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Rivera: Panthers “lost our composure” with penalties

Divisional Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers Getty Images

The Panthers insisted after the game their penalties and mistakes weren’t because of inexperience.

But it was the 49ers who had been there before, and ultimately, looked like it.

The Panthers were plagued by silly penalties throughout the game, from early personal fouls on Mike Mitchell and Captain Munnerlyn to Josh Thomas throwing a punch late, as they came unraveled in a 23-10 loss to the 49ers.

“I think there were some things that happened in the first half that really bothered me,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “We lost our composure a couple times and they got inside our head.”

The Panthers complained about several calls, with Mitchell calling his “terrible” a number of times.

But there were others the Panthers had a legitimate beef about, including the 49ers having 12 men in the huddle on their go-ahead touchdown just before halftime.

But that couldn’t match the lack of poise the Panthers showed.

“This is not our first time. We were not excited. We didn’t have Flo Rida coming in and playing at halftime and all those different things,” 49ers safety Donte Whitner said. “Because we expected to be here. We really felt like it was another game to us. I don’t know if it was their Super Bowl, but it was another game to us.”

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton didn’t take the easy route of blaming the refs (as Mitchell did), rather putting the blame squarely on their own shoulders.

“It has nothing to do with inexperience,” Newton said. “That has a lot to do with being careless and not holding yourself accountable, whether it’s a holding call, offsides call, personal foul, late hit or whatever.

“Those guys didn’t make those penalties and we did.”

And now the Panthers have an offseason to try to mature, in hopes of not repeating the mistakes if they get another chance.

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34 Responses to “Rivera: Panthers “lost our composure” with penalties”
  1. dasboat says: Jan 13, 2014 8:20 AM

    This was gangsta football. Unfortunately, there’s more and more behavior like this in every game. Guys make a routine tackle and act like they’ve won the Super Bowl.

  2. ttommytom says: Jan 13, 2014 8:24 AM

    They became predictable in the RZ.

    The perfect pass to SS was outside of the RZ and even that play at that point had an air of panic to it.

    WAY too much talent to play like that…

  3. redandgoldhitman52 says: Jan 13, 2014 8:25 AM

    “This is not our first time. We were not excited. We didn’t have Flo Rida coming in and playing at halftime and all those different things,” 49ers safety Donte Whitner said. “Because we expected to be here. We really felt like it was another game to us. I don’t know if it was their Super Bowl, but it was another game to us.”
    LOL well said Donte.

  4. bigwalt2990 says: Jan 13, 2014 8:25 AM

    those referees are opening their fruit baskets this morning..

  5. annes22 says: Jan 13, 2014 8:26 AM

    The Panthers lost their composure from the beginning. It was obvious eventually it was going to catch up with them and it did. What a stupid way to lose, when players just “give it away’ with stupidity. The Coaches must get so upset with the nonsense that was going on. After every play there was an incident. I feel bad for Coach Rivera I am sure he doesn’t teach that.

  6. ttommytom says: Jan 13, 2014 8:26 AM

    Was Brandon LaFell the only guy with
    ‘class’ on the field? (He has a new fan here).

    I’m getting tired of Generation Selfie.

  7. Chuck Norris says: Jan 13, 2014 8:28 AM

    Hey Steve Smith,

    “Go ice up Son!”

  8. eagleswin says: Jan 13, 2014 8:29 AM

    But there were others the Panthers had a legitimate beef about, including the 49ers having 12 men in the huddle on their go-ahead touchdown just before halftime
    ————————

    There were 2 penalties on that go-ahead drive at the end of the half which should have been called. The 12 men in the huddle and Anquan Boldin for at least 1 if not 2 personal fouls. One was a helmet to helmet which was called on the Panthers in the 1st quarter. The referees definately put the whistles away in regards to the 49ers on that drive.

    Boldin get’s away with alot personal fouls and it’s not like he hides it from the refs.

  9. redandgoldhitman52 says: Jan 13, 2014 8:32 AM

    keys to the game-

    2 goalline stands inside the 5yd line

    cam newton was driving down the field gets in fg range gets sacked back to back to knock em out of fg range and 4th and a mile.

    49ers are the hottest team right now and on the road since playing the cardinals.

