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Game # 7 Open Thread: Saints @ 49ers

Saints (-3) @ 49ers: 4PM EST, Candlestick 3 COM Monster Park Candlestick Park

Off. Ypg (Rank) Off. PPG (rank) Def. YPG (Rank) Def. PPG (Rank)
Saints 317.7 (21) 16.8 (27) 344.7 (22) 25.3 (25)
49ers 213.8 (32) 13.0 (31) 328.0 (17) 22.5 (20)

Entering this season, I'm not sure any pundit marked this game as a showdown between two 2-4 teams. We know of the Saints failures; we have explored many of the 49ers struggles. But no matter, after this game, one team will be 3-4, on the path back toward respectability; the other team will be 2-5 and on the fast-track to marginalism. Be sure to check out Niners Nation for the "enemies' " viewpoint.

That the 49ers offense has been wracked with dissention scares me -- though I tend to be fairly paranoid. That the Saints will start Jonathan Goodwin for the injured Jeff Faine also scares me -- and for good reason. After all, the offensive line hasn't allowed a sack in three games. They started to gel as a unit once again, and we all know how dangerous this offense can be when the line is operating at full capacity. Andy Alleman should also see action -- the first of his career.

Remember when this was a fierce rivalry? I'm getting flashbacks to when Sam Mills and Rickey "Deadbeatest Dad" Jackson patrolled the Dome, back before they taught Bobby Hebert to speak English.

In other news:

For motivation, Joe Vitt screened tapes of the Boston Red Sox' 2004 ALCS/World Series victories. Quoth Sean Payton:

It's something that we're taking a look at. Each week we try to give them something to sink their teeth into. When you look at what (the Sox) accomplished in that World Series, it was pretty amazing. There are some parallels when you talk about getting off to a slow start.

I was so disconsolate after that World Series, I swore off sports for about 6 months. Should the Saints lost today, I will be so disconsolate, I will run a draft preview.

Be forewarned.