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Panthers win another meaningless December game

Carolina Panthers v San Diego Chargers Getty Images

For the second year in a row, the Panthers are closing strong.

For the second year in a row, it doesn’t matter.

The Panthers thrashed the Chargers 31-7 Sunday, a sound and thorough beating, to improve to 5-9.

It was the Panthers’ third win in their last four, along with last week’s Super Bowl over the Falcons and a thrilling Monday-nighter over the Eagles. Of course, there was a loss to the Chiefs in there as well.

Last season, they won four of their final six, with a good win over the Texans along with two over the 4-12 Buccaneers and one over Curtis Painter and the Colts.

With a new general manager on the way, it’s unclear if it’s enough to save coach Ron Rivera’s job, or whether the latest play-out-the-string wins are just fool’s gold.

Rivera’s still just 1-12 in games decided by a touchdown or less, and that may be a more telling stat at this point.

What the Panthers did mostly Sunday was show up and care, which the Chargers (also 5-9) didn’t.

The Panthers outgained the Chargers 372-164, and took advantage of a pair of Philip Rivers fumbles and sacked him six times. That’s about the extent of the game information that’s pertinent.

Now all that’s left is the sorting out for the future. In San Diego, that’s taken care of. In Carolina, it probably still is.

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13 Responses to “Panthers win another meaningless December game”
  1. kenorv says: Dec 16, 2012 7:16 PM

    How the heck did San Diego beat Pitt on the road and then come right back and lose at home to Carolina? We know Norv is gone but I think Rivers needs to go too. Just a complete overhaul of the entire organization.

  2. ambitoos says: Dec 16, 2012 7:18 PM

    This was one ugly game. The Madison high Warhawks played a better and more diciplined game than the Chargers. The end can’t come soon enough.

  3. linvillegorge says: Dec 16, 2012 7:26 PM

    The Panthers did the same thing last year. I sure hope the next GM realizes this and goes a different direction. Nothing against Rivera personally, but he’s one of the worst pressure situation coaches I’ve ever seen. The Panthers have consistently lost winnable games during his tenure, often due to idiotic coaching decisions.

  4. shackdelrio says: Dec 16, 2012 7:34 PM

    Not meaningless to Ron Rivera

  5. 31freezy says: Dec 16, 2012 7:44 PM

    Well played by the Panthers. But lets be honest, who cant win against the Chargers besides the Chiefs? The San Diego Chargers just played absolute pathetic; almost seems as if this team just gave up. Norv & Aj smith MUST BE FIRED…. This team needs to rebuild , beggining with the offinsive line .its pretty simple why the Chargers offense has been having troubles throughout the season, if Rivers get time in the pocket HE WILL be Elite once again. And oh yeah Cason & Jammer are aweful!

  6. buckifan4life says: Dec 16, 2012 7:58 PM

    Where did Danario Alexander go? Did he know there was a game today?

  7. blacknole08 says: Dec 16, 2012 8:14 PM

    I’ll take a 2 game winning streak and winning 3 out of the last 4. Tolbert gets my game ball — way to hand it to your old team in style :)

  8. kingpel says: Dec 16, 2012 8:21 PM

    Andy Reid and Phillip Rivers seems like a match made in heaven.

  9. geniusfan says: Dec 16, 2012 8:23 PM

    Not many quarterbacks have been playing better than Cam Newton since November started.

  10. eaglesfan29 says: Dec 16, 2012 8:37 PM

    Rivers is very very overrated tired of this guy getting passes every week . He is not good just an Avg QB. Time for him to hob

  11. rjkilla says: Dec 16, 2012 8:41 PM

    rivers flat out has quit. and i don’t really blame him too much. he gets hit on every play. it was just pretty obvious to tell by all his head shaking and questioning shrugs that he can’t wait for the off season

  12. jgedgar70 says: Dec 17, 2012 8:37 AM

    It definitely seemed like the Chargers quit once we got up 14-0 early.

    We still need a new coach. Rivera has led us to 2 straight 2-8 starts. We won 3 games last year against crummy teams (Tampa twice, Indy last year, Philly and San Diego this year). I’m still holding out hope for Chip Kelly.

    And speaking of what geniusfan said – where are all the “Cam Newton Is The Most Evil Human Being That Ever Lived” idiots? Oh, yeah, Cam is playing better than every QB in the league except Tom Brady, so they have nothing to scream about.

  13. jaialaicharger says: Dec 17, 2012 10:58 PM

    Wow. We were Raider bad sunday. Team has quit. Time to bank on a high draft pick.
    Choo (sputter) Choo

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