The Falcons will play to win on Sunday. They won't rest their starters, at least not at first.
Smith, asked today if he has a plan on how long he will play his starters Sunday against the Buccaneers, said: “We’re going to play the game to win.”
“That’s how we approach it,” he said. “It’s an important game because it’s division game. All games are important. Does it have no bearing? It really does because we want to win every time we go out there to play.”
I like that approach. I'll writhe and cringe like Dave at bar close if anyone goes down with an injury [knocks on wood]. But I think it's the right approach. Momentum in the playoffs cannot be undervalued, and we don't want to rest our starters too much. Think about it, we're not playing in week one of the playoffs. If Smith were to sit Matt Ryan the entire game, he'd have more than three weeks between games - you lose a little something at that point.
As is always the case around these parts, I'm sure some will disagree with Smith's mentality. That said, we pay him the big buck to make these decisions, and he's gotten us this far. He won't be stupid about it; if we're up by 2 touchdowns in the second half, McCown will see the field.