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Tim K

Statistically, the better choice was to go for it. Panthers have converted 21 of 24 3rd and 4th and 1 in the Cam Newton era. You have to play to win on the road in the division. I beg to differ - a lot of 1-2 teams playing against the division leaders in their stadium would probably opt to KO them and not give them the ball back.


love how you and scott play he said, she said. or good cop, bad cop.
you are dead on. you dont go for it at midfield when a field goal means the game. you just dont. other factors decided this one.
wasnt it intriguing to see steve smith gloomy after his fumble. almost like cam had to put one on the ground too to pick up his big bro.

big gulps

that was a smart call. if they couldn't make it on 3rd down....punt and play D.

my main concern is not on him calling that one play, which was good. it is that one week we look awful, the next week we look able to compete. that is an overall coaching problem, and hopefully will improve. we need to be consistently in games week in and week out. I put that on the coach's.

Season Ticket Holder

Im still waiting on someone to crucify Cam on fumbling in the most crucial part of the game. We have yet to win a game that Cam turns the ball over, and what is worse, he has not improved his turn over rate when the game is hanging in the balance. Go look it up if you don't believe me. Look at how many turnovers he's had in the 4th qtr with the game on the line. 100% of them.


Basically the Panthers overcame the Newton Fumble by making a great Special Teams play.. Then the Panthers made the most crucial of mistakes a Safety actually back pedaling because somebody got behind him.. Maybe this is a coaching blunder since They were 35 yards off the ball against the Giants and were not 35 yards off this time.. Not sure why thy didn't just drop everyone off and go with umbrella coverage allowing Atlanta to take the pass to the 15-25 yard line and converge on him and cost the falcons 20+ seconds... Never did they play outside shoulder D causing the falcons to have a play in bounds other than the 60 yarder.. I knew this was the wrong Coaching move when they made it now everyone seems to be on board..


just feed up. don't give a damn who's fault it was. tired of the same old bad coaching calls, inability to protect the QB or open any holes for the RB's, a defense that consistently make other teams RB's & WR's look like Hall of Famers. The entire organization is to blame.

Russ Pendersen

I was supposed to have chicken for dinner tonight


The Falcons had no time outs 59 seconds left in the game ball on their own 1. You would think that the Defense would get it done cause they had been playing well all game!They should have protected the sideline and the endzone and let the Falcons complete passes in the middle of the field.


What's with Newton's "flying" around the field during warm-ups, arms extended with that silly, fake smile plastered on his face? Can't he just wear a jersey that says "Look at me!!" Don't see the Mannings, Brady, Brees or Ryan doing that stuff, or dancing in the end zone when their teams have a losing record.


Totally disagree. If they went for it and failed, as a fan, I'd be sitting here saying, "Oh well, Rivera showed guts but our $50M backfield couldnt cut it. We're 1-3 and basically out of the playoffs." As it stands, I'm sitting here saying, "Our coach has no guts and no faith in the $50M backfield he helped to assemble. He made the conservative play, special teams put our porous D in the best situation possible (considering the circumstances), and the D didn't get it done. We're 1-3 and basically out of the playoffs." If ATL was able to move the ball that easily from their 1, they certainly would've won if they started from the CAR 45 as well, so the only way to win in that situation is to keep them from getting the ball back. Rivera had a huge chance to salt the game away and showed no faith in the O, easily a stronger/more reliable unit than the D, to get it done.


And before anyone jumps down my throat about pinning the Falcons at the 1 and how that justifies the call, there was no guarantee of that happening. There was a much better chance of a touchback than there was of downing it inside the 5. This team has been notoriously conservative since the Fox era began; this was an opportunity for a low-risk/high-reward "gamble" (although it wasn't much of a gamble since they managed to blow it anyway) to beat the division leader at their place and keep yourself in contention. At 1-3 with an joke defense and a pretty brutal schedule remaining, anyone who thinks this Carolina team has any shot at the playoffs is delusional.


