The Panthers host the Saints on Sunday in as big a game as the team has played since Ron Rivera became their head coach.
A win would give the Panthers the inside track on the NFC South title, but Rivera told his team on Saturday night that there was more at stake than just playoff positioning. Sal Paolantonio of ESPN reported on NFL Countdown that Rivera said Sunday’s game would let the league know where the Panthers stand.
“This is our measuring stick,” Rivera said. “This Saints team has been so good for so long. You want to see where you are? Who you are? You got to go out there and take care of business.”
Wins over the Patriots and 49ers have already done a pretty good job of cementing the Panthers as a team capable of beating the better teams in the league, but beating the Saints would certainly make for some nice icing on the cake. It would also leave them with a good chance of nabbing the second seed in the NFC, which would make them a pretty sizable measuring stick come the divisional round of the playoffs.