drew Olson Special to Published Nov 28, 2006 at 5:30 AM
For fans in Wisconsin, watching the Packers and Seahawks frolic in the snow during a "Monday Night Football" broadcast from Qwest Field provided a grim preview of the weather that lies ahead. At the same time, a 34-24 loss highlighted several of the deficiencies that have placed a rebuilding Green Bay outfit in the back of the pack of mediocre NFC teams.

Some thoughts from the sofa:

Few things in sports go as well together as football, snow and TV. The only way the game could have looked cooler in the first half is if it would have been played at Lambeau Field. Of course, that would have meant that the weather was cold, snowy and crappy here. I can wait for that.

You can pretty much end that playoff talk now. The Packers (4-7) need to run the table the rest of the way to have a realistic shot. That isn't going to happen. This loss left them tied for the 12th-best record in the NFC. A victory would have put them in a huge group at seventh, but I wouldn't have liked their chances much better. Given the circumstances, I think a 7-9 mark would be pretty good for this outfit. This loss stung because the Packers squandered opportunities in the first half, but the Seahawks clearly are a better team. Ultimately, this loss was no more frustrating for the Packers than earlier defeats to the Saints, Rams and Bills.

In the run-up to the game, we saw stories spelling out the differences between Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren with Mike McCarthy, Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck compared to his former mentor Brett Favre and Seattle running back Shaun Alexander and Packers running back Ahman Green. The difference between the latter was the difference in the game. Alexander, the 2005 MVP, battered the packers for more than 200 yards in a career-high 40 carries. The Packers rushed for a paltry 51 yards.

Do you really think that was Favre’s last game on "Monday Night Football?" Barring a major injury, which never happens to Superman, it sure seems like he’s going to play next season and the people at ESPN won't be able to resist putting him in the spotlight even if the Packers as a team don't deserve a prime-time slot. Favre, by the way, has a 17-15 record on Monday night.

Favre’s record is 41-9 when the temperature is 34 degrees or lower. The 34 degrees marked the coldest game ever at Qwest Field.

My friends who cover the NFL say that Qwest Field is the loudest venue in the league. It seemed to live up to that reputation on Monday. Maybe I'm getting old and attended too many concerts as a youngster, but it seems like the TV networks are mixing more crowd noise into the microphones, which makes it hard to discern the play by play announcers. I don't know if that’s because virtually all NFL play by play teams use open-air booths, or if it’s intentional, but it’s something I noticed during the recent Ohio State-Michigan game and a few others. (Any audio engineers out there can feel free to use the talkback feature to let me know their thoughts on the matter.)

Packers linebacker Abdul Hodge got his first start, his first tackle, his first interception, er, fumble recovery and his first touchdown in the first half. But, he also seemed to be out of position often and at times was overpowered by blockers. The Packers definitely missed starter Nick Barnett, who was out with a broken hand.

Green Bay fans may not have been overly impressed with the winter-weather work of kickers Jon Ryan and Dave Rayner. Ryan averaged 33.7 yards on three punts, two of which led to scoring drives. Rayner’s low kick on a short field goal attempt was blocked. Seattle’s Josh Brown looked much more comfortable in the snow.

Green Bay backed its shaky kicking game with horrible coverage units. The Packers get gashed for big returns routinely and that is pretty much inexcusable. During the pregame show, I saw Seattle wide receivers coach Nolan Cromwell talking to Favre. Have the Packers been decent on special teams since he left Lambeau?

Both of these teams were embarrassed last week -- the Packers by New England and Seattle by San Francisco -- but the show they put on was better overall than the one the Patriots and Bears foisted on viewers Sunday.

Favre didn't meet with reporters after the game. That’s certainly his right. Few people in the general public will be upset about it, because most people hate the media. But, I still think one of the more popular athletes in history owes it to fans to at least answer a few questions after games. Win or lose, I don't think Michael Jordan ever ducked a post-game session.

I may be in the minority here, but I think Jimmy Kimmel is pretty funny. I also don't think he should be in the booth pimping his ABC late-night show during a football game.

A couple of officiating calls went against the Packers, including a very questionable penalty on Cullen Jenkins that had an impact. But, that’s not the reason the Packers lost. The turning point came in the third quarter. The Packers led by nine points and went three and out. Seattle drove 62 yards and scored a touchdown. The Packers sputtered on the next series and Seattle took the lead.

Favre needs 10 touchdowns to pass Dan Marino’s record. Then, he can wait for Payton Manning to break his. Favre is also moving up the interceptions list. His three on Monday represented a season-high.
Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.