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  1. #1
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    Way too soon hypothetical...



    Let's say that we're locked into our seed heading into week 17 and nothing that any teams does matters, do we go Colts/Patriots style and pack it in after the first series against the Bengals? We've haven't ever really done that before, but we also have always been in the position to play our week 17 game out (with the exception of 2010, but some of that may have had to do with playing at home).

    I'd say that if we're locked into a #3 or #4 seed, it might make sense to give our starters a breather and start focusing on the next week. But, if we have #1 or #2 seed, and have a bye week coming up the next week anyway, to try to play for pride and keep the Bengals out of the play-offs.

    Thoughts?




  2. #2

    Re: Way too soon hypothetical...

    Tough question - though personally I believe with the way things are set up, we will have something to play for come week 17. If we win the next four games, we will have the first round bye locked up regardless of what New England or Denver do. However, there's still the shot of homefield providing the Texans drop one somewhere. If we only win 3 of 4 for example, then 1st round bye will be on the line.

    Aside that, I'd rather play them. Yes, it's a bit of a damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don't. If you play and someone gets hurt, particularly someone important, you'll have a pitchfork mob chasing after Harbs wanting him to be hung, drawn and quartered. If you don't and the Ravens fall at the first hurdle, you'll have the questions over whether the preparation was there and perhaps they should've played. Still, weighing everything, this game now is about momentum come December and January. I don't want to sacrifice that in any way.

    It's possible that the Ravens will keep playing according to Texans/Colts if it's homefield at stake. If the Texans have an unassailable lead come halftime, then they may as well pack up shop - if they play at the same time. If it's not that, then I think there's a good chance that Houston/Indianapolis will be the SNF game. Houston may have a scenario of win and you're 1st seed; lose and you're 3rd seed (if Bal goes 14-2 and NE are 13-3 after beating the Texans). Colts may have a scenario of win and you're in. In Indy. Tasty. That's why I'm hoping the Colts don't have the WC sealed until then.

    As for Cincinnati, it'd be nice to sweep them again and go 6-0 in the division for a 2nd year running, but that's only a bonus.
    Last edited by Tyrian; 11-28-2012 at 08:07 AM.




  3. #3
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    Re: Way too soon hypothetical...



    I like this idea the best.




  4. #4
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    Re: Way too soon hypothetical...

    IF there is absolutely nothing to play for, then I always have the philosophy of resting your players whenever you can, at all costs. We CANNOT afford any more injuries going into the play offs. The Texans are @ the Colts in the last game of the year and are playing at the same time as us, so it is a tough choice IMO. The Texans could drop one to the Colts, and assuming us and the Texans win out to week 17, we would still lose on tie breakers to the Texans even if we did win and they lose. So IF the Texans win all their games leading up the the Colts, and we have the number 2 seed locked up, I'd say absolutely rest everyone. Start Tyrod, don't even play Bernard Pierce, keep a few oline starters in, they need the playing time, at no costs should we play Suggs, Lewis, Reed, or Ngata. We will probably get absolutely killed in that game, but it's worth resting your players, and keeping them healthy for the play offs. Matt Birk is someone who would desperately need the rest giving his age.

    Ok so you let the Bengals into the play offs, so what? We are supposed to hate Indi even more than Cincy anyway. It also gives us a good evaluation on where Tyrod Taylor is as a QB, and could determine whether or not we should get a better back up in the offseason.




  5. #5
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    Re: Way too soon hypothetical...

    That's really not Harbaugh's style. In 2010, our seed was pretty much locked in (our only hope of improving was the Browns beating the Steelers), the Steelers started that game on fire there was no doubt that they'd beat the Browns and Harbaugh played our starters for the entire last game vs. the Bengals, anyway.

    I am not really a fan of resting players that last game especially if you have a bye. Indy used to always do that and they'd always have an early playoff exist. One of the few times they couldn't rest players at the end of the season, they got hot and went on the Superbowl run. There is something to be said for carrying momentum.




  6. #6
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    Re: Way too soon hypothetical...

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey View Post
    That's really not Harbaugh's style. In 2010, our seed was pretty much locked in (our only hope of improving was the Browns beating the Steelers), the Steelers started that game on fire there was no doubt that they'd beat the Browns and Harbaugh played our starters for the entire last game vs. the Bengals, anyway.

    I am not really a fan of resting players that last game especially if you have a bye. Indy used to always do that and they'd always have an early playoff exist. One of the few times they couldn't rest players at the end of the season, they got hot and went on the Superbowl run. There is something to be said for carrying momentum.
    Yup. There is such a thing as rust.

    If the last game doesn't matter (which is extremely hypothetical given our remaining schedule) than anyone not nursing an injury plays as much as possible (but no more than normal) and anyone nursing an injury plays as sparingly as possible.
    We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. - Benjamin Franklin




  7. #7
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    Re: Way too soon hypothetical...

    I could see it being like Ngata in the Raiders game. He was available but didn't see a snap.
    He Who Dares.....Wins




  8. #8
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    Re: Way too soon hypothetical...

    Playing like a raven doesnt really include fielding a weakened side although i think it would be prudent to rest some offensive skill players (the line needs all the snaps they can get) and defensive backs + ngata on D
    So much can change in 6 weeks though!!

    I would love it, just love it we gave the OC rest in wk 17 and ran up 500 yards on the bengals with no skill players starting.




  9. #9
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    Re: Way too soon hypothetical...

    Whilst I certianly wouldn't be in favour of flat out resting starters, I would be happy to see reduced snaps for those with any issues, whether slight injuries or age (like Birk, as someone mentioned).

    I think momentum is the biggest factor in the playoffs- look at the contrasts between the Giants and Packers last year. Giants got hot late on, the Packers benched their starters. Next thing, Giants have continued their momentum and flattened the cold Packers.
    I told everyone that if I went to Pittsburgh I would have to throw up on my jersey every time I played, - Double J will always be a Raven




  10. #10
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    Re: Way too soon hypothetical...

    I think that there's a real possibility that week 17 will be meaningless. The division is all but clinched, and winning next week will clinch it with a Bengals loss. So, assuming that we've won the division, imagine that we lose a few games, and imagine that two out of the Bronces, Patriots, and Texans continue winning. Or even imagine if the Texans put the #1 seed away, and we lose to the Broncos. If we lose to the Broncos it would take a miracle to catch them. Even if there's some question over the #3 or #4 seed, does it really make a lot of sense to go to the mat over it? It has no effect on home-field, and only affects match-ups, and who's to say in Janurary that whoever is the #5 seed is much better than the #6 seed?

    But this is all assuming that tanking week 17 helps you at all. IMO, the jury is still out on that. It gives you a mini-bye week and keeps your players out of harms way, but it looks like it makes the teams rusty and demoralized. And... well it looks like prior results have favored putting the pedal to the medal in December. But... association or causation?




  11. #11

    Re: Way too soon hypothetical...

    It would also be a shame to end the NFL's best-ever division win streak (assuming we win on Sunday) by sitting out the starters.




  12. #12
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    Re: Way too soon hypothetical...

    Just FTR, the league customarily plays a lot of games* with Week 17 scheduling to minimize the chances that this sort of situation will arise. They can flex games on only 6 days' notice, not only "in order to ensure a Sunday night game with playoff implications" but to make sure that games with interlocked playoff implications are scheduled so as few teams as possible get the luxury of choosing to sit their starters.

    * Pun unintended but I'll accept the award on behalf of my subconscious.




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