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Fisher not keen on forcing playoff teams to "try"

With the NFL planning to ask the Competition Committee to revisit the question of whether teams that have nailed down playoff berths should be forced to use starters in games that are meaningless to them yet very meaningful to their opponents and to other teams jockeying for any remaining playoff berths, one of the co-chairs of the league’s rule-recommending body has made his position known.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher, who benefited from a decision by Colts coach Tony Dungy to call off the canines in Week 17 of the 2007 season, says that teams that have played their way into meaningless late-season games shouldn’t be required to keep pushing for more wins with their best players.

“Clubs have a right to do what they choose or see fit from the standpoint of what’s best for the club, you know, with the goal of reaching the Super Bowl.  And I think that’s always gonna be the case.  You can’t take that away from the club,” Fisher told Alex Marvez and Howard Balzer of Sirius NFL Radio on Friday.  “And I’ll just say this:  I mean, the teams that are upset and complaining and this and that, they should have won a couple more games earlier in the year.”

Fine, Coach.  But would you feel that way if your team had “won a couple more games earlier in the year” and now needed the Jets, the Texans, and/or anyone else to lose to a team that is in a position to lay down? 

Here’s one thing we know for sure.  If/when Fisher is ever in that position in the future and if he says anything other than what he told Marvez and Balzer, we’ll be ready to remind Fisher of what he said on the first day of 2010. 

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48 Responses to “Fisher not keen on forcing playoff teams to "try"”
  1. SirSuperSouthern says: Jan 1, 2010 8:20 PM

    “Clubs have a right to do what they choose or see fit from the standpoint of what’s best for the club, you know, with the goal of reaching the Super Bowl. You can’t take that away from the club,” Fisher told Alex Marvez”
    Great, than shitty teams can also choose to sit their starters in the closing weeks to better their draft position so they can reach the Super Bowl some time down the line. Haha!
    Just think what the end of the season would look like: good teams and bad teams both throwing games, resulting in the final playoff spots essentially becoming lottery slots.
    I mean people are already saying that about the Jets this year – that they’re only in a position to make the post-season because they played two straight teams who laid down for them because they WANT to see their sorry asses again when it actually matters!
    What a complete joke…

  2. slipkid says: Jan 1, 2010 8:21 PM

    someone ought to compile a list of all the teams that have received “freebies” from other teams late in the year – and thus made the playoffs.
    tennessee should top the list.

  3. Sooners says: Jan 1, 2010 8:22 PM

    Polian and Fischer are both on the Competition Committee.
    Birds of a Feather…

  4. TheBigOldDog says: Jan 1, 2010 8:30 PM

    I’m not keen on people like Fisher and Polian being perpetual members of the Competition Committee. At best it should be comprised of people no affiliated with any team like retired HoF members or alike. At the VERY LEAST them mastership should change every year.

  5. FinfanJim says: Jan 1, 2010 8:31 PM

    Oh please Florio and you lemmings. Your record says what you are. As a Fins fan, we had the ability 2 weeks ago to win out and control our playoff possibilities. We then lose 2 bad games in a row.
    We don’t deserve to be in the playoffs anyway, but I would say congratulations to the teams that have the ability to rest and potentially bounce others from the playoffs.
    In the NFL, you deserve what you get. You don’t like it, win 14 in a row like the Colts did and STFU…

  6. Citizen Strange says: Jan 1, 2010 8:35 PM

    Of course Fisher is a thousand and ten percent (1,010% is my new go to percentage maximum … it makes 110% seem like a punk, half assed effort) right.
    That is the whole point of having a great record along with getting the bye week and home field advantage throughout.
    It is absurd to think that you can “make” an NFL team play or not play a certain player.
    Also, by season’s end most every single NFL player is legitimately somewhat injured.

  7. TheBigOldDog says: Jan 1, 2010 8:37 PM

    # Sooners says: January 1, 2010 8:22 PM
    Polian and Fischer are both on the Competition Committee.
    Birds of a Feather…
    ******************
    Fisher took off his jacket and shirt, revealing a Manning Colts jersey underneath, saying, “I just wanted to feel like a winner.”
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4581777

  8. slipkid says: Jan 1, 2010 8:38 PM

    who says teams dont lay down to get the top draft choice?
    it happens.

