The League

Dan Parker
Browns Blogger

Dan Parker

DP is a Cleveland Browns' season ticket holder and currently writes for the Cleveland sports site Waiting For Next Year.

Roll over, Cincy


I have a tough time rationalizing losing for the sake of a draft pick, though I know my opinion is possibly in the minority of Browns' Nation. But, it's just not in my blood. At this point, I would say rolling over most benefits two of the teams in question: the Bengals, and the Chiefs. But first, let's look at the others.

I'm a firm believer (as are most post-2007 Giants fans, I would guess) that it's not always wise to completely roll over in the last week of the season. Ideally, you want to be playing your best football come playoff time, and going through the motions in week 17 can often hurt more than it helps. Losing certainly didn't seem to sit well with the Colts' players on the bench during their loss to the Jets, despite what is coming out of Indianapolis from their team brass. The Saints can't be happy about losing to the Buccaneers, and going into the playoffs with three straight losses and a bye week probably doesn't get a team ready for the playoffs. The Chargers haven't lost in quite some time, and would be ill advised to let off the gas now. Same for the Patriots, as they've rounded into form a bit over the past few weeks.

For the Browns, the "draft pick" argument was over the moment they beat the Steelers, and for me I'd rather not pay top-3 money for anyone not named "Suh". Likewise for Cleveland, new head-cheese Mike Holmgren has already said he "won't be swayed" by the recent winning streak, so those fans fearful of a stay of execution for Eric Mangini simply predicated upon winning this Sunday needn't worry. For the Lions and Raiders, there's no indication that getting a higher draft pick will help them, as the Lions and Raiders have been picking in the top 5 for most of the decade, and when guys like Al Davis are making those picks (*cough* Heyward-Bey *cough*), all you're doing is spending more money on them.

Which brings me to the Chiefs and Bengals. The Bengals do have a chance of seeing this same Jets team again next Sunday in the playoffs, so going all out to win might not be their best option in terms of tipping their gameplan. In addition, it's the Sunday Night game, so there's a chance that the Bengals will have nothing to play for. I know I made the argument above that you want to be playing your best going into the playoffs, but I think the gameplan argument (if they were to end up facing the Jets) trumps that in this case. In addition, rolling over for the Jets helps keep the Steelers--a team the Bengals have already seen twice--out of their future schedule.

For the Chiefs, one has to have a little more faith in Scott Pioli than in the other front offices mentioned above. The Chiefs have shown some pluck in beating the Steelers, and in giving teams like the Bengals and Cowboys all they could handle. They've shown that they are still playing hard for their coach, despite the lackluster record. The Chiefs need all the personnel help they can get, and with the Broncos needing the win for their playoff lives, Kansas City shouldn't really have a lot of hope to begin with. With the logjam of teams up in the potential top five in the draft, the Chiefs could use all the help they can get.

By Dan Parker  |  January 1, 2010; 3:52 PM ET  | Category:  Cincinnati Bengals Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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