Quote Originally Posted by Blimpie
The Patriots also knew that if they somehow "managed" to lose to the Dolphins in Week # 17, then they would host Jacksonville instead of Pittsburgh in their wild card playoff game.

While nobody has ever or will ever accuse Bill Belichek of tanking a game...... he had to be wary of the fact that their playoff chances were better facing Jacksonville (warm weather team that was starting a rusty QB) versus Pittsburgh (physical running team that was rolling teams by three TD's per game during the month of December).

Just an observation.
Exactly. No one wanted the Steelers. Both the Patriots and Bengals sent that message loud and clear. That had to make the players in Pittsburgh feel like worldbeaters. Meanwhile the players on the Bengals had to have in the back of their minds that this is the team they tried to duck.

If the Bengals hadn't lost to Buffalo I could see taking the week off against KC so that you didn't get banged up, but that club probably need to right the ship against the Chiefs, establish for its own peace of mind that it was ready to do battle in the playoffs.