  9. Bob S. says: Jan 1, 2010 8:39 PM

    Fisher benefitted in 2007 BUT IN 2008 HE RETURNED THE FAVOR TO POLIAN
    Let’s look at how Tennessee’s last 2 regular season games BOTH AGAINST THE GAME-FIXING COLTS played out:
    2007
    Week 17 Tennessee at Indianapolis
    Indianapolis had already clinched #2 AFC Seed and bye going into Week 17
    Tennesse needed to win to make the playoffs and eliminate Cleveland on Division Record tiebreaker
    Indianapolis used Sorgi as QB as well as other backups for most of the game
    Tennessee won 16-10 and makes the playoffs beating out Cleveland by the tiebreaker win they earned that day
    2008
    Week 17 Tennessee at Indianapolis
    Tennessee had already clinched #1 AFC Seed, a bye and homefield going into Week 17
    Indianapolis needed to win make the playoffs and also clinch the #5 AFC seed
    Tennessee uses 3 different QBs including Chris Simms, Quinton Ganther is Titans leading rusher with 27 yards that game
    Indianapolis won 23-0 that day

    Mr. Florio you being a lawyer, hasn’t there been a law that has been used against those “attempting to alter the outcome of a sporting event”?

  10. edgy says: Jan 1, 2010 8:40 PM

    I think that the teams should do what’s best for THEM and not the media, who frankly, is driving this bus.
    So, how do you feel about this? http://www.boards.edgy-sports.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2441
    Who are YOUR finalists for the Pro Football Hall Of Fame? http://www.boards.edgy-sports.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2392

  11. LovinBlue says: Jan 1, 2010 8:57 PM

    @SirSuperSouthern Re: laying down to improve draft position. The double-edged sword there is the price that comes with the higher pick.

  12. Eaglestrainingcamp says: Jan 1, 2010 9:07 PM

    Teams should have to play starters for three quarters. Or until they are three touchdowns ahead, whichever comes first. Maybe teams wouldn’t be so quick to earn a bye or a seed. Than the real fun would begin at the end of the year. If i pay big bucks in the beginning of the season to see an end of year game that i think would have playoff potential, i don’t want to go sit in sub-freezing temperatures to watch back ups. I live in the Northeast. PS I am NOW actually hoping to see the Colts fall flat on their faces so they do not make it to the Super Bowl. Sorry Peyton.

  13. thunderdog says: Jan 1, 2010 9:07 PM

    This is ridiculous. The solution to the problem is to win more games and don’t put yourself in a position where you need other teams to lose to make the playoffs.
    Besides, how do you do this? Do starting QB’s have to play the whole game? How about cornerbacks? Does your D-line rotation have to be exactly the same as it has been all year? Would the league have someone in the booth to monitor all of this and get on the headset to order to coach to reinsert his starting wide receiver?
    And are there different levels for different things at stake? Do you have to play your quarterback the whole game if your game can determine a playoff berth and only three quarters if there’s a seeding involved?
    Dumb idea.

  14. lezmaka says: Jan 1, 2010 9:08 PM

    If you don’t want to have to rely on the charity of other teams, then win enough games to get into the playoffs on your own.

  15. Adam-Chris Scheftersen says: Jan 1, 2010 9:25 PM

    From the article:
    Here’s one thing we know for sure. If/when Fisher is ever in that position in the future and if he says anything other than what he told Marvez and Balzer, we’ll be ready to remind Fisher of what he said on the first day of 2010.
    ————————-
    How, exactly, are you going to remind Fisher of anything, Mike? By posting three paragraphs here? I’m sure Fisher will be hanging on your every word.
    Bottom line: to try to force teams to act in a manner that’s not in the best interest of the team will backfire. They’ll find ways around it–like breaking the injury report rules, or they’ll pull their starters after the first series so they can say they at least played them.
    And for whoever it was trying to draw a parallel between playoff teams not competing to keep healthy and non-playoff teams not competing to get a better draft position… Those are two very different things.

  16. Stinson says: Jan 1, 2010 9:31 PM

    Anyone who thinks just because they watch football sitting on their asses, they should bitch like a girl and demand the actual football professionals succumb to their petty whims is retarded.

