The Kansas City Chiefs have clinched the AFC West but can’t earn a first-round playoff bye, so it might make sense for them to rest some key players in Sunday’s regular-season finale to make sure they’re healthy for their first postseason game a week later.
But Chiefs coach Todd Haley says that’s not the way he does things.
“We’re a transitioning team,” Haley said. “Maybe some teams can look at games differently, but I know our group right now — with where we are in our development — we need to approach them the same way, which is get ready to win and put everything into [Sunday's game against the Raiders].”
Haley didn’t come right out and say starting quarterback Matt Cassel will play the entire game on Sunday, but that seems to be the team’s plan. And even though the Chiefs can’t earn a bye, Sunday’s game could determine whether they’re the No. 3 seed or the No. 4 seed in the AFC — and being the No. 3 seed means that if they win in the wild card round, they don’t have to go to New England in the divisional round.
From all indications, Week 17 is shaping up to have a lot of good games, and even the teams without much of anything to play for are planning to play their starters. In years past we’ve been treated to the likes of Colts quarterback Curtis Painter and Saints quarterback Mark Brunell in Week 17, but this year we’re going to see plenty of first-string football.