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Sunday, December 30, 2012
Should Ravens, Bengals have rested QBs?

By Jamison Hensley

The Ravens pulled quarterback Joe Flacco before the end of the first quarter, and the Bengals sat quarterback Andy Dalton for the second half.

Did they make the right decision not to play their quarterbacks for four quarters in a game that carried little meaning? History says no.

Dating back to 2002 -- the first season with 32 teams -- seven of the 10 Super Bowl champions played their starting quarterbacks into the fourth quarter in Week 17, according to John McTigue of ESPN Stats & Information. Only two of the 10 previous champions rested their quarterbacks completely in the regular-season finale, and that was the 2002 Buccaneers (Brad Johnson) and the 2009 Saints (Drew Brees).

The last two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning, played full games in Week 17.