The way Bengals HC Marvin Lewis sounded Monday and what he went through in 2005, it is not really a question of if, but how long will he rest the starters if New England wins. A quarter? A half? The entire game?
At the very least, you figure the banged-up guys (Domata Peko, Chris Crocker, maybe Tank Johnson) don’t play at all and guys like Carson Palmer, Cedric Benson, Dhani Jones and the two corners hardly play. If they play at all.
If the Pats win, to even dress Palmer would be a risk. How do they play him at all with the seed already set? Like we said here Monday, Lewis is 0-1 in the playoffs with a backup quarterback, and after going through that I think it would be hard to play him in a game when you’ve already got a home playoff game in your pocket.