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What if we had rested the last month?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Just food for thought: The Saints clinched the NFC South on Nov 28 by beating the Falcons. After that we played the 49ers, Colts, Titans, and Panthers, going 3-1. Had we rested all our starters all 4 games and gone ...

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Old 01-13-2020, 02:00 AM   #1
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What if we had rested the last month?

Just food for thought:

The Saints clinched the NFC South on Nov 28 by beating the Falcons. After that we played the 49ers, Colts, Titans, and Panthers, going 3-1. Had we rested all our starters all 4 games and gone 0-4 we still would have been the #3 seed, but would have gone into the playoffs well rested without key injuries.

I know hindsight is 20/20 but once a team clinches a playoff birth so early, how valuable is seeding really? The key advantages are home field and a bye. Statistics show the real advantage to home field is the tendency to get less flags at home, but since the refs treat us like the road team either way (we have had more flags against us in our last several home playoff games) I would argue that advtange is useless to us. Sure its nice for fans, but it aint getting us wins. Second is the bye. But 4 games off is more rest than one bye. Sure, the wildcard playoff game is a must win, but if you want win that game with tons of rest how do you expect to win a championship? And then there is the fact that once you clinch a playoff birth, continuing to use your starters does not guarantee gaining home games or a bye. In our case we went 3-1, lost many key players and banged up others, and gained nothing in our seeding.

So lets say we had rested all our starters for 4 games and finished 10-6. We go into Min and we have Davenport, Rankins, and Apple. Michael Thomas does not have a broken hand. Cooks, Kamara, Warford, Armstead, etc are better rested and less banged up. Considering the game already went to OT, I think we win with those upgrades. Then we play Green Bay who Seattle almost beat, after we beat Seattle without Brees. Plus we are better rested. We could win that. Then we play SF. It would be a similar game to the one we lost 48-46 but perhaps extra rest could be a difference, perhaps we would be healthier than a team that played 3 more games than us.

I am not sure my thinking is right but I think its worth considering. There are many other factors. A team resting several weeks could come out cold in the first game or they could play better like many teams after a bye and use the extra time to gameplan better for playoff opponents and keep more trick plays in their pocket. After the first game, the extra rest shoudl be an advantage even for healthy players. Having a worse record could slightly improve draft position given the same outcome, life if you have the worst record of teams losing in the divisional round you draft before teams with better records losing in that round. Playing backups could lead to discovering new stars or monetizing tradable assets in the offseason, but could cause backups to be injured. A team could also start all its backups but keep the option to use starters in the 4th quarter if a win is close or on key plays. The NFL would hate a team using this strategy but good, screw the nfl. Fans would not like it, but if it led to a better outcome in the playoffs they could deal. I doubt we will clinch the nfc south in week 13 next year to try this, but if we do, maybe we should.
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Old 01-13-2020, 02:29 AM   #2
 
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Re: What if we had rested the last month?

Fair point. I actually thought of that in a glimpse. At the end of the day, it all falls on the shoulders of SP and his decisions, not just play calling, but also perhaps more importantly personnel decisions, especially at the WR position where we should have kept younger and faster talent, not to mention cheaper.
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Old 01-13-2020, 02:47 AM   #3
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Re: What if we had rested the last month?

If we had lost to the Colts too we would have had the same record as the Chiefs when Suggs was claimed off waivers. Not sure what the tiebreaker for waivers is. So thats another advantage with waiver claims versus other playoff bound teams. Also a team resting multiple weeks could focus more on tryouts to improve the team since they would not have to gameplan as much.

I do think the roster was mismanaged. We need to get younger and find players with more upside not hope Ginn has 1 year left.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:43 AM   #4
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Re: What if we had rested the last month?

Originally Posted by BakoSaint View Post
Just food for thought:

The Saints clinched the NFC South on Nov 28 by beating the Falcons. After that we played the 49ers, Colts, Titans, and Panthers, going 3-1. Had we rested all our starters all 4 games and gone 0-4 we still would have been the #3 seed, but would have gone into the playoffs well rested without key injuries.

