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November 04, 2013

Rivera: Playoffs a possibility for Panthers

Panthers coach Ron Rivera played on the Bears' 1985 Super Bowl team and has coached on teams that made the playoffs.

At the halfway point of his third season as a head coach, Rivera said Monday his Panthers team is beginning to feel like a playoff team.

Rivera was quick to point out the Panthers (5-3) still have plenty of room for improvement, and acknowledged the schedule gets tougher, beginning this weekend at San Francisco.

But Rivera, always pretty candid with the media, did not shy away from playoff talk.

"I'm confident in who our guys are. And I'm an optimist," Rivera said. "But the thing I want to stress is this is the next most important game we play because it's the one we're about, and that's the 49ers."

If the playoffs started this week, the Panthers would get the last of the six NFC spots.

But the postseason doesn't start this week. And of Carolina's eight remaining games, five are against teams with winning records.

A sixth -- Miami (4-4) -- is at .500.

The five teams the Panthers have beaten -- the Giants, Minnesota, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Atlanta -- have combined for eight victories.

"You play who you're supposed to play," Rivera said.

This week that means a cross-country trip to face a 49ers team that made the Super Bowl last season.

"We'll get a good indication as to where we are. They're the defending NFC champs, played in the Super Bowl last year," Rivera said. "So this will be a very good challenge for our guys."

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on November 4, 2013 at 02:27 PM | Permalink


Need an injury report!

Posted by: Big Rob | Nov 4, 2013 2:54:49 PM

Panther Pride!!!

Posted by: hltrapp | Nov 4, 2013 3:46:08 PM

The scores we're winning by indicate to me this team is better than 5-3. It's unusual to win by the margins the Panthers have done in it's 5 wins against an NFL team, even the ones with losing records. I really think the Panthers are capable of winning any game left this season, but the laws of averages will likely see us losing at least 2... but laws of averages don't always play out. These Panthers have the talent and current confidence to be a top 3 team... don't let the 3 losses fool you.

Posted by: bill | Nov 4, 2013 4:14:58 PM

5-3 and gave 2 games away at the last minute and gave the other one away the entire game.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 4, 2013 4:38:02 PM

we had seattle and let them off the hook....great coach and qb got us that day.

we can make the playoffs, keep it up panthers

Posted by: big gulps | Nov 4, 2013 6:01:23 PM

Playoff? Playoff?
Let's beat the niners and patriots first and then see... Keep Pounding

Posted by: sobermonk | Nov 4, 2013 8:19:50 PM

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