Falcons will play regular season finale to win - KMSP-TV

Falcons will play regular season finale to win

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -

With the NFC's top seed secured, Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith has yet to decide how much his starters will play in next week's regular season finale against Tampa Bay.

Smith's primary concern is for players to relax during a 3-day break they earned by winning 31-18 Saturday night at Detroit to clinch homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

Though Atlanta (13-2) has won two straight and 5 of 6, Smith says the Falcons will "play the game to win" when the Buccaneers (6-9) visit the Georgia Dome next Sunday.

Smith plans to change the practice routine after the Tampa Bay game, indicating that players seemed overworked two years ago when Atlanta blew its No. 1 seed and were blown out at home by Green Bay.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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