Lofa Tatupu has been an impact player since the Seahawks selected him in the second round of the 2005 NFL draft. So leave it to the team’s three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker to come up with a collision when asked for his favorite playoff moment.
Tatupu will make his eighth postseason start on Saturday, when the Seahawks host the New Orleans Saints in a wild-card game at Qwest Field. In his previous seven starts, he has 54 tackles – which ranks second in club history to linebacker Leroy Hill’s 64.
To celebrate the Seahawks’ return to the playoffs, Seahawks.com asked Tatupu for his favorite memory from all those playoff games and all those tackles:
“It’s not really a memory, but that hit against Carolina was actually pretty fun. We knew that he was their only chance at a ground game. We weren’t trying to take him out, it just ended up happening. We really took each other out.”
The memorable collision was between Tatupu and Panthers running back Nick Goings in the 2005 NFC Championship game at Qwest. Goings was in, because DeShaun Foster and Stephen Davis were out. But then Goings didn’t last long, thanks to the hit from Tatupu in the first quarter. With Goings finished, the Panthers finished with only 36 rushing yards.
The big hit also knocked Tatupu woozy. He not only returned, Tatupu had one of three interceptions off Panthers QB Jake Delhomme and three solo tackles in the Seahawks’ 34-14 victory that sent them to the Super Bowl.
“Then there was just the atmosphere in the stadium that day,” he said. “Everybody was up and ready to go.”
Especially the Seahawks’ impactful rookie linebacker.