Whether it matters to the long-term future of players and coaches in Carolina remain to be seen.
But the Panthers won a third straight game, and their fourth out of the last five, with a 17-6 decision over the Raiders.
The Panthers improved to 6-9, with wins the last five weeks over the Eagles, Falcons, and Chargers prior to slogging to Sunday’s victory. That three of those were against their playing-out-the-string peers is a fact that is worth considering in regards to coach Ron Rivera’s future, along with his 1-12 record in games decided by a touchdown or less.
Any chance the Raiders had evaporated when Carson Palmer was knocked out of the game in the first half. X-rays were negative, but he didn’t return, leaving Matt Leinart to finish up (poorly).
The Panthers held the Raiders (4-11) to 189 yards with linebacker Luke Kuechly playing another solid game in the middle of the Panthers defense.