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Panthers going the Rivera-boat gambler route

Carolina Panthers v Minnesota Vikings Getty Images

After another 1-3 start (which followed a pair of 2-8 starts), Panthers coach Ron Rivera made a decision.

If he’s going down, he’s going down swinging.

The Panthers got some much-needed momentum with a pair of early conversions on fourth downs, and the conservative Rivera said that’s how it’s going to be from now on.

Well, it’s kind of what we’re going to do and we’re going to do the best we can to make things happen,” Rivera said of his new philosophy, via David Newton of ESPN.com. “These guys bought into it.”

Of course, having the head coach buy into it helps.

Rivera was one of the league’s tightest coaches in fourth-down situations, and it came back to bite him more often than not. The 2-3 Panthers blew a game at Buffalo after kicking a field goal with a three-point lead and 1:42 left in the game. That’s happened to him often enough to become part of the furniture.

But as they have in their what-the-heck December hot streaks, the Panthers are playing loose.

“I think that he is kind of breaking his mold to a degree, and giving the whole team confidence with him,” quarterback Cam Newton said.

While he can’t go back and change his mind on decisions from the past, playing more aggressively could give the Panthers a degree of future in a muddled NFC.

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7 Responses to “Panthers going the Rivera-boat gambler route”
  1. dixiebob says: Oct 14, 2013 9:08 AM

    Now one of the potentially best NFL teams can start playing football without their hands tied behind their backs by Rivera’s over conservationism.

  2. redbearwoodall says: Oct 14, 2013 9:40 AM

    Underrated punk band.

  3. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Oct 14, 2013 9:50 AM

    Panthers are world beaters now that they defeated another terrible team. Wins over winless Giants and one win Vikings. Crown ‘em.

  4. d12f6m says: Oct 14, 2013 10:19 AM

    Hey dallascowboysdishingthereal( BS) , Panther are still 100% against the Cowboys in the playoffs !!!!!!!!!!

  5. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Oct 14, 2013 10:20 AM

    Rivera went over it on 4th-and-one at the 2 when the score was o-o. Frazier was in the same situation at the end of the first half when the score was 14-0 and kicked the field goal. They had been completely outplayed and needed a lift going into halftime, but he settled for a deflating field goal. Whether you get 0 points or 3 points, the result is the same. You have to go for it there. You’re getting blown out at home and you’re 1-4! Now isn’t the time to play it safe.

  6. glmore says: Oct 14, 2013 1:14 PM

    Dallascowboysdishingthereal, Cowboys have won games against teams with a combined 4-13 record….big talk from a guy who’s team has 1 playoff victory in 16 years.

  7. teek77 says: Oct 16, 2013 11:40 AM

    Love it! Keep rolling the dice, Ron. At least you made it interesting against the Vikings. People will pay to see a team with some excitement. It appears to have woke up the players on the team. It is easier to win when you are enjoying what you are doing!

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