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The Shutdown Five: Best individual matchups in Super Bowl XLV

Shutdown Corner

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1. James Harrison(notes) vs. Chad Clifton(notes). The following is a complete list of NFL tackles who can block James Harrison one-on-one:

Unless the Packers happen to get a sasquatch in uniform by Sunday, it's just not something that's going to happen. Clifton's a fine tackle; one of the better ones in the league. But Harrison's on another planet. Sending some help Clifton's way wouldn't be such a big problem, if the matchup on the opposite side wasn't ...

2. LaMarr Woodley(notes) vs. Bryan Bulaga(notes). Again, the Steeler in the matchup is probably a little too much for the Packer to handle. It's not necessarily a criticism of Bulaga, but he's a rookie, and Woodley's a monster. If the Packers can get even a stalemate out of one of these matchups, it would be huge for them. Ultimately, though, it's probably going to have to be Aaron Rodgers(notes) and Mike McCarthy who find a way to neutralize Harrison and Woodley, because Clifton and Bulaga probably can't.

3. Doug Legursky(notes) vs. B.J. Raji(notes). Raji will either get to face backup Doug Legursky, or a hobbled Maurkice Pouncey. Either way, it's bad news for the Steelers. Raji not only takes care of the normal space-eating, blocker-occupying duties of a typical 3-4 nose tackle, but he's quick enough to get after the passer and chase down ball carriers, too. He becomes a huge factor if the Steelers are less than 100 percent at center.

4. Cullen Jenkins(notes) vs. Jonathan Scott(notes). You probably haven't heard much about Jenkins heading into the Super Bowl, but he could be a game changer on Sunday. He was exactly that against the Bears, and I don't believe the Steelers can handle him, either. It'll be up to Scott and guard Chris Kemoeatu(notes) to slow him down.

5. Bryant McFadden(notes) vs. Whoever is Lined Up Across From Bryant McFadden. The Packers would probably like to make it Greg Jennings(notes) in front of McFadden for most of the day, while the Steelers would probably prefer it was Donald Driver(notes). He'll likely see some of both, but it's a matchup that favors the Packers, either way. If you're going to attack the Steelers deep, going after McFadden is your best shot.

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