Rivalries are born many a year ago. Rivalries have their star characters and key contributors to the lore which will be told throughout the ages. In the 52-year history of the New Orleans Saints NFL franchise, the names Brees, Manning, Hebert, McAllister, Bush, Rogers, Thomas, Moore, Graham and unfortunately, Russell Erxleben, are among the literally hundreds of names for the Black and Gold which have fueled the contempt and distaste for the Atlanta Falcons dating all the way back to the 1970's.
On Sunday, All-Pro defensive end and team defensive captain Cam Jordan must continue his pursuit in the efforts to vanquish the Atlanta and log a "significant blow" against the Saints most hated rival, The Dirty Birds.
The New Orleans Saints are relying on the star Defensive End to don his "Sack Cape" and become the defense's "LEADER" and "SUPERMAN" versus Matt Ryan's Falcons on Sunday afternoon. What happens with the Saints defense, begins and ends with Jordan. In fourteen professional games against the Falcons, Jordan has logged 10 sacks, 27 tackles, 17 assisted tackles, and 1 forced fumble of Ryan.
Remember that in March after Matt Ryan secured his new $150 million contract extension, Cam Jordan jokingly hinted that his "job security" was linked with Ryan staying in the league. Jordan has to continue his success against Ryan with consistent harassment and sacks of the Falcons quarterback.
He will be matched against right tackle Ryan Schraeder inside Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Last season, Jordan sacked Ryan twice in a Saints win but failed to record a sack in their loss. This is why Cam must be highly effective and sack Ryan hit him often and "rattle his nerves." If he falters, the Saints defensive backfield must be superb while facing Atlanta's Julio Jones, rookie wideout Calvin Ridley and, the underrated Mohamed Sanu.
Jordan, in his Players Tribune's "The 7 Best Players of Players in The NFC South. Period" article, failed to recognize Matt Ryan within the rankings. The only Falcon listed was Julio Jones at number four. Mostly just Saints players (#1 - Brees, # 3 - Thomas and #5 - Kamara) made his rankings, but without any questions or doubts from Saints fans. Many would have included Cam instead of the Julius Peppers, but remember: it was his article — not ours.
The Saints' early loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have New Orleans in an NFC South deficit at (0-1). Another NFC South loss at (0-2) will make it difficult for the team to repeat as champions. They still need to face the Panthers twice, Bucs and Falcons again this season.
The importance of Cam Jordan is critical to a Saints win. His defensive line compadres, Okafor, Davenport, Rankins, Omeyata, and Stallworth must support his efforts with sacks, pressures, tackles and third-down stops while in hostile territory in Atlanta.
So Cam, it's on you — what are you going to do?
Kyle T. Mosley
Saints News Network
CEO & GM