  17. KOM2K10 says: Jan 1, 2010 9:37 PM

    Let me get this straight… a bunch of 8-7 teams are bitchin an moanin that they won’t make the playoffs because other teams are laying down… If you don’t like it, then win more games and don’t leave it up to other teams. No one owes you anything!!! If you want to make the playoffs, then go out there and win YOUR OWN GAMES!!

  18. Ricoman says: Jan 1, 2010 9:41 PM

    I cannot believe any sane person who has thought about this really thinks a team should be forced to play their “starters” for any length of time. Being a Titans fans, I hate the Colts as much as anyone. I love the fact that they laid down for us in 2007 but not for a second do I think they did that to do us a favour and anyone who thinks that is, frankly, an idiot. It didn’t matter who they were playing, they were going to do that. That is Polian’s philosophy and always has been. The fact is he was GM for the Buffalo teams that lost the Super Bowl and the Colts teams who have been major playoff disappointments – you would think the lack of SB rings would lead him to re-think his philosophy. Obviously not, but it might lead others to not adopt it (see, by analogy, the Shanahan FG timeout that was not as widely adopted as people feared, esp. after it backfired on a few coaches).
    It’s like Fisher said, if teams are complaining, they should have won more games. If Florio really thinks that an NFL coach is going to complain because a team did not “lay down”, then he ought to have his head examined, give up the site, and return to the practice of law. You are a bright guy, Florio, don’t say such dumb things.

  19. VonClausewitz says: Jan 1, 2010 9:56 PM

    Tom Selleck is right, and all yall whiny betas are wrong. If you wanted to watch a sport where all elements of competition and strategy were replaced by self-righteous blowhardiness you should switch to Pop Warner, get a perm, and send your Man Card back in the mail.

  20. The Genius says: Jan 1, 2010 10:06 PM

    I agree 100% with Jeff Fischer. Teams have earned the right to throw games by clinching playoff spots.
    Keep in mind however, even losing to allow a ‘crappier’ team into the playoffs is no guarantee. Betcha the braintrust of the Falcons, Panthers and Eagles were thrilled to be facing the Cardinals last January. Lol. So how did that work out?
    With the Colts the only issue is that they unfortunately did not have the balls to go for the undefeated season.
    That is the bottom line.
    Either you got the balls to for it, or you don’t.
    As for the other crybabies that want to be in the playoffs? IF YOU WANT IN, WIN MORE GAMES!!!

  21. coops says: Jan 1, 2010 10:12 PM

    Here’s a suggestion. . . . why not just make the last 3 games of the year divisional games for each team. That way each division will more than likely come down to week 16 or 17 and minimize teams resting their starters for playoff runs.

  22. Richm2256 says: Jan 1, 2010 10:25 PM

    coops says:
    January 1, 2010 10:12 PM
    Here’s a suggestion. . . . why not just make the last 3 games of the year divisional games for each team. That way each division will more than likely come down to week 16 or 17 and minimize teams resting their starters for playoff runs.
    ————————————————-
    That may just be the smartest thing anyone has said on this subject. The NFL allowing teams to take a week off or lay down for other teams, in effect having playoff ramifications, cannot be allowed. It makes a joke out of the spirit of competition. If teams want to do this, there should be a steep price to be paid or else it makes a farce of the season schedule.
    If the games were given legitimate importance, there would be no incentive to reast players for the playoffs or to lay down and enable certain teams to qualify for the playoffs while shutting other certain teams out.

  23. To Rush Quickly says: Jan 1, 2010 10:53 PM

    “Here’s one thing we know for sure. If/when Fisher is ever in that position in the future and if he says anything other than what he told Marvez and Balzer, we’ll be ready to remind Fisher of what he said on the first day of 2010.”
    ——————————————
    Meaningless lawyer rhetoric. Tell you what, Mike, the next time the Steelers’ week 17 opponents play backups and therefore let the Steelers get a playoff clinching win, and you criticize the teams behind them that complain, I’m going to remind you about what YOU said on the first day of 2010.
    oh, does that not bother you?

  24. Bob S. says: Jan 1, 2010 10:54 PM

    The Genius says:
    I agree 100% with Jeff Fischer. Teams have earned the right to throw games by clinching playoff spots.

