Tatupu likes Seattle's chances

In his second season in the NFL, Lofa Tatupu has fast become a seasoned-veteran of the post-season. He helped guide Seattle's defense in last year's Super Bowl run and the coaching staff will be counting on him even more this year as an injury-depleted unit takes the field this Saturday when they host the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the playoffs.

"All of them, they all hurt," Tatupu told the assembled media this week regarding Seattle's long injury-list. "The fact that we are getting the guys back, even now, we lose some more people, the last game of the season, a lot of people call it a meaningless game because it didn't change the standings or whether we go on the road or stay home for the playoffs. But those are guys not just on the field, in the locker room and the meeting room that you miss.

"You want everybody to be healthy, especially this time of the year, but that is just the nature of the game."

Seattle's secondary has been hit especially hard with the loss of three of their top four corners (Marcus Trufant, Kelly Herndon and Jimmy Williams). Rookie CB Kelly Jennings is going to start on one side and safety Jordan Babineaux is scheduled to start on the other side.

Is Tatupu worried that Dallas will go after the inexperienced corners?

"Maybe (the Cowboys will go after them), but I'm not worried about it," Tatupu said. "They will be fine and we have to play team defense.

"The more the front seven takes over and has a good game, the easier it is for them back there. We get pressure on the quarterback, or just on our four man front, not even blitzing, we have seen the effects that can have. (Tony) Romo can make things happen with his legs too, so we all have to do our part and play team defense."

Dallas comes in sporting the fifth-ranked offense in the league this past season and Tatupu said he recognizes that the Seahawks defense can't focus on shutting down one player hoping to make the Cowboys one-dimensional.

"Every offense is good at this point," Tatupu noted. "They have some special guys over there. (Terrell Owens) and Terry Glenn is a guy that I think gets overlooked a lot; Julius (Jones) is a phenomenal runner, but I think (Marion) Barber gets overlooked a lot.

"We have our hands full and that o-line is working hard and when they buy time for Romo, he makes things happen. We have to play fundamentally sound."

Last week Seattle's offense did what it has to do this week – control the clock. The possessed the ball for 37:20 including 22:19 in the second half alone.

"I think we only played 52 plays in (the Tampa Bay) game," Tatupu said. "Every time you take the field, you wonder if youre going to get another chance, that is how it was last year. We might not be back out here, so make the most of it.

"I think the results were a lot better. People weren't as tired flying to the ball and that is what our offense is capable of. If they get that done in the playoffs, it is going to be tough to stop us."

Finally, Tatupu talked about the fact that many of the national media have already written the Seahawks off in the playoffs this year. It doesn't bother him in the least.

"They weren't talking about us when we had the number one seed last year, so it doesn't matter to us," Tatupu said. "Home field advantage is important. You saw how we fed off of it last year and we love playing at home. When it comes down to it, Pittsburgh went on the road and they won the Super Bowl last year and they won on the road for four games and they pulled it off, so anything is possible when you get in to the dance.

"What kind of competitor would I be if I said I didn't feel we had a good chance? We have to take it one game at a time. It is three games to the Super Bowl and then that final one, but all it is is one more game than we had last year, and I know they are going to be on the road, but I absolutely like our chances."

And so do the 68,000 fans that will be in attendance at Qwest Field on Saturday.

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