All throughout the week, you've heard us talking about resting starters and breaking records in the Falcons-Buccaneers game. The lingering question throughout has been this: Should the Falcons really care about winning this football game?
From a pride perspective, absolutely. Beating an NFC South rival is important in that regard, and the pride that comes with having the league's best record is nothing to sneeze at. Pride ranks only behind fat paychecks and fame as a reason for playing well, and I can certainly understand why such an unfairly maligned franchise would like to beat up on a rapidly deflating Buccaneers team.
From every other perspective, however, selling out for a win makes little sense. The Falcons have 13 wins, are guaranteed home field advantage throughout the playoffs and risk injury like any other game if they leave their starters in too long. There's nothing in the looming post-season to play for, and aside from 80+ yards for Roddy White and a touchdown pass for Matt Ryan to smash a couple of franchise records, very little on an individual level. Unless, of course, you're talking about pride.
I open the floor to you, my fellow Falcons fans. How much does a win here matter to you?