  10. indpa67 says: Jan 13, 2014 8:35 AM

    Cam is correct and made the honorable statements, but the referees do suck. How many times have we had to endure Anquan Boldin head butting someone after a play? Why is there no penalty called for that? Not calling a penalty for 12 in the huddle is the equivalent to the SD-KC field goal fiasco. Hopefully the league holds these jackasses accountable for these types of no-calls. In the end, I don’t think it makes any difference in this game, but it sure does make it frustrating to watch.

  11. matt14gg says: Jan 13, 2014 8:35 AM

    They acted like jackasses. Bottom line: the moment was too big for them and they did what Mike Tyson did when he bit Holyfield’s ear. They tapped out when the going got tough.

  12. aintasinner says: Jan 13, 2014 8:41 AM

    Isn’t Mike Mitchell the guy who called Drew Brees “soft” because Brees didn’t get up immediately after a hit in the Saints/San Francisco game? A hit that left him spitting blood from his mouth even though Mitchell and others claimed Brees was hit in the chest and not in the head or neck? Sounds like Mike is pretty soft himself and is unable to admit that the Panthers lost because of their own play. And let’s not forget that while there were some bad calls against Carolina in this game, the Panthers benefitted from bad calls that favored them all season; see Kuechly and constantly picked up flags.

  13. joetoronto says: Jan 13, 2014 8:42 AM

    I think the Panthers are kinda strapped going forward, due to Newton.

    What can you add to this team to put them over the hump?

    They have a good defense and a good running game, do you add another WR, even though Newton is a one read and run QB?

  14. jgedgar70 says: Jan 13, 2014 8:51 AM

    Even the most adamat haters have to admit that Cam gets it. He gave credit to the 49ers and blamed his team instead of the refs.

    We’ve been living dangerously all year with Mikel and Mitchell back there. They are both loose cannons that make plays but do stupid stuff too often. We certainly need more DB depth, along with OL depth, WR depth, and re-signing Kracken and Ginn.

  15. Patskrieg dot com says: Jan 13, 2014 8:54 AM

    They were down by 2 scores and launched the most anemic hurry-up offense I’ve ever seen. I think they spent a full minute (full play clock plus the play) just to line up and attempt an off-tackle run for 2 yards. Just pathetic.

  16. ironmd778 says: Jan 13, 2014 8:58 AM

    They were a bunch of punks all game. Very unlikeable team.

  17. dexterismyhero says: Jan 13, 2014 9:13 AM

    I really liked it when I believe it was Mitchel getting all over Kap and he just pointed to the scoreboard.

    Act like you’ve been there Panthers.

    Steve Smith should have pulled some of these guys aside, but really he is no better with his own actions. No leadership on the field.

  18. saintswhodat318 says: Jan 13, 2014 9:16 AM

    Carolina Panthers should have never been the #2 seed?! Who gets blown out at home?! The front 7 on defense are studs but the secondary & offense is average at best!

  19. unclediddles says: Jan 13, 2014 9:19 AM

    Having sat through this game i lost my mind.

    Gave them 3 free points on first series after stopping them outside field goal range, later a PI call where we had the receiver double covered on a long 3rd down to the end zone and both guys are running in stride.

    But Josh Thomas —you sir are an idiot. We burn timeouts to stop the clock and hold them and you decide to go WWE. Take your coat, your hat and leave!

    I hate losing…..but i really hate dumb teams

  20. redandgoldhitman52 says: Jan 13, 2014 9:28 AM

    dexterismyhero saysI really liked it when I believe it was Mitchel getting all over Kap and he just pointed to the scoreboard.

    Act like you’ve been there Panthers.

    Steve Smith should have pulled some of these guys aside, but really he is no better with his own actions. No leadership on the field.

    ……………………

    steve smith caught a 4yd pass and celebrated like he just won the super bowl. your right no leadership.

  21. bond3940 says: Jan 13, 2014 10:09 AM

    Okay lets add some perspective…the Panthers are a young team…they will learn a lot from yesterday and hopefully improve…the 49ers have been there…and they did NOT win on their first try…it takes a while…no gangster mentality or anything like that they are just an immature team. Experience will make them better. The Panthers were too high (too much emotion) because they had never been there…also Cam needs more weapons and he needs to mature…Kaepernick is not really better than Cam…he just has more experience at the playoff level….the Panthers will be back and better….

