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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks: Know Thy Enemy - Lofa Tatupu and Julian Peterson

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Sunday's matchup between the Steelers and the Seahawks features the 3rd and 5th rated scoring defenses in the NFL respectively. The Seahawks are coming off a 23-3 drubbing of the San Francisco 49ers, in which they limited Frank Gore to less than 80 yards, racked up 6 sacks, and picked off backup QB Trent Dilfer twice. Leading that defense is MLB Lufa Tatupu and OLB Julian Peterson.


Peterson (far left) and Tatupu (far right) are well on their way to earning a return trip back to Honolulu

Tatupu is the clean-up man for the 'Hawks. Last year he tallied 122 tackels, and with 31 already this year, he's on pace to barely break last year's career high total. Tatupu played with Troy Polamalu at USC, and like Troy, he's an impressive aggregate of both speed and power. Tatupu rarely is a part of the Seahawks blitz packages, and is more likely to drop back in zone coverage than his counterpart on the outside, Julian Peterson.

Peterson is the disrupter. 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles last week. Yikes. This guy can fly around the corner for a man entering his 9th season in the league. He's been utilized a lot more effectively in Seattle than in San Francisoc - he reached double digit sacks last year (10) and is well on his way to doing so again this year (5). Willie Colon and Marvel Smith are going to have to have a much better day if we're going to keep Peterson from mauling Big Ben. It most certainly will be a point of emphasis in the film room this week.