    Then the fans who bought the seats AND SEAT LICENSES EXPECTING TO SEE REAL GAMES NOW deserve to be refunded for these planned practices.
    Jeff Fisher benefitted from the Colts purposely losing to him to let his team in 2007
    Jeff Fisher did the exact same to let the Colts in 2008.
    AND in 2009 Jeff Fisher wore a Peyton Manning jersey mocking everyone!
    as i said above
    BTW- both in 2007 and 2008 this happened
    2007
    colts then lost their only playoff game
    titans then lost their only playoff game
    2008
    colts then lost their only playoff game
    titans then lost their only playoff game
    i guess resting stars didnt help
    and it didnt pay to cheat for fisher and polian

  25. hotchick says: Jan 1, 2010 10:57 PM

    You have multiple factor here fools. The teams not playing their starters are still trying to win. You really think that back-up QB for the Colts went out and sucked on purpose? Yeah, he really wants to ensure that no team will ever consider trying to acquire him. Plus the team playing bench players can get some measure of their back-ups ability in game situations. Plus getting the back-up in gets him those reps that everyone worries about a guy not having when he has to fill in for th estarter in a game that matters.
    So it is bunk to say these players are not trying to win and the teams are just sying don trying to lose. Though the team has nothing to play for, the back-ups on a team like the Colts actually have more to play for then the Manning and Wayne.
    So YES win games before week 16 and control your own destiny.
    As for the lousy teams trying to lose for draft spots. Most of them will be worried about jobs also, unless they know the coach is a dog and want him gone or want out. Plus the draft is such a crap, moving up in the draft does not ensure a better player. (IE all the top 10 busts)

  26. Bob S. says: Jan 1, 2010 11:31 PM

    hotchick says:
    You have multiple factor here fools. The teams not playing their starters are still trying to win.

    who is the fool???
    Yeah right just dont use all your best players means youre still trying to win. in that case use painter in the playoffs and try to win with him instead of manning. should make no difference by your thinking.
    fact is the nfl decides these very playoff spots AS WELL AS next year’s draft order, and sometimes on mathematical calculations to the thousandth pct. and these throwers of games that impact on every team’s possible placement, POLIAN AND FISHER make the rules? give me a break!
    nfl’s credibility finally is taking the hit it deserves!

  27. Raz75reb says: Jan 1, 2010 11:40 PM

    Good For Jeff Fisher!!! It’s on you if you’ve if you haven’t done your job to ensure you’re in the playoffs. Look at the primary teams involved here: the Ravens, Texans, and Broncos. Not only did these teams have chances to beat the Colts head up, they all had leads and were in position to beat them. They have nobobdy to blame but themselves.
    What Tom Coughlin did in ’07, playing all out against the Pats in a game that didn’t matter, and losing two players for the playoffs. But if they lost Plaxico and Eli to injury in that game, every Giant fan would’ve ripped the Giants, and they should.
    Take care of your business and do your job and won’t need to worry about what anyone else is doing!

  28. Bob S. says: Jan 2, 2010 12:13 AM

    lezmaka says:
    If you don’t want to have to rely on the charity of other teams, then win enough games to get into the playoffs on your own.

    BUT IT IS QUITE THE OPPOSITE
    It’s the teams who are lucky enuff by the luck of the draw OR the coach/GM/owner of the team you are facing(IS YOUR BUDDY) to be as you say “charitable” to you and LET YOU WIN ON PURPOSE. While other competing teams in previous games vs. teams they were facing trying to win the day they played them.

  29. dldavidlong says: Jan 2, 2010 12:31 AM

    lol. teams always play their starters. if a person plays the first play they are considered starters. so who’s to say who is the starter that week. also if their was such a rule a lot of those players could just fake an injury. its just like the rooney rule. you really can’t stop the intent of the rule. you just find ways around it.

