Brady to play against Falcons as Buccaneers coach Bowles resists resting starters

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Tom Brady will not be rested for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' final regular season game, with Todd Bowles vowing to field his starters.

Tampa Bay locked up the NFC South with a Week 17 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Raymond Jones Stadium, securing a top-four berth for the playoffs.

With nothing but a winning record to play for in Week 18 against the Atlanta Falcons, however, there had been questions as to whether the Bucs would choose to protect key players in an effective dead rubber.

Brady stated after victory he wanted to play against Atlanta, and now Bowles has revealed he intends to put his strongest line-up out rather than go the safe route.

"We can get better at a lot of things, so right now I'm planning on playing them," he said on Monday. "We'll see as the week goes forward.

"But we can get better at a lot of things that we need to work on, and we don't need to take our foot off the gas.

"You've got to weigh the pluses and minuses to that. So we'll see how the week goes, and we'll try to make some arrangements or corrections if we need to make them, and we'll go from there."

An 8-8 record this season means that a win against the Falcons can help the Bucs avoid the ignominy of a losing campaign heading into the postseason.

Bowles – who celebrated a second division title in a row with milk and cookies – is aware a third straight win will help the Bucs peak at the right time

"It'll boost morale," he added. "Winning helps, period, whether it's playoffs or regular season. You want to win every game you play.

"Obviously we had some tough ones we lost, we had some tough ones we won.

"But winning the last two the way we did, obviously that builds morale more, and you want to go in on a high note."