| | New England Won’t Rest Their Starters
Even though the team has clinched a playoff berth, New England head coach Bill Belichick plans to stick with his regulars against the New York Jets on Monday night.
"We're treating this like a regular week," Belichick said. "Put it in the headline. Bold type. It's a regular week. The players know that, the staff knows it."
The Patriots are looking like two time defending Super Bowl Champs again with five wins in six games and a 9-5 record that locked up the AFC East title when they beat Tampa Bay 28-0 on Saturday. Their defense has gotten much better, holding the last three opponents to a total of 10 points.
"Just because you go out there and do it well for a couple of games doesn't mean that you're going to be able to sustain that if you don't keep working at it and taking care of all the little things," Belichick said.
The Patriots could also move up in the AFC standings. They will probably end up 4th, but have an outside chance at third.
"We're going to approach this week just like any other game," Belichick said. "We went through this last year at the end of the year with the San Francisco game. I don't think anybody (here) really knows any other way to do it. I don't think the players do. I don't think the coaches do. It's football season.
"No matter what you told them, I don't think that they're going to do it any differently," he said. "If you're playing in it, it's an important game. You want to go out there and do your best."
Quarterback Tom Brady always wants to play. "I just love playing and the only way I am not going to play is if the doctor tells me I can't play," he said.