Defensive end Cam Jordan can do a lot of amazing things on the football field, but the greatest play of his seven-year NFL career -- an end-zone interception of Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford for the decisive touchdown in the New Orleans Saints' 52-38 victory on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome -- ended with a slam dunk.
Jordan's excitement about the first touchdown of his career caused him to go off the reservation just a bit. After cradling the ball for the interception, he at first faced the goal post and raised the football above his head as though he were about to shoot a free throw.
But he drove the lane instead, leaping to dunk the ball over the crossbar. That excessive celebration -- launched in New Orleans by former Saints tight end Jimmy Graham but later outlawed by the NFL -- merited an unsportsmanlike penalty on the ensuing kickoff.
It didn't matter.
On the game-winning interception, Jordan lined up at right defensive end and then ran a twist toward the middle. He overpowered Lions center Travis Swanson and then saw Stafford cock his right arm to pass.
Jordan leaped with his left hand, deflected the pass into the air and easily grabbed it as it fell into his arms. Suddenly, the Saints, who had seen a 45-10 lead nearly evaporate to a tenuous 45-38 advantage, were up by 14 points with 5:08 left.
"We knew that (Stafford) was giving up sacks and that he had a whole lot of passes batted," Jordan said. "We had to take advantage of that. Did it result in my first (NFL) touchdown? Yes, it did. Did I enjoy every minute of it? For sure."
Jordan also forced a fumble and stripped Lions running back Theo Riddick of the ball in the third quarter, which led to an interception by safety Kenny Vaccaro. On another play, Jordan bull-rushed tackle Brian Mihalik into Stafford for a sack.
Jordan had five tackles, including two sacks of Stafford, two quarterback hurries and three tipped passes.
"Interceptions, fumbles and recoveries -- it was a tremendous game by the defense," Jordan said. "I can't speak enough of how young our defense is but how much they love to play this game."
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