I'm just going to apologize right off the bat for the ridiculously trite and cliched title. It's late and I have jury duty in the morning. But however old and overused it may be, it cuts right to the heart of the situation at hand on Airline Drive. If the Saints manage to lock up first place in the NFC sometime in the next couple of weeks, with a game or two remaining on the regular season schedule, what do they do about playing time for starters?
It's an age old debate as persevering as the Hatfields and McCoys. One side believes in going for greatness and staying in rhythm while the other believes in remaining healthy and rested for the playoff stretch. As the Colts and Saints head into the final quarter of the season as undefeated brethren, more winning could mean they both may be faced with that same banal question: To rest of not to rest? It should be exciting because given what we know so far about each team, chances are that their decisions will be dissimilar, giving NFL fans plenty to debate and their own version of feuding families. The Datfields and McColts.
For Indianapolis, this is just another day at the office. They've been in this situation many times before, each time being prudent and resting key starters during meaningless regular season games. This year looks to be no different as predicted by Stampede Blue. While we don't yet know how Sean Payton will handle the situation should it arise, we do have Peter King's report saying Payton will not take his foot off the accelerator. Of course, he danced around the issue during yesterday's press conference.
I'm praying this is one of the times Peter King actually gets it right because personally, I want to see the Saints go for it. If ever there was a time I wanted Sean Payton's coaching style to ever resemble that of Bill Belichick, it's right now. Put the whole facility on lock down, speak only minimally and rip the damn sleeves off that black quarter-zip jacket already. I understand why the Colts, or any team for that matter, would want to rest their starters. It's the safe, smart determination. But they have the luxury of making this decision every year. For the Saints, this is uncharted territory and there's a damn good chance it might be another 43 years before they're ever this talented, motivated, complete and lucky all at once. Sure, a Super Bowl is more important and much more satisfying; but are you really willing to watch the Saints leave a perfect season and a chance to make history on the table?
So...now I ask you...to rest or not to rest?