April Madness: Tatupu vs. Jones

Yesterday: The first round ended the way it started – with a blowout “victory” by one of the best players in franchise history.

In the final opening-round matchup, eight-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy received 93 percent of the responses, or 516 votes. That left defensive lineman Jeff Bryant with seven percent and 39 votes. For some reason, the Kennedy-Bryant matchup generated the fewest votes in the first round (555).

Only nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones received a higher percentage of the votes (97 percent) in the first round.

Speaking of Jones …

Today: Lofa Tatupu vs. Jones, in the opening matchup of the second round — and the only one between players still on the roster.

Tatupu, a three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker who led the team in tackles in each of his first four seasons, is the only player to advance who was not a first-round draft choice. Tatupu, a second-round pick in 2005, defeated fellow second-round pick Brian Blades in the first round.

But Tatupu is up against the first round’s biggest winner in Jones. His 97 percent equaled 1,163 votes in dispatching cornerback Shawn Springs – who had bested linebacker Fredd Young in a play-in match for the “right” to face Jones.

Tatupu, however, did generate the most votes in the first round (1,454) for 80 percent of the 1,811 responses.

Secound Round Matchups: The rest of the second round looks like this:

Thursday: Steve Hutchinson vs. Kenny Easley

Friday: Jacob Green vs. Shaun Alexander

Saturday: Curt Warner vs. Cortez Kennedy

Semifinals:

Sunday: Jones-Tatupu winner vs. Hutchinson-Easley winner

Monday: Alexander-Green winner vs. Warner-Kennedy winner

Final: Tuesday

Tomorrow: Hutchinson vs. Easley


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