For both the New Orleans Saints and the 49ers, this season has .

There's no worse feeling in fandom than unmet expectations. And both of the NFL's gold-helmeted teams have seen the bottom drop out of their dreams for the 2007 season.

* New Orleans vs. San Francisco
Sunday, October 28, 2007. 1:00 PM, PST.
Week 08
The Battle Of Fool's Gold

After being counted out of the 2006 season post-Hurricane Katrina, the Saints made an unlooked-for offensive surge with rookie Head Coach Sean Payton calling the shots, won an utterly surprising amount of games, and plowed all the way to the NFC title game.

(Including mooshing the 49ers 34-10 in Week 13 at the Superdome, kneading the Niners around like a gramma gently working meatloaf into shape. Speaking of which, all the money spent on rebuilding the Superdome could have been better spent in the community of New Orleans. Football is a sport -- it can wait -- but people still need our help in New Orleans. It's not like FEMA is gonna get the job done. Donate to standard-checked charitable organization with this link. Do what you can. Now, back to the column.)

Since that final game of 2006 in Chicago, the [nu ˈorliənz] American football franchise has fallen hard. The weak secondary wasn't really improved in the offseason. Their hard-charging RB Deuce McAllister is lost for the year with an injury. Opposing defenses have been able to fluster QB Drew Brees, disrupting the triggerman of Payton's accuracy-requiring offensive scheme.