Green Bay Packers Shouldn't Rest Their Starters Down the Stretch

Jon DoveContributor IDecember 18, 2011

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 11:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers runs onto the field during player introductions before a game against the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field on December 11, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Raiders 46-16.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers already wrapped up the NFC North and are one win away from clinching home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Even after they wrap up home field, Green Bay needs to continue to play their starters. If a key contributor is healthy, he should be in the lineup. Resting your starters could impact the flow of a team.

Mike McCarthy still hasn't let on how he will approach the end of the season. There is a chance Green Bay could be playing for a shot at a place in history. However, McCarthy is more worried about winning the Super Bowl and not finishing the season undefeated.

An undefeated season would be special, but McCarthy should continue to play his starters for another reason.

The past few Super Bowl winners accomplished their goal because of a late-season surge. These teams entered the playoffs playing at an extremely high level. They utilized their hot streak to help them cruise past their opponents. Green Bay's late-season success had a lot to do with last year's Super Bowl title.

The Packers needed a win in the last game of the season just to earn a playoff berth. They rode that high all the way to the championship.

That last regular season game was against the Chicago Bears, who Green Bay eventually faced in the NFC Championship game. Winning that early matchup provided the Packers with some extra confidence.

Green Bay's remaining schedule features games against the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.

They have the opportunity to keep both teams out of the playoff picture. A loss for the Bears or Lions could very well mean no playoff appearance.

Green Bay would love to keep their rivals out of the playoffs and not have to worry about facing an opponent for a third time in a season.