FLOWERY BRANCH–The Falcons already have wrapped up the NFC’s No. 1 seed but they don’t plan to take their foot off the gas against the Buccaneers on Sunday.
The Falcons want to stay sharp heading into their bye week. They think the best way to do that is for the starters to play and try to win the regular-season finale even if it doesn’t affect their playoff standing.
“We are not going to change the way we approach this game,” safety Thomas DeCoud said. “We are going to attack it like it’s week three. We’re all expecting to play and all expecting to play well. We have to put our best foot forward before the postseason.”
The Falcons turned in strong efforts in victories against the Giants and Lions. They think easing off now would set a bad precedent.
“We are trying to keep the momentum going,” center Todd McClure said. “I feel like offensively we’ve played well the past few games. And the more we can go out there and put on tape, whoever we have to prepare for the harder it makes it for them. And we are getting paid next Sunday, so we’ve got to go out and play.”
Falcons coach Mike Smith said he and his staff are game-planning this week just like any other. He said the Falcons won’t be “vanilla” with their schemes out of fear of giving their potential playoff opponents more film to scout.
“We want to go through the process the same as we always do,” Smith said. “I think it’s very important for us to finish regular season off in the right way.”
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