The Falcon’s have clinched everything. They have the 1st seed, the best record in the NFC, and home-field advantage. So why would they possibly risk injuries to their starting players? Well, I am going to tell you why.
While the Falcons have truly nothing to play for in the regular season, they have a whole lot to prove in the playoffs. The Matt Ryan and Mike Smith era has seen less wins than Tim Tebow and TJ Yates. In fact, I have as many playoff wins as Matt Ryan. Especially with the 13-2 record as they have now, many people have high expectations. This team seems to be a team nobody is concerned about. They get very little respect even though they have 13 wins.
The only way they get the respect, is if they win playoff games. Notice how I did not say a single playoff game, but playoff games. This Falcons team has the best chance at winning the Super Bowl than any team in the next 5 years. Once we lose Tony Gonzalez, that creates a huge hole at the tight end position, and that adds on top of the many holes we have elsewhere. If no one is taking us seriously, we are going to have to prove that we need to be taken seriously.
So why should Mike Smith not rest the starters? They have to use this last game as preparation for the playoffs. As much time as the starters can get on the field, will help them. If they sit and rest for 2 weeks, they’re is going to be rust. They don’t have time to shake off that rest if they are playing the Seahawks or the Redskins or the Cowboys. These teams will have a ton of momentum, and very little to no rust. All those teams are explosive offenses who will take advantage of a slow start.
If you play expecting injuries, than you shouldn’t play the game of football. It is that simple. In my opinion, I think you should let the guys that are a little banged-up rest. Guys like Roddy White, Asaunte Samuel, they need this week off.
As for my prediction for the Bucs game this week, I am not too concerned about the outcome. It doesn’t matter whether they win or lose. I would be perfectly fine if they tried some new things, did some testing, etc. A few B.S looks wouldn’t hurt either. I do not think they win this game, and I have no problem with that.