  30. Bob S. says: Jan 2, 2010 12:45 AM

    The guy the Colts want to rest, Peyton Manning has never missed a start in his NFL career and is less sacked than any QB in history.
    Here is the BS injury report of tonight for the Colts and Manning is about the ONLY player on the yeam NOT on it! Why doesn’t Polian just put their whole 53 man roster on it? It would mean as much!
    Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills
    IND
    Ryan Diem T Elbow Out
    Jerraud Powers CB Hamstring Out
    Gijon Robinson TE Knee Out
    Clint Session LB Knee Out
    Dwight Freeney DE Abdomen Questionable
    Antonio Johnson DT Shoulder Questionable
    Charlie Johnson T Foot Questionable
    Robert Mathis DE Quadricep Questionable
    Tom Santi TE Back Questionable
    Chad Simpson RB Concussion Questionable
    Keyunta Dawson DT Knee Questionable
    Aaron Francisco CB Hand Questionable
    Adam Vinatieri K Knee Questionable
    Melvin Bullitt CB Shoulder Questionable
    Pierre Garcon WR Hand Questionable
    Joseph Addai RB Shoulder Probable
    Antoine Bethea CB Foot Probable
    Gary Brackett LB Foot Probable
    Donald Brown RB Illness Probable
    Austin Collie WR Not Injury Probable
    Kyle DeVan T Illness Probable
    Cody Glenn LB Shoulder Probable
    Mike Hart RB Ankle Probable
    Tim Jennings CB Ankle Probable
    Jacob Lacey CB Biceps Probable
    Fili Moala DT Knee Probable
    Daniel Muir DT Shoulder Probable
    Jamey Richard G Shoulder Probable
    Tony Ugoh T Knee Probable
    Reggie Wayne WR Foot Probable

  31. The Genius says: Jan 2, 2010 12:59 AM

    “Then the fans who bought the seats AND SEAT LICENSES EXPECTING TO SEE REAL GAMES NOW deserve to be refunded for these planned practices.”
    These might be unreal expectations. For example Colts fans have no reason to complain. They have already watched their team win more games then any other team in the league. And you are guaranteed at least one playoff game. Not the worst deal.
    Some fans have been watching meaningless games for 8 weeks now.
    Fortunately future generations will be too broke to afford this nonsense anyways. The average family will have to choose 2 games a year that they can afford to attend.

  32. Adam-Chris Scheftersen says: Jan 2, 2010 1:53 AM

    Bob S. says:
    January 1, 2010 10:54 PM
    BTW- both in 2007 and 2008 this happened
    2007
    colts then lost their only playoff game
    titans then lost their only playoff game
    2008
    colts then lost their only playoff game
    titans then lost their only playoff game
    i guess resting stars didnt help
    and it didnt pay to cheat for fisher and polian
    —————————
    And that’s part of what makes this whole uproar funny. Teams will sooner or later figure out that there’s no benefit in sitting their starters if they come back out of sync. Just like there might be no benefit in getting a first-round bye.
    And the Colts found out firsthand how pleasant the experience can be when the media gets going on it.
    If teams want to rest their starters, I say go ahead. They’ve earned the right to do what they want. And it’ll probably hurt them rather than help them. I could care less about the fan experience. When you buy a ticket for a week 16 or 17 game you know damn well it might be a game flexed into prime time with playoff implications and the whole works.. Or it might be an absolute dud with nothing on the line.

  33. npina says: Jan 2, 2010 3:30 AM

    What a dumb point! Fisher is right.
    who cares!
    someone says X i will b ready to pounce if they contradict this and say NonX. Doesnt this go without saying. What r u gonna do hover over Fisher until he messes up?

  34. Gautam says: Jan 2, 2010 5:10 AM

    Bob S.
    just a small problem with that drivel you posted
    The Colts already had the 5th seed wrapped up in 2008

  35. Harm City Homer says: Jan 2, 2010 9:26 AM

    I like the 3 division games in a row to finish idea a lot.
    That should keep enough at stake to keep the last 2 weeks more interesting. A division rival will look to beat you up with nothing but pride on the line.
    I think the NFL should also re seed the playoffs every round to make more incentive to win as much as possible even if locked into a seed already, round by round the best team plays the worst record remaining at home.
    Take away the automatic home game for division winners and make it come down to record only.
    They should also make the draft more of a bidding system like restricted free agency, that favors the bad teams somehow, but does not reward exclusive rights to the top player just for losing the most games.

  36. clubfoot says: Jan 2, 2010 9:26 AM

    Florio. Someone should cache everthing you’ve written like how the Pats would beat the Giants by the largest margin in superbowl history. Or emailing people that you disagree with and calling them a douche bag? Professional that you have failed to address both.