I know hindsight is 20/20 but once a team clinches a playoff birth so early, how valuable is seeding really? The key advantages are home field and a bye. Statistics show the real advantage to home field is the tendency to get less flags at home, but since the refs treat us like the road team either way (we have had more flags against us in our last several home playoff games) I would argue that advtange is useless to us. Sure its nice for fans, but it aint getting us wins. Second is the bye. But 4 games off is more rest than one bye. Sure, the wildcard playoff game is a must win, but if you want win that game with tons of rest how do you expect to win a championship? And then there is the fact that once you clinch a playoff birth, continuing to use your starters does not guarantee gaining home games or a bye. In our case we went 3-1, lost many key players and banged up others, and gained nothing in our seeding.

So lets say we had rested all our starters for 4 games and finished 10-6. We go into Min and we have Davenport, Rankins, and Apple. Michael Thomas does not have a broken hand. Cooks, Kamara, Warford, Armstead, etc are better rested and less banged up. Considering the game already went to OT, I think we win with those upgrades. Then we play Green Bay who Seattle almost beat, after we beat Seattle without Brees. Plus we are better rested. We could win that. Then we play SF. It would be a similar game to the one we lost 48-46 but perhaps extra rest could be a difference, perhaps we would be healthier than a team that played 3 more games than us.

I am not sure my thinking is right but I think its worth considering. There are many other factors. A team resting several weeks could come out cold in the first game or they could play better like many teams after a bye and use the extra time to gameplan better for playoff opponents and keep more trick plays in their pocket. After the first game, the extra rest shoudl be an advantage even for healthy players. Having a worse record could slightly improve draft position given the same outcome, life if you have the worst record of teams losing in the divisional round you draft before teams with better records losing in that round. Playing backups could lead to discovering new stars or monetizing tradable assets in the offseason, but could cause backups to be injured. A team could also start all its backups but keep the option to use starters in the 4th quarter if a win is close or on key plays. The NFL would hate a team using this strategy but good, screw the nfl. Fans would not like it, but if it led to a better outcome in the playoffs they could deal. I doubt we will clinch the nfc south in week 13 next year to try this, but if we do, maybe we should.
Your hindsight isnt exactly 20/20. You are way over thinking this and trying to 'spreadsheet to success' as we call it in my occupation.

1. Players do NOT like to sit out games, they want to play. There are always concerns of rust for just a bye week much less an entire month.

2. You only have a 52 man roster.
2a.If you rest Harris (he takes priority over Smith etc..), Kamara, and Ginn; then you have no punt returner.
2b. You only have 3 guards.. sit Peat and Warford and have Omameh play both???

We didnt need rest we were flat and unmotivated which are mental not physical. The Saints were no more physically taxed going into the playoffs as any other team in the playoffs.

Do you want to spend $110+ for a ticket to the Saints **** show? The end does not justify the means.

Lastly... if you are going to bench all of the starters just forfeit the ****ing games, refund tickets, and make it easier on everyone.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:59 AM   #5
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Re: What if we had rested the last month?

The Ravens "rested" starters for almost 3 weeks before playing the Titans.
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:42 PM   #6
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Re: What if we had rested the last month?

Did you see how flat we came out after the bye? We could have looked three times worse than that if we had rested our starters. Oh, and we were also working to get home field advantage. That worked out pretty well for us in '09. But then again we were a different team then with all skill positions filled with talent the first go round and glaring weaknesses this time around.
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Old 01-13-2020, 02:56 PM   #7
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Re: What if we had rested the last month?

I think some players needed rest that they didn't get... However we were still playing for the #1 or #2 seed. Having a bye in the playoffs is very valuable. They were right to keep on playing for that and hoping someone else would slip up (which almost happen.. 1 yard away from getting the #2 seed)..
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:44 PM   #8
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Re: What if we had rested the last month?

I thought when it came to seedings that all conference games where seeding is up for grabs is flexed to same time, but that matters little anyway.


What the team should not have done is blow out Carolina. Saints come out like garbage the week after blowing a team out, for whatever reason.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:53 PM   #9
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Re: What if we had rested the last month?

Originally Posted by Vrillon82 View Post
I thought when it came to seedings that all conference games where seeding is up for grabs is flexed to same time, but that matters little anyway.


What the team should not have done is blow out Carolina. Saints come out like garbage the week after blowing a team out, for whatever reason.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:04 PM   #10
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Re: What if we had rested the last month?

Hello, you play to win the game
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