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What Is Sean Payton Thinking About This Thursday Night Game?


PokerSteve
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To slaughter, or not to slaughter? That is the question facing Sean Payton as HC of the Saints as he prepares his team for a Thursday evening visit to the Georgia Dome, alternate site for one of the most heated and bitter rivalries in professional sports. The New Orleans Saints are having a resurgent year under Payton. The season got off to just the right note as the Falcons, defending NFC South Division champs, were coming to play the Saints in their home Dome, where the crazed Who Dat fans could once again ruffle the composure of the Falcons, test their preparedness, their will, their desire, their talent and their determination.

It was a tough challenge, but the Saints took the W away from the Falcons, launching their season in high gear and sending the Falcons home bruised, defeated and crestfallen. Since that fateful encounter, the Saints have taken over the division and look poised to make a serious run deep in the play-offs. The Falcons have taken an exact opposite path, stumbling, struggling and ultimately descending to a level of pathetic incompetence not seen in Atlanta since the 60s and 70s, when the team was lucky to get more than a few wins each year.

Now the Saints come in fresh off a dominating win over the highly regarded 49ers in a tough battle that highlighted the amazing turn-around of the Saint defense led by Dallas DC cast-off Rob Ryan. It was a bruising contest, but the Saints will be buoyed by the enormity of the victory and will be sky-high with confidence. In stark contrast, the Falcons played terribly and were out-coached and out-played in all phases of their game Sunday vs Tampa Bay, and generally looked like a team going under the waves for a third and final time.

The bookies opened this game with the Saints as a 7 favorite and I understand that line has remained around 7 points. The bookies, the bettors, the fans of both teams, the whole civilized world knows the Saints are better than the Falcons this year. Way better. The Saints have dominated Smith's Falcons since Payton arrived on the scene. Plenty of fans will look at that betting line and scoff, because it looks like it should be so much bigger than 7 points. The bookies are usually pretty close, but you wonder if they haven't missed on this one.

Sean Payton is a competitor. He has the uncluttered mindset of a predator, mercy is not a word, or a concept, in his attitude or vocabulary. He feels the bitterness and the depth of this rivalry; he understands and appreciates how the Saints fans hate the Falcons and relish every point of every victory over us. He is a man who has proven he won't let off the gas when the other team is beaten and defenseless. All the signs would point to Payton orchestrating a victory so crushing, so dominating, so epic, it could just about finish off the Atlanta Falcons as currently constituted and seal Smith's fate as Falcons HC.

But if you were in Payton's shoes, would you go for the kill shot? Would you humiliate the Falcons on national television? Would you beat your rival so badly, it would result in drastic changes among the Falcons coaching ranks, even perhaps bringing down Smith himself? If I'm Payton, I don't do that. I don't allow the game to be close enough to worry about if I can help it, but no way do I show up the Falcons and risk a shake-up on their staff and roster. Why would Payton do something that would end the coaching career of someone he has easily dominated? No, if you're Payton, you win the game, but you don't kill the golden goose that is feeding you W's on a consistent basis.

What are your thoughts TATF? Do you think Payton will come in to this game determined to embarrass us? Will he run it up? Will he encourage his boy Scarface to set some more records against us? Or, will he take the long view, and allow the Falcons players and coaches to at least enjoy the "moral victory" of not getting blown out and disgraced on national tv? Will he allow Smith and the Falcons to retain at least a modicum of dignity, and not humble Blank on the big stage? Will Payton show mercy? Will the Falcons need mercy? Will this be the worst defeat in Falcon history as it looks like it might be, or have the Falcons finally had enough of playing like a bad junior college team? Can they muster something up from the depths and shock the Saints and the world?

What you got, TATF?

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My though is we may see 60 points from the saints

I wouldn't call it an unsportsman like/disrespectful/unwritten rules or whatever you'dmlike to call it like if they come in here and just crush the falcons because its not just the Falcons they'll do it to.

I'm guessing something like 52-17 beat down as the Falcons seem to not be playing with any effort almost like there just mailing it in.

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So far you guys seem pretty sure Saints are going to try to finish the Falcons and Smith. I hope you're right, I'd like to see this game be the one Blank can't deal with. I don't see this team getting back into this rivalry under Smith. Still, I think there's at least a slim chance Payton will be satisfied with a 14 to 20-point victory and let sleeping dogs lie.

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So far you guys seem pretty sure Saints are going to try to finish the Falcons and Smith. I hope you're right, I'd like to see this game be the one Blank can't deal with. I don't see this team getting back into this rivalry under Smith. Still, I think there's at least a slim chance Payton will be satisfied with a 14 to 20-point victory and let sleeping dogs lie.

You think Sunday was bad? Thursday is going to be a slaughter.

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So far you guys seem pretty sure Saints are going to try to finish the Falcons and Smith. I hope you're right, I'd like to see this game be the one Blank can't deal with. I don't see this team getting back into this rivalry under Smith. Still, I think there's at least a slim chance Payton will be satisfied with a 14 to 20-point victory and let sleeping dogs lie.

I think you get your wish with that.

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Guest facelessman07

As much as I hate to say it, if a slaughter is what it takes to open Blank's eyes to the REAL problems then so be it. If I were him and saw Smith and the rest of this team laughing and smiling when we are getting our @sses beat that would be it for me, he'd be fired promptly mid-game. As of right now the Saints are a much better team, but if we come out of that tunnel with absolutely no fire or emotion whatsoever then I propose a new kind of line-up change, specifically a coaching change. I've supported Smitty up till this year but that little display of dumb@ssery really gets to me. Its unacceptable for the players, but even moreso for the coaches, they're the ones who are supposed to set the standard.

Edited by facelessman07
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As much as I hate to say it, if a slaughter is what it takes to open Blank's eyes to the REAL problems then so be it. If I were him and saw Smith and the rest of this team laughing and smiling when we are getting our @sses beat that would be it for me, he'd be fired promptly mid-game. As of right now the Saints are a much better team, but if we come out of that tunnel with absolutely no fire or emotion whatsoever then I propose a different kind of line-up change, specifically a coaching change. I've supported Smitty up till this year but that little display of dumb@ssery really gets to me. Its unacceptable for the players, but even moreso for the coaches, they're the ones who are supposed to set the standard.

Hard to argue with you. I didn't see that going on, but sounds completely unacceptable.

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Wow, no wonder our fans are seen as a joke. All I've read is a bunch of Aints nut hugging. I'll tell you what Sean Payton is thinking right now. He's thinking about how much Vicodin he can take without giving away his latest bounty scheme or get caught paying off the refs. Payton is a dirty little grub. Just like the rest of the filthy team. He should have been banned for life , not just one season. Better still the whole cesspool should have been relocated to the equator to melt all the dirty stank off the organisation.

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