  37. Agamemnon says: Jan 2, 2010 10:46 AM

    How in the world does anyone expect the League to “force” teams into playing competitive games. It’s ridiculous to even bring up this idea. I’m sorry that Colts fans feel gipped. Don’t renew your tickets. Don’t watch the games. There’s lots you can do to protest what you feel was a wrong decision by the team. I’d bet, however, if the team goes on to win the Super Bowl, fans might look back and feel differently. On the other hand, how many fans would lambaste the team if they had left their starters in and Peyton ended up with a blown ACL? How many gave Childress a hard time for leaving Favre in when he did this season?
    **************************
    coops says:
    January 1, 2010 10:12 PM
    Here’s a suggestion. . . . why not just make the last 3 games of the year divisional games for each team. That way each division will more than likely come down to week 16 or 17 and minimize teams resting their starters for playoff runs.
    **************************
    I agree with others that have agreed with coops. This is probably the best idea to accomplish what fans have been whining about. This would make it a sort of round robin tournament right at the end of the season. I like this idea!

  38. cgc1969 says: Jan 2, 2010 11:18 AM

    the jets don’t deserve to be in the playoffs period!
    colts laid down and probably bengals too! if jets
    get in they will not win the in the first round! all
    of the other playoff teams are MUCH better teams! SANCHEZ SUCKS!

  39. Bob S. says: Jan 2, 2010 12:06 PM

    Gautam
    still it was a tank job by tenn in 2008
    as it was by indy the year before
    and both seasons ended quickly in the playoffs after one game for both these FIXERS of games – alterers of outcomes of sporting events – polian and fisher
    fisher the man who wears a manning jersey
    fisher the man who his own owner forced him to use YOUNG and that is only reason titans season this year has been turned around.
    maybe if fisher used young afgainst ravens last year they would have gone all the way!
    but he’s more concerned playing around with NOT playing players!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. bills9951 says: Jan 2, 2010 1:03 PM

    suggestion, thats better then copps idea:
    last week or two are position weeks by conf., to avoid meaningless games some may be interconference. The schedule for the last two weeks is made up after week 12.
    1st plays 2nd, 3rd vs 4rd, and so on…

  41. edgy says: Jan 2, 2010 1:23 PM

    Someone said that they should play their division for the last 3 games and another person called that the best idea that they’ve seen. Well, frankly, doesn’t hold water. Take Indinapolis, for example, their last 3 games were Jax, NYJ and Buffalo so only 2 division games come into play. Now, if we believe everyone that under different circumstances, Indy would beaten both teams then they would STILL show up to their 13th game – wait for it – undefeated and would have already clinched their division AND home field advantage. What would be the reason for them to go all out in the final 3 games? What changed, except that they would be playing two of their division rivals, who would be out of the race for the division, as far as they’re concerned.
    As for the Saints, their last 2 opponents are division rivials. Move up the game against Atlanta and move back the game against the Cowboys and now, they’re still 13-2 and probably not working too hard against the Panthers.
    If you’re complaining about the teams that are resting their players then you’re most likely a fan of a team that’s about to get screwed but as someone had said, you had your chance earlier in the year. If you want to perserve the integrity of the game then PLAY HARDER.

  42. Ron E says: Jan 2, 2010 1:53 PM

    There are a lot of reasons a team may not play the best players. Teams do what’s best for their team. They play other players to get experience or to get a look at them going into the off season. They may bench someone to prevent a bonus, shady, but I’m sure it happens. They also might call certain plays to try to set a record rather than do what’s best to win the game. Players are injured, suspended, etc at different times in the season too. What about early in the season when teams start a rookie QB when a vet may give them a better chance to win? It’s all luck of the draw, you can’t count on it one way or the other, every team should shoot for 11-5 to make sure they make the playoffs. Really, a 9-7 team does not deserve to make the playoffs, hopefully they all make a quick exit. If the Jets make it but should really be a 7-9 team, what chance do they have?
    You really can’t enforce it either. I’m sure if teams were forced to play starters, the players may not give it 100% or teams would come up with various injuries to hold them out.
    If I’m the Bengals, I bench several key players and any player that has an injury. They don’t get a bye and may play on Saturday, they need the rest and can’t afford any injuries. Plus, they will likely get a rematch with the Jets and don’t want to show their hand in a game that’s meaningless to them. The players that play, should play to win, and back-ups should give it their all because it’s their chance to shine. I don’t believe in throwing the game, but playing it conservative is not throwing the game. I wouldn’t blame the Bengals for not putting it all on the line to win this game. The only way I can see the Bengals benefit from winning is if all the other teams lose, and the Bengals get the Dolphins in the first round. I would rather play the Dolphins or the Jets in the first round, but they are all 9-7 teams, and you will probably have to play the Chargers and Colts to make it to the Super Bowl.

