Should Chiefs play starters Sunday?

December, 28, 2010
12/28/10
9:00
AM ET
The Kansas City Chiefs are going to the playoffs regardless of whether or not they beat the visiting Oakland Raiders on Sunday, and regardless of whether or not they play their starters in the game.

Kansas City is either going to be the No. 3 or No. 4 seed. If the Chiefs win the game, they will be 11-5 and will be the No. 3 seed. If the Chiefs lose and the Colts beat Tennessee; the Chiefs will be the No. 4 seed. The Chiefs will host New York, Baltimore or Pittsburgh in the first round on Jan. 8 or Jan. 9.

Here are the pros and cons of Kansas City playing to win Sunday against Oakland, securing the No. 3 seed.

Pros

Momentum: The Chiefs would love to finish 11-5, by knocking off a rival, finishing the home season 8-0 and rolling into the playoffs.

New England factor: If the Chiefs are No. 4, they will be poised to play at the top-seed Patriots in the divisional round. If the Chiefs are the No. 3 seed and they win in the first round, they’ll play at the No. 2 seed in the divisional round. That will be at either Pittsburgh or Baltimore. Plus, if things got crazy and the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds both lost in the divisional round, the No. 3 seed would be next up on the pecking order to host a title game.

Cons

Injury: The Chiefs are pretty healthy right now and they’d love to go into the playoffs at full strength. You’d hate to see a key player get hurt just in the name of fighting for the No. 3 seed. A No. 2 seed and a first-round bye is one thing, but the difference between No. 3 and No. 4 isn’t overly great.

Rest: A little rest wouldn’t hurt anybody.

What do Kansas City fans think? Should the starters play or rest against Oakland on Sunday? Hit the comment section below with your thoughts.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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