We’ve already discussed arguments for and against resting players, but one thing that can’t be disputed is the fact that two teams who were looking at potential perfection three weeks ago are now going into the postseason on losing streaks.
After starting 13-0, the Saints were upset by the playoff-bound Dallas Cowboys, which, while unexpected, was conceivable.
Their next loss to Tampa Bay was not, and it was followed by a loss to Carolina where possible MVP Drew Brees sat out.
The Indianapolis Colts stood at 14-0 when Coach Jim Caldwell made the decision to bench starters like Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne, and the Colts lost their final two games of the regular season to the Jets and Bills as a result.
While there is something to be said for going into the playoffs healthy, it should be noted that the last five of the last six Super Bowl champs won their final game of the regular season, meaningless or not.
The exception was the 2007 New York Giants, who battled the then-undefeated New England Patriots into the fourth quarter before falling 38-35.