Ron Rivera on playoffs: I’m confident and I’m an optimist

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The Panthers have won four straight games to move their record to 5-3 on the season, which puts the Panthers solidly in the playoff picture as the second half of the season gets underway.

Coach Ron Rivera hasn’t led the Panthers that far to this point in his tenure, but he wasn’t afraid to entertain talk about going that far on Monday.

“I’m confident in who our guys are. And I’m an optimist,” Rivera said, via the Charlotte Observer. “But the thing I want to stress is this is the next most important game we play because it’s the one we’re about, and that’s the 49ers.”

You can’t knock a four-game winning streak, but you also can’t hide the fact that the Panthers’ five wins have come against teams with an 8-33 record. The Week 10 trip to San Francisco will provide a pretty good measuring stick for where the Panthers are right now. With several other games in the future against teams currently holding winning records, it shouldn’t take long to know if the team’s worthy of more widespread confident optimism.

20 responses to “Ron Rivera on playoffs: I’m confident and I’m an optimist

  1. They have a dynamic quarterback, a dominant defense and the 3rd highest scoring margin per game in the NFL (only Denver and Kansas City are higher). I can definitely see this team as a Super Bowl sleeper.

  2. You could argue the Panthers could be 7-1 right now. I know people will hate me saying that, but a late fumble cost them against the Seahawks who they had on the ropes, and a fluke game winning drive by the Bills are two of their three losses. The loss to Arizona, they were just outplayed, and Cam had a horrible game if I remember correctly.

  3. Reality check for Lameduck Rivera and the Panthers, maybe good for another 2-4 wins? tops:

    @SF = L
    NE = L
    @ MIA = W/L?
    TB = W
    @ NO = L
    NYJ = L
    NO = L
    @ ATL = W

    if they can get 4 wins maybe they have an outside shot at 9-7 record getting them 6th seed but their remaining schedule is TOUGH compared to the creampuffs they have played to get to 5-3!

  4. Carolina finally looking like a Good team. Talented at QB and employ the toughest pass receiver in the league in Steve Smith. Very good defensive and special team. RR becoming a good head coach.

    My apologies to Anton Bolden.

  5. This is a better team than people think, and there is an upset in the making at Candlestick this weekend. Not that the Panthers are a better team than the Niners, but SF is probably looking ahead on this one.

    Now the Chiefs… That is one overrated team.

  6. I would understand ‘they’ve only beaten bad teams’ excuse if the Panthers were winning by a small margin, but they’re not. they’re absolutely DESTROYING every team they beat, which is what good teams do. average teams keep it close.

  7. To all you guys who say they haven’t played anyone, the NFL makes the schedule and you play who is on it. Dallas barely beat the “cream puff” vikings as you all put it and Seattle needed overtime and a field goal to beat the bad buccaneers. Carolina gave both those teams beat downs. Also, San Francisco has only beat ONE team with a winning record!

  8. I want all people that talk all that crap to make sure they are on here still hating the Panthers and saying what they can’t do after they beat the 49’ers. Every week its the same talk and every week they look more dumb and more bitter.

  9. I’ve been watching them a bit more than usual this year. They’re not a bad team but they’re far from elite, too. They’re a low-end playoff team or a high-end near-miss. An 8 or 9 win sort of club right now.

    Cam Newton has to play smarter. A couple bonehead throws a game can only be overcome by good defense and some talent at skill positions when you’re playing inferior opponents. Against good teams, those plays defeat your team.

    Also, Mike Tolbert should be doing more than just vulturing a few 3rd downs and goal line carries from the other RBs. He runs with authority and is excellent in space for a guy his size; he needs more touches. Deangelo Williams seems to have lost his nose for the endzone that made him the TD leader among RBs just a few years ago; he shows no instincts even on the few goal line carries he’s been given. Adding Jonathan Stewart to the mess could make this even messier unless the coaches handle this right.

    Just my observations of their offense this season. The defense rocks.

  10. Both the doubters and believers have pretty sound and logical arguments when it comes to the Panthers. They’ve been dominating, but against inferior teams, but dominating none the less. Theyre next 6 games include 2 vs Nola, the 49ers and the Pats. That is when we will know for sure whether or not their real. Maybe they are maybe they aren’t. I lean towards aren’t for real, but I’ve been wrong plenty of times. Time will tell, soon.

  11. People seem to forget that Carolina had the toughest schedule in the entire NFL coming into the season.. Winning 5 out of your first 8 games is good to me.

  12. Carolina’s only legitimate loss was against Arizona. The next two games will tell a lot about where this team stands, but I believe they are not a team to sleep on and will show that when they win a tough, close game this Sunday at Candlestick.

  13. Again with the “they haven’t beaten anybody” junk???????????????

    I really hope the 49ers are listening to all this. They’ll have themselves convinced that all they have to do to win is put their cleats on the correct feet. Reality is different. Vernon Davis is going to be very sore Monday morning after getting pounded by Luke Kuechly a few dozen times. Bolden is probably going to have a big day against our smaller DBs, but either Munnerlyn or Florence is going to catch Kapernick not paying attention and get a pick-6. Plus, Cam is a better passer than he is and an equal runner. The Panthers can, and will, win this game.

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