  22. saintswhodat318 says: Jan 13, 2014 10:34 AM

    Panthers are a joke & should not have been the #2 seed! Who gets embarrass at home in the playoff?! The panthers front seven is good but they’re secondary & offense is overrated!

  23. drunkencat1 says: Jan 13, 2014 10:43 AM

    ______________________
    I think the Panthers are kinda strapped going forward, due to Newton.

    What can you add to this team to put them over the hump?

    They have a good defense and a good running game, do you add another WR, even though Newton is a one read and run QB?
    ________________________

    Wow. I think it says a lot that he was able to accomplish what he did with this season considering all the injuries on the OL right off the bat. Had to convert a DT to G and bring two guys basically out of retirement to plug the holes at G. Then have a undrafted FA playing tackle. Cam was not and is still not the problem.

    I don’t know what good running game you are talking about. The only reason it was good as it was stat wise is that Cam was the leading rusher in many of their games.

  24. drunkencat1 says: Jan 13, 2014 10:52 AM

    —————————————–
    Panthers are a joke & should not have been the #2 seed! Who gets embarrass at home in the playoff?! The panthers front seven is good but they’re secondary & offense is overrated!
    —————————————-

    Bitter? They were the 2 seed because they beat the Saints and 49ers and won 12 games.

  25. daysend564 says: Jan 13, 2014 11:09 AM

    It’s hard to play against the 17th man…

  26. qdog112 says: Jan 13, 2014 11:16 AM

    Good for you Cam. Your teammates let you down. Then the coaches let you down by not controlling the infectious idiocy started by Mike Mitchell. Mitchell should get a bus ticket on the first bus leaving Charlotte.

    I’m sure it is he who has destroyed the DB meeting room. You would think that a veteran like Florence would have some influence, but you could tell they were following Mitchell’s lead.

    I blame him for the loss because he has an inferiority complex that has spread to the other DBs. It got us penalized early to gave SF points and lasted throughout the game.

  27. linemanguy74 says: Jan 13, 2014 11:42 AM

    WON’T BE BIG TIME WINNERS UNTIL THEY GROW UP AND ACT LIKE LIKE THEY HAVE MADE PLAYS BEFORE INSTEAD OF ACTING LIKE A BUNCH OF CLOWNS

  28. billb49 says: Jan 13, 2014 11:49 AM

    Cam Newton is a classy guy and he’s got tremendous skills. He’s going to be around for a long time. Panther fans could take a few lessons in how to take a loss from this guy.

  29. purpleguy says: Jan 13, 2014 12:00 PM

    I started watching this game rooting for the Panthers — until their defensive players started acting like a bunch of mouthy, arrogant dopes.

  30. dirtysouthniner says: Jan 13, 2014 12:19 PM

    To all the fans who think the announcers were right about the 12 men in the huttle,and even the gentleman who wrote this article,the rule clearly states you cant have 12 men when the play clock is going(not game clock). Since the ref was announcing the two linemen that were eligible the play clock was not going and thus no penalty.
    As to the boldin head but,the ref has a bad angle and the Panthers helmet never moves,if the Panther player head moved a foot back like Crabtree’s he woulda seen it better.

  31. dirtysouthniner says: Jan 13, 2014 12:20 PM

    Sorry isnt going ,when the play clock isnt going

  32. bond3940 says: Jan 13, 2014 12:44 PM

    Lets not make excuses…the officiating this year has NOT been good…and that was evident in the Panther game (they missed the call)…however, it did NOT cost the Panthers the game….

  33. southcarolinamike says: Jan 13, 2014 4:14 PM

    The Panthers though pushing and shoving after plays shows toughness. SF thought toughness was stopping the Panthers on multiple short yardage plays and gaining first downs on multiple short yardage plays, including a three yard gain on a QB sneak on 3rd and 1. Guess which team was the toughest?

  34. jay1934 says: Jan 14, 2014 11:32 AM

    Cam Newton got it right. The 49ers didn’t make the Panthers get the penalties. Also the Panthers got in the 49ers faces right from the first play. Also “touching helmets” is not “head butting”.

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