The sounds of silence

How bad was it? Pretty bad. Coach Mike Sherman presided over the quietest Packer locker room of the season, and when he met the press it was without his usual good humor Sunday after the 42-17 loss in the Meadowlands which cost the Packers the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.<P>

"Disappointed. Very disappointed," said an uncharacteristically quiet coach Sherman. "I think some things are understood and go without saying, and I would have thought you would have understood that.

I didn't think I had to get up there and make a speech about how important this game was. If they didn't know how important it was, they are in the wrong business."

The loss ended a impressive streak of eight seasons in which the Packers won their final regular-season game.

Sherman wasn't interested in commenting on the streak:

"There is no time to wallow in despair," Sherman said. "We better flush this game out of our system if we have a team coming in here for the playoffs Saturday."

If coach Sherman felt the fire of the loss, quarterback Brett Favre agreed it was a disaster but saw it more like an avalanche: Today, several rocks were sliding down the mountain, but we haven't crumbled yet."

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