Donald Penn vs. Cameron Jordan
Cameron Jordan is one of the more underrated members of the Saints defense. At times dominant, Jordan is a quality run defender and pass rusher. Jordan is a defensive leader of sorts and was one of only 16 players to record at least 10 sacks last season.
For the last couple of seasons, Jordan has been the only legitimate pass rushing threat on the Saints roster, but not anymore. This offseason the Saints added veteran edge rusher Paul Kruger and pass rushing DT Nick Fairley. With some of the pressure taken off of Jordan as a pass rusher, expect to see him to face several one-on-one situations with Raiders veteran LT Donald Penn.
Donald Penn has really hit his stride towards the end of his career with the Raiders. The mountain of a man looks more road grader than finessed pass blocker, but don’t let his frame fool you. Donald Penn is one of the most well rounded LT’s in the league.
Throughout Reggie Mackenzie’s tenure as GM of the Raiders, the team has assembled one of the best offensive lines in the league and Donald Penn is a big reason for that. His acumen as a pass blocker and physicality on combo blocks has helped keep Derek Carr’s jersey stay relatively clean.
With Jordan recovering from a back injury and Donald Penn entering the twilight years of his career this may not be the same matchup it may have been a couple of seasons ago, but it will be just as crucial as ever in determining the outcome of the game.
Penn needs to create movement at the line of scrimmage to open up holes for Murray and display good footwork to neutralize Jordan around the edge to protect Carr. Expect the Raiders o-line as a whole to have the upper hand against the Saints front seven, but the individual matchup between Jordan and Penn should be fun to watch.
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