@Gwanedm: I don't consider giving up 100 yards to Michael Turner on 13 carries to be a sign of a defense "playing well." The best thing you could say about the D was that they didn't let Gonzalez and Jones run wild on them, which I was fully expecting to happen. Turner, White, and Ryan pretty much dominated throughout, and the overall defense on the last drive was simply awful (no rush or coverage on the first play, allowing guys to make catches near the sidelines on every successive play, possibly the most blatant PI of the year by Captain; that's a lot of negatives in 54 seconds and a handful of plays).


You go for it. The historical data point to going for it (for this team). Everyone must realize that we don't have a NORMAL defense. We have a terrible secondary. We have a scrub special teamer that Baltimore let go and a 5th round draft pick from Coastal Carolina back there. No way you give the ball back to Matt Ryan (the hottest QB in the leage right now). I know this game was over the moment the punter went onto the field. No guts. If we were going to play football like this we may as well kept John Fox, he played Fox ball the best.




Tom, you don't win football playing back on your heels...that's reserved for losers.


We lost a game that could'nt be lost.

Ray Allen

I am tired of yall dumb rednecks in the Carolina's. Cam Newton is a great quarterback, he's just young. Yall Rednecks in the damn bible belt will feel sorry after Smith retires, Newton leaves to go to a more liberal State and yall are left with sorry ass Jimmy Clausen. Yall just would rather see a white quarterback in Charlotte. Point Blank...


st least free speech is alive and well in the bible belt, no iq test required.
no coach goes for the first at midfield with the lead, never.
we had two chances to burn the clock under three minutes and failed twice.
i love cams athletic talent but heres a tell: andrew luck, second nfl game, one 2 minute winning drive. rg3, third nfl game, one 2 minute winning drive. cam newton, 20 nfl games, zero 2 minute game winning drives. do the other two guys have more qb experience than cam, perhaps.


How many leads has the D blown for Cam in those 20 games though? There was a time not very long ago when this team had a very well-regarded defense. Now we have yet another "defensive-minded" coach and the D has been a laughingstock for the last few years. Point blank, you can blame part (most) of this on personnel decisions. Terrible picks (McClain, Fua); wasted picks in draft day trades (Armanti, Clausen, arguably Otah, even though he had a couple decent years); and picking the wrong players (Silatolu over Jerel Worthy); etc. I usually agree with best player available over need, which is why I was cool with Kuechly over the d-linemen on the board in April, but this team needs to find a way to add young playmakers on the d-line and in the defensive backfield. I think Tyrann Mathieu would be great for Carolina; hopefully his disciplinary issues cause him to come out next year and fall into the second round or later.

I'm Right

If Rivera goes for it and doesn't get it we blame whoever had the ball and didn't get it. It's not like we weren't going to play defense if we punted anyway.


lol at all these people saying they wouldn't criticize Rivera had he gone for it if they didn't get it like I'm Right. you know all you guys would be on this thread complaining. I swear Carolina has the worst fans.

Brad Ward

---Lack of Confidence Costs Panthers Entire Season?---

Clearly, the team was flat and disengaged on the short week vs. the Giants. I'm a loyal, understanding and forgiving fan, so I can let the home team slide on a tall, tall task like facing The World Champions on three days rest. My frustration with the Panthers at the quarter pole of 2012 season is focused more squarely on DC Sean McDermott's choices late Sunday and OC Rob Chudzinski use of this abortive Wildcat non-sense. ENOUGH already.

The calls from both coordinators at the end of the 4th quarter was schizophrenic and sand-lot-ish. After the Falcons pulled to within one point with 4:57 to go in the game the Panthers break the huddle and line up in the Wildcat on 1st down. WHAT?

Chud and the Panthers offense had successfully dictated the flow for the entire first half and much of the second. They earned quick and lasting respect from Mike Nolan's elite-ish defense on the first drive of the game with a balance of passing and rushing. So why, with an amazingly talented backfield and the continued effective bro-mance between Newton and Olsen, would you ever break the huddle and line up in the Wildcat on 1st down late in the 4th quarter while protecting a 1 point lead? Are NFL linebackers really going to honor the pass and soften up the running lanes when Cam is listlessly lined up as a wide out?

The Wildcat is an effective ploy for high-school teams, a few FCS college teams and that trifling Miami Dolphins offense from a few years back when Ronnie Effing Brown lined up at QB. It is a desperate scheme used most effectively by teams who have a passing-challenged quarterback and MUST be used more than once or twice per game to allow a rhythm to be established.

NEWS FLASH: We have a very talented quarterback who can both run and throw with a high level of effectiveness. So, to split him out wide as a WR and essentially remove him from the play is asinine, especially in front of a Mike Nolan defense. It was a a show of weakness and a revelation of a lack of confidence at best.

The Panthers had played very solid football up to this point and were poised to exit Atlanta with a 2-1 record in the NFC South and a brand new perspective on the 2012 season. However, Chud's choice to come out in Wildcat on first down prevented any momentum from being established on the potential game sealing drive as well as exposing a lack of trust in his own offensive personnel. Did he think he was going to catch Mike Nolan napping? Is splitting Cam out wide and a direct snap to non-passer really a show of offensive muscle and confidence?

It was as if the coaching staff had hit the PANIC button. The offense had a chance to close it out and Chud chose to... well, I'm not sure he chose anything (sigh).

Having said all that, I could potentially agree with Coach Rivera's choice to put his defense on the field to win the game with a minute to go. However, Coach McDermott chose NOT to line up and let his men play defense, like they had been doing with great effectiveness all afternoon, he chose to evoke the saddest of all tragedies: the Prevent Defense. The Prevent is truly only good for preventing wins in the NFL. Blame Nakamura if you must, but coach Mac botched that one.

The Wildcat and The Prevent all within three minutes of each other. Come on coach(es), we're better than that.

-Brad Ward
PS - What in the name of Bill Belichick does Ron Rivera have against calling timeout? Didn't use a single TO vs. the Giants, a game where the Panthers struggled against momentum all night. Likewise, maybe a TO to at least try to freeze Matt Bryant??? no? nothing...? ok...

Patrick T

How about Ron should think about all the fans who drove over 5 hours to the game, sat and heard all the BS from the classless Falcons fans, and then drove 6 hours plus back because of traffic. The team was 1-2 and now 1-3. Going for it on 4th would have been the most exciting thing to happen all year. It would have shown that Ron had more balls than the previous coaching staff (Mr run on 3rd and 12). I love this team, but let's roll the dice some times. If we lose, so what. WE ALREADY KNOW HOW TO LOSE. LET'S LEARN HOW TO WIN FOR A CHANGE. While we are at it let's throw out the wildcat and never run it again. Let's also throw out the read option and for God sake put the Toll-Booth and Stewart/DeAngelo in the fb/rb I formation and "keep pounding" it down their throats. Having all these talented backs is a waste if we don't use them correctly. We need Cam to throw for 200 yards and our backs to get close to 200 between the 3 of them and Cam. It will control the clock and protect the defense. Let's face it the secondary is a mess. I don't want to go back to Fox ball, but we need a better balance. That was a long drive back from Atlanta......

Get Serious

Season ticket holder- What game/ play were you watching. Cam did NOT turn the ball over. We recovered the fumble, which resulted in the play being discussed (4th an 1). The only Panthers' turnover was Smitty's fumble. For that matter, everyone who wants to crucify Nakamura...I got news for you.I know he gave up big plays/ touchdowns, but if he had not intercepted the ball in the end zone, we would have been trying for a comeback instead of holding on to a lead. I will be at the Seahawks' game and I hope the true potential of our Panthers shines! Go Panthers


Heard a caller on the radio today who had the best advice I've heard all week - if you are Norman or Nakamura and the WR looks like he is blowing past you, GRAB a jersey and take the defensive holding call!!! Better giving up 15 yards on a penalty than 50+ on one play...

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