Rest vs. Rust. It's the age-old debate for games late in an NFL season for teams who've completely or at least partially wrapped up their playoff futures.
It's a debate and discussion made for the talk-radio airwaves.
However, it's not one that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had time to even ponder during his Monday morning conference call with the New England media.
The Boston Globe says Belichick clearly isn't giving much thought to resting players this Sunday in Miami. The Patriots 2017 list of opponents became final of the weekend, filling out the two previously unknown slots. The Globe begins to look at the surging Dolphins, a team that's won nine of its last 10 games. The *Globe *declares the Patriots are determined not to repeat the team's late-season failings of 2015. The paper also says New England has plenty of room for improvement in the postseason, while also wondering if the team will ever actually face a good quarterback.
The Boston Herald's report card of the Patriots dominating win over the Jets gives the team credit for not letting up. The Herald looks at New England's surge of turnovers on defense in recent weeks. The Herald says that in reality both the Patriots and Dolphins have plenty to play for on Sunday. The Herald and WEEI radio rehash the oft-told tale of Tom Brady wearing scuba tops in past cold-weather games.
The Providence Journal *says the Patriots defense has gotten hot at the right time. The *ProJo also writes that New England has plenty to play for on Sunday. The ProJo notes that Michael Floyd was happy to get his feet wet in Saturday's win over the Jets.
ESPNBoston.com notes that a six-game surge has lifted the Patriots to near the top of the NFL rankings in turnover differential. ESPN takes a look at New England's road to the Super Bowl and the probability of the team succeeding on that journey. ESPNBoston.com has Brady saying the Patriots need to "put the pedal to the metal" and finish the season strong. ESPNBoston.com looks at how New England tight end Matt Lengel helps keep the memory alive of Northeastern University's former football program.
WEEI.com says Brady and the Patriots will never have an easier road to a Super Bowl. WEEI.com says the New England defense was offended by the criticism it received earlier this season. The site also wonders if this is the best defense of the Belichick era in New England. WEEI.com declares that the Patriots shouldn't and won't rest their starters Sunday in Miami.
CSNNE.com notes that half of the AFC playoff teams will be led by quarterbacks making their first postseason starts. CSNNE.com looks at how much the Dolphins have changed since the last time they made the playoffs in in 2008 (slideshow warning!!!). CSNNE.com also passes along Brady talking about his desire to "finish strong."