Depth is critical in the playoffs. These "bye weeks" give a fantastic opportunity to give the far end of the bench some reps in a real game situation and improve your depth. The last thing you want is to have a rookie getting to see his first action during a critical playoff game.

Plus, by having more players that can compete at a high level, the more intense they can play. If you have 7 or 8 lineman that all know the playbook and are ready to step in at any time, you can cycle them through regularly. This allows you to play with a lot more intensity. The same is true of all the positions. Playing your starters the full game is not really the best approach.