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Joe Ovies

Time running out for Rivera

Posted October 7, 2013

Remember all those warm and happy thoughts after the Carolina Panthers dominated the New York Giants? Remember talk of momentum heading into a bye-week and a stretch of winnable games?

Well, about that.

Following a 22-6 loss to Arizona, in which the Cardinals just had to play slightly less awful than the Panthers, the focus shifted back to the employment status of head coach Ron Rivera. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the front office has already begun groundwork for a coaching search. 

Carolina general manager Dave Gettleman told ESPN.com that Rapoport's report was "unequivocally false."  However, it doesn't really run counter to a report from Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer following the win over New York that Rivera would not be replaced during the season. It's entirely plausible the Panthers would work back channels while allowing Rivera to play out the string. 

Sunday's loss was a complete team effort. The Panthers made it harder on themselves by committing penalties, blowing scoring opportunities and allowing the Arizona pass rush to harass Cam Newton. Once the Cardinals took the lead with Rashard Mendenhall's rushing touchdown, Carolina pressed down the stretch and mistakes piled up.

Since Newton lives life on that pinnacle, it wasn't a surprise to see blame laid at his feet. 

Newton obviously contributed his own share of mistakes. He threw three interceptions and fumbled. Newton was sacked seven times thanks to offensive line woes, but a couple of them could have been avoided had he thrown the ball away. One sack on third down took the Panthers out of field goal range. 

However, any discussion of Newton's afternoon must include the crucial mistakes by his wide receivers. Steve Smith dropped what should have been a touchdown on the second drive of the game. The Panthers didn't convert a critical fourth down because Brandon LaFell couldn't hold on to the ball. 

And then there's the safety. 

Smith was hit with a questionable pass interference penalty that put the Panthers on their own 5-yard line. On the next play, Ryan Kalil tripped while looking for help from Travelle Wharton. Newton was a sitting duck in the end zone and was sacked for a safety.

Always look on the bright side of life, kids. 

57 Comments

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  • KT lols at kerliner football Oct 7, 8:58 a.m.

    The decision was probably made yesterday. If he's not gone after this season, something is wrong with Jerry.

  • NCSU84 Oct 7, 8:59 a.m.

    Looks like Jon Beason left just in time!

  • Rip Rock Oct 7, 9:12 a.m.

    Did anyone really believe the Panthers were going to go on the road and win against Arizona? Take the reigns off Newton and let him do what he does. They are trying to keep him in the pocket and turn him into Warren Moon. He ain't that.

  • mac240 Oct 7, 9:17 a.m.

    Jerry shouldn't wait unit the end of the season...Rivera must go now!

  • JimW Oct 7, 9:29 a.m.

    Get rid of Rivera and trade away Cam Newton. If the Panthers give Cam a big contract at the end of the year, they will cripple themselves for another 4-5 years and by then will probably lose the team....kind of like how the original hornets started sucking and no one cared anymore (and like Bobcats now).

    Cam is awful. He doesn't anticipate defenses at all, and isn't nearly as good of a runner as people seem to think. Certainly not good enough to make up for his awful passing. This team should be 4-1. Defense has played good enough.

    If they do keep Cam (which will make me care less and less about them), they BETTER find an elite WR that can bail him out, and find a new OL because he holds the ball too long for a mediocre line to protect. Otherwise, forget about it.

  • JimW Oct 7, 9:33 a.m.

    2-15 in games decided by points or less.

    Rivera is done already, but people need to start looking at the QB. The good ones win a fair share of close games. The great one win a lot. And the TERRIBLE ones go 2 for 15. That number doesn't lie. Worst in the entire NFL by about 4 games when you look at that stat. Embarrassingly bad.

    But they'll find a way to win about 4 meaningless games and ruin any chances of getting a top draft pick. Same story as always.

  • baldchip Oct 7, 9:38 a.m.

    Done-finished-Yesterday was as ugly as I've scene in years!! Cam could not throw-when he did-guys did not catch-defense was slow and had many seams!

    Hope next week is better or Rivera could be unemployed!!

  • M-GoBlue Oct 7, 9:59 a.m.

    I said it from day 1, Cam CAN NOT read defenses.

  • gt_football Oct 7, 10:12 a.m.

    The Panthers are a BAD football team PERIOD! Cam Newton is terrible and should see the bench next week. Could not get any worse......Maybe

  • lec02572 Oct 7, 10:16 a.m.

    Cam just is not that good. Insidethe 20 he is Mr. Turnover, cannot read defenses, and just average, at best, in his throws. Carolina has constanly been in a rebuild since AZ ran them out of their own stadium in the playoffs.

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