Thanks to the Broncos tanking on Monday Night Football, the Patriots have wrapped up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Not only does that mean they'll have a first-round bye, but it will also take just two games at Gillette Stadium to earn a Super Bowl berth. Not too shabby for a team that was blown out by the Chiefs back in Week 4, raising questions about Old Man Tom Brady.
Coach Bill Belichick met with the media on Tuesday morning, and not surprisingly, he wasn't interested in talking about the Pats' playoff fortunes.
“I don’t think it really has a big effect on what we’ve been doing,” he said, via ESPN.com. “Just keep getting ready for Buffalo, that’s what our challenge is. Whatever our position is, it is. That will all take care of itself in due course. It doesn’t have anything to do with right now.”
Right now includes a meaningless (to most of us, anyway) Week 17 game against the Bills. And that reality invariably leads to this question: Will Belichick rest his starters?
“We’ll do the same thing we always do," he said. "It won’t be any different this week than it’s been any other week. It won’t be any different this year than it’s been any year. We’ll do what we feel is best for our football team. Period. Whatever is best for our team, that’s what we’ll try to do.”
Brady said on Monday that he hopes to play, and if recent history is any indication, he will, at least early in the game. Whatever the outcome of Sunday's game, the Patriots will have a week off before hosting the AFC Divisional game in Foxborough.