Start 'Em or Sit 'Em?

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December 9, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) grimaces after being injured against the Dallas Cowboys at Paul Brown Stadium. Dallas won the game 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Bengals are in the playoffs, and with their seed locked-in going into Week 17, they face a similar scenario that many NFL teams heading to the postseason have in the final weekend of the regular season: Do you rest your starters in order to avoid any injuries while allowing your already-injured players to rest and heal up in hopes of accelerating the healing process and having them at their best in the first playoff game? Seems like a convincing case to give your guys the week off.

But as we’ve seen all too often before, resting your starters in Week 17 can hurt the chemistry of the team and cause then to play out of sync in their first playoff game. This was been the unfortunate ending for the Bengals in 2009 when they rested their starters in their regular-season finale against the New York Jets, and in the following week against the Jets again, they never got into any flow on offense,

For a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game since 1990 and is 0-3 in the postseason under Marvin Lewis, the Bengals have to do what’s best for maximizing their opportunity to win this postseason in order to take the next necessary step to becoming an eventual Super Bowl contender.

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