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Saints: Cam Jordan will miss sacking Matt Ryan in the NFC South

Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons escapes a tackle by Cameron Jordan #94 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons escapes a tackle by Cameron Jordan #94 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was Cam Jordan’s favorite victim of all time, and now the Saints-Falcons “rivalry” will never be the same.

Of course, rivalry is in quotation marks because the New Orleans Saints have thumped the Falcons for the last few decades during the Sean Payton era. NOLA has long had the upper hand over their NFC South competitors, just as Jordan has long enjoyed sacking a certain helpless QB ever since Jordan entered the league in 2011.

Throughout his career, Jordan has notched 23 sacks against Matt Ryan and the Falcons, his most against any NFL quarterback. As for the rest of the NFC South, Jordan has 17 sacks against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 12.5 sacks against the Carolina Panthers.

Matt Ryan will be relieved to escape the ruthless domination of Cam Jordan as he flees to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC, but we can’t say the feeling is mutual.

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Unfortunately, the Saints will not play the Colts in the 2022 season, so Jordan may have to wait a year or two before facing his favorite quarterback again.

As Ryan starts a Cam Jordan-less, untraumatized life in Indy, the Saints, too, turn over a new leaf and look to establish a new legacy in Sean Payton’s absence. 2022 ushers in a strange era in which Saints quarterback Jameis Winston will face new Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota — the battle of unproven quarterbacks, if you will.

Jordan will get his share of chances to sack Mariota, but Jordan is entering the backend of his career so the circumstances will be different. At 32-years-old, the storied defensive end may still have a few more years of double-digit sacks in him, but he’s definitely past his prime and New Orleans may soon start searching for his replacement.

What can’t be replaced, though, is Jordan’s decade-long relationship with Ryan, no matter how one-sided it may have been.

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For now, Jordan and the Saints bid farewell to a beloved “rival” but will pick up right where they left off in 2022. Marcus Mariota should be very frightened indeed.