BOSTON (CBS) — In what is sure to be a hotly contested point of debate this week in New England, Adam Kaufman and Joe Haggerty discussed Monday whether or not the Patriots should keep their star players off the field this coming weekend in Miami.
The scenario is this: If the Patriots win, they will finish with a 14-2 record and thus automatically secure home-field advantage throughout the AFC postseason. If the Patriots lose and the Raiders win their game, then the Raiders will leapfrog the Patriots and steal that No. 1 seed.
However, considering that Oakland quarterback Derek Carr just broke his leg, the thought of having to travel to Oakland to play the Raiders suddenly does not seem like too tall of a task for the Patriots to take on.
So, with all of that being understood, how should the Patriots go about their business in Week 17?
Haggerty made it clear: He’s hoping to see Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and the rest of the Patriots’ stars on the field in Miami.
“As long as there’s something to play for and home field is there for the taking throughout, yes, I want to see them play. There’s a marked difference between the Patriots’ performance when they have home-field advantage and when they’re playing at home against AFC opponents, and when they go on the road. And we’ve seen bad things happen to them when they go out on the road in the playoffs as a visiting team in these places, and they’ve let home-field advantage slip through their fingers. … Based on the fact that there are still things to play for, based on the fact that you want this Patriots team going into the playoffs playing good football and not backing their way into anything by relying on another team to beat Oakland, I do want to see them out there.”
Haggerty added that the fact that Rob Gronkowski is already out for the year due to an injury automatically removes the person that fans would fear most to see in a potentially meaningless game.
“Play hard, try to win, play your players, and hope they stay healthy,” Haggerty concluded.
As for what Bill Belichick is thinking? He answered a question from Kaufman earlier on Monday.
Here’s what Belichick said:
“Right. I mean look, I don’t really understand that question. We have – I don’t know how many starters we have – but we have a lot more than … we can only [decativate] seven players. This isn’t like a preseason game where you have 75 guys on your roster. This is a regular-season game. So I don’t really understand that whole line of questioning, and I’m not saying I’m a great mathematician or anything but the numbers just don’t add up for that type of conversation. So there’s no point in even getting involved in it.
As an uncomfortable reminder, the Patriots not only lost in Miami in Week 17 last year, but Brady also suffered an injury that left him limping around after the game.
So, what do you think?
Listen to Kaufman and Haggerty discuss: