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Panthers stayed in same coverage, Bears drove for game-winner

Ron Rivera AP

After losing to the Falcons earlier this season when they let a receiver behind them in the final minute, the Panthers were determined not to let that happen again.

But that didn’t stop Ron Rivera and his staff from calling the same coverage again, and again, and again as the Bears pecked their way to a game-winning field goal.

“They threw the same pass play all the way down the field,” Panthers safety Charles Godfrey said, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “It wasn’t nothing they were doing. It was what we were in, the coverage we were in. That was a great play for that coverage. And they just ran that play all the way down the field.

The coverage we were in, we stayed in that coverage. That’s what happened.”

Jay Cutler completed 5-of-6 passes on the final drive, none of them longer than 12 yards. He kept throwing little slants to Brandon Marshall, and the Panthers didn’t change anything, having been burned previously.

“It’s one of those things where if you jump [the route] and they double-move you, now all of a sudden it’s a touchdown or the ball is in field goal range,” Rivera said. “We were trying to make them systematically beat us.”

Mission accomplished.

While the firing of general manager Marty Hurney a week ago was the first sign Rivera might not be on stable footing, he’s now 1-10 in games decided by a touchdown or less as the Panthers head coach.

He’s also 7-16 overall (.304 winning percentage), putting him safely below George Seifert (16-32, .333) as the losingest coach in franchise history.

Seifert got three years to earn that distinction.

Rivera might not.

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15 Responses to “Panthers stayed in same coverage, Bears drove for game-winner”
  1. shadilyn says: Oct 29, 2012 10:56 AM

    Better statistic is 1 win in two years against a team with a winning record. And that was the Texans with a backup quarterback. I loved the hiring of Rivera, but yesterday was the last straw. He has lost this team.

  2. samanthasteeleruinedmyqb says: Oct 29, 2012 10:57 AM

    I’ll never understand why teams completely change the defense they’ve been playing the whole game, which has been successful, so they can allow a team to dink and dunk all they way down the field to a winning field goal. I guess it must be a good idea because everyone does it.

  3. mikeyhigs says: Oct 29, 2012 11:16 AM

    I think Sean McDermott taught that same defense to Juan Castillo, who passed it on to Todd Bowles

  4. finsphan says: Oct 29, 2012 11:18 AM

    defense started in same coverage….cam stayed in same form, turning the ball over and costing his team the game. but the media and everyone else will keep on stocking up for cam and blaming it on the rest of the team.

  5. granadafan says: Oct 29, 2012 11:23 AM

    That’s some great coaching there, Ron.

  6. blackandbluedivision says: Oct 29, 2012 11:30 AM

    Can’t believe I was (a) upset the Bears got rid of Rivera and (b) hoping he would coach the Bears at one point.

  7. harrisonhits2 says: Oct 29, 2012 11:36 AM

    One definition of insanity is doing something that fails over and over again expecting it to be successful

  8. worldsgreatestbearsfan says: Oct 29, 2012 12:50 PM

    Horrible coaching. They kept pooch kicking on kickoffs all day long. On the final kickoff, same thing. I believe the Bears started on their 35. An extra 15 yards could have been the difference in the game.

  9. whitdog23 says: Oct 29, 2012 1:07 PM

    shadilyn, why did you “love the hiring”?? seems like your expert analysis didn’t work

  10. delhommed says: Oct 29, 2012 1:12 PM

    I mentioned this yesterday… same coverage all the way down the field on the last drive… HOW STUPID! You pressure Cutler the whole game, but in the last drive you want to act like you have the game won and run what looks like a nickel prevent D. Even my wife knows that all the prevent does is PREVENT YOU FROM WINNING. Yea, Cam had 2 picks but this one is not on him.
    We have another game where D. Williams hardly touches the ball (he is the best RB on the team), the special teams coach doesnt seem to know what the hell is going on and Ronnie Ron wants the other team to “systematically beat them” by not switching up play calls. Maybe Hurney needed to get fired, but so did the freaking staff! The Panthers have plenty of talent and if a team loses as many close games as they have this year, you have to look to the coaches. WTF!
    Bring on Cowher… Jerry, time for you to show him the money!

  11. rexgrossman8 says: Oct 29, 2012 1:27 PM

    Interesting. Ron’s D didn’t make any adjustments when they lost to Carolina in the 2005 Divisional — Steve Smith had 2TD’s. (Or when he was in SD.) — How do you not double cover the only offense on the opposing side. Yes, I am still bitter.

    Point is, past is prologue. There is a track record of this decision making which has led to sub-standard mediocre play* on the defensive side.

    *The scheme works well when you have Defensive Players at or at the cusp of their primee and they have the talent.

  12. realfootballfan says: Oct 29, 2012 1:54 PM

    I think you now see why Rivera kept getting interviews while being passed over for jobs for years. He’s incompetent, Steve Spagnulo’s league incompetent.

  13. larryboodry says: Oct 29, 2012 2:23 PM

    worldsgreatestbearsfan says: Oct 29, 2012 12:50 PM

    “Horrible coaching. They kept pooch kicking on kickoffs all day long. On the final kickoff, same thing. I believe the Bears started on their 35. An extra 15 yards could have been the difference in the game.”

    On that last drive the Bears started at the 22, if I remember correctly.

  14. jgedgar70 says: Oct 29, 2012 3:35 PM

    What makes that coverage even more infuriating was that they had Josh Norman on Brandon Marshall, and Norman had been too busy flapping his yapper all day to cover anyone. I love Norman’s talent but he’s got to learn to shut his pie hole until he’s good enough at the NFL level to guard the other team’s #1 WR.

    Bears fans will call this “sour grapes” and “you’re just jealous cuz U lost lol” but this was a game Carolina lost, not one that Chicago won. Chicago did make halftime adjustments (Carolina has never in 18 seasons had a head coach who knew how to do that), and Cutler was better protected in the second half. But Carolina’s coaching was deplorable. Why not kick the FG at the end of the first half? Medlock beat Mare for the kicking job BECAUSE HE CAN MAKE 50-YARD FGs AND MARE CAN’T! You say the wind was swirling? Medlock has been playing in freaking CANADA the last 5 YEARS! You don’t think he can kick through a wind?

    Why not go for it on 4th & 1 near midfield? You’ve been babbling all week about wanting to use a more traditional running game. You have a 6’5″ 250 lb QB. If you can’t get 1 yard in a crutial situation, you don’t deserve to win. Even if he didn’t make it, Chicago is only 6 yards closer than they would have been with that punt. Oh yeah, the punt… You said you didn’t go for the FG at the end of the 2nd because the wind was swirling so bad. But in that same swirling wind, you ask a ROOKIE punter to magically pull off a punt that is strong enough to cut through the wind for good distance but keep a consistent angle so it’s away from Hester?

    I really thought Rivera was going to be a good coach for us. He got a 2-14 team, added a potentially great QB and an OC that knew how to use him, and went 4-2 at the end of last year. Some more pieces were added and we hoped for big things. Then things fall apart the first 6 games, the GM gets fired, Rivera actually says out loud, “It’s just like when I was a player – I came here every day for 9 years thinking I might lose my job.” Then, to prove he’s coaching scared, we have yesterday.

    I hope Jerry hires a GM before the season is over, so that the day after the season ends, Rivera can be mercifully sent packing.

  15. deaconbluesnc says: Oct 29, 2012 4:21 PM

    The only real help for this team is its’ sale or Jerry Richardson’s immediate demise.

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