  43. schmo says: Jan 2, 2010 2:39 PM

    bills9951 says:
    January 2, 2010 1:03 PM
    suggestion, thats better then copps idea:
    last week or two are position weeks by conf., to avoid meaningless games some may be interconference. The schedule for the last two weeks is made up after week 12.
    1st plays 2nd, 3rd vs 4rd, and so on…
    So what you’re suggesting is essentially a playoff to determine….the playoffs?
    How would you get around teams who have already played each other the required amount of times (i.e. divisional teams who have played twice, or interconference rivals who have already played once)? You can’t just alter scheduling rules mid-season to make a more competitive matchup. That’s what the playoffs are for.
    The idea of having divisional games the final three weeks is all well and good, and would probably ensure a few more meaningful games in the long run. But really, there’s nothing that needs fixing. One team this season rested players for one game, and a few more will do the same this weekend. How is that different than any other season?

  44. CKL says: Jan 2, 2010 3:21 PM

    Bob S…where did you get that Colts injury report?
    Wow.That would definitely prop up their little charade of sitting guys or not playing guys much who had any so called health issues. Along with…if they are listed on that report it’s becuase they have missed reps in practice as well. More rust.
    That said, I don’t think this can or should be regulated much as I DESPISE the practice of it and feel it violates the spirit of the game. It is still teams’ rights to do what they feel is best for them and them alone.
    If you are sitting there in week 17 cheering for the Jets to win like I had to last week 17 (PUKE!!!!) so your team can make the playoffs, you have to accept the reality that your team didn’t do enough during the regular season and that any help is a miracle GIFT not a right.

  45. edgy says: Jan 2, 2010 4:11 PM

    I know that some of you will think I’m nuts but I beleive that by bowing to the pressure of the media and the fans, the Patriots cost themselves the Super Bowl in 2007. They went all out for 16-0 against the Giants and the Giants got to see what was and wasn’t working against them and they used that in their game plan to take them down in the Super Bowl. If they had allowed the guys to make a token appearance and then forced the Giants to do play against the scrubs, there would have been more of a mystery. You could say that the Patriots had the same opportunity to scout the Giants in that game but Giants’ defense really needed the help that year. The offensive and defensive game plans for the Giants was a far cry from what they used the first time against the Patriots. Of course, it also didn’t hurt that the first game was close and it gave the Giants confidence to believe that they could hang with the Patriots.

  46. baseballUmp says: Jan 2, 2010 5:46 PM

    Why should football be any different than other sports?
    Baseball teams that are out playoff contention bench starters and bring up minor league prospects all the time. Big Mac was the recipient of seeing several “prospects” when he broke the HR record. In several situations that would have begged for an intentional walk if you really wanted to win, the managers chose to have the newbies “challenge” him, only to see the ball leave the park.
    What about the times a team has made the playoffs, and change their pitching rotation, even putting less successful pitchers in, so as to have their ace start the series?
    Soccer players that can accrue yellow cards have been known to intentionally get another yellow so they can be suspended for a meaningless game, and get a fresh start on their yellows for the more important games.
    Everyone thinks these are “smart” strategies. Why not in football?

  47. mrzazz41387 says: Jan 2, 2010 8:21 PM

    Teams do this every single year. Usually, there aren’t this many teams in the hunt, and relying on 1 team. This is the only reason there is such a big deal being made this year. You guys need to get over it, because our team has probably been on the other side of this argument at one point or another.

  48. edgy says: Jan 2, 2010 8:30 PM

    baseballUmp, who told you all this BS about McGwire, the baseball fairy? From HR 56 to 70, he faced 2 “newbies”, rookie pitchers who were making one of their less than 10 starts that season. Most of them had 3 or more (some, quite a bit more) seasons. One of the newbies, Kirk Bullinger, gave up one home run that year — the one he gave up to McGwire. Now, back to our regularly scheduled NFL rants. :)

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