2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Rivera: Panthers need to 'get over the hump'

By STEVE REED - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-16 18:02

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Coach Ron Rivera said the Panthers have to find a way to close out games if they're ever going to take the next step as a football team.

So far that hasn't happened.

The Panthers (0-2) surrendered a fourth quarter lead for the second straight week, losing in heartbreaking fashion when Stevie Johnson caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from EJ Manuel with 2 seconds left to lift the Buffalo Bills to a 24-23 win Sunday.

``It's time to get over the hump,'' Rivera said Monday. ``We've been through this - and that is the thing that is disheartening. You'd like to believe that we've gotten to the point where we've learned from these things and now it's about getting things done.''

Since Rivera took over as head coach in 2011, the Panthers have lost 10 games they've held a lead in the fourth quarter - which is tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for the most in the league, according to STATS INC.

The loss brings up more questions about Rivera's job security.

The third-year coach said he hasn't spoken with owner Jerry Richardson since the latest loss dropped his career record to 2-14 in games decided by 7 points or less.

Rivera said he's not worried about his job - even as a growing number of fans are calling for Richardson to replace him.

The coach appeared frustrated at times during his press conference Monday as the normally upbeat coach lamented the latest one that got away.

``I don't blame him,'' center Ryan Kalil said. ``I'm (upset) too.''

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen said that sense of deja vu is extremely frustrating, particularly with how hard the team is working.

``It seems like right now we're just stuck in the mud,'' Olsen said. ``And you have to change it. You can't sit back and say you need more breaks to go your way. In this league you need to make your own breaks. The good teams make luck and the bad teams make bad fortune.''

The Panthers have played well enough against Seattle and Buffalo to win, but haven't made the plays when they needed them.

On Sunday the Panthers had chances to score touchdowns in the fourth quarter - two of those after Manuel turnovers - but settled for three field goals.

The last one gave Carolina a 23-17 lead with 1:38 left.

All Carolina's defense only had to do was stop Manuel from going 80 yards with no timeouts and scoring a touchdown.

They couldn't do it.

``We have to find a way to make a play on the last drives,'' Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said.

The task won't get any easier moving forward - the Panthers announced Monday lost starting free safety Charles Godfrey to a season-ending Achilles injury.

Olsen said the Panthers can't allow a defeatist attitude to get inside their heads in the fourth quarter.

``All of the focus can't be on, `Man we just need to hang on,''' Olsen said.

But how do you fix it?

Rivera said getting a comfortable lead and having a killer instinct would certainly be a start.

``It would be nice to be in position where you close games out and don't a have to worry about last drive or the last play,'' Rivera said. ``We talked to the guys about how if you have somebody down you have to keep them down.''

Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula said the experience has been ``testing'' on the nerves.

``In my opinion we don't deserve to be 0-2,'' Shula said.

But they are.

Still, Shula isn't worried about the Panthers going in the tank and starting 2-8 like it has the last two seasons.

``Maybe in years past, but for whatever reason this year with this group I don't worry about it,'' Shula said. ``I know it doesn't make sense right now being 0-2, but veteran guys have taken ownership of this thing'' and will get it corrected.

Like the Panthers, the Giants are 0-2, which makes this a big game for both teams.

Olsen said the Panthers don't feel desperate for a win, but there is a clear sense of urgency to get to 1-2 before the bye week.

``I don't think we're in panic mode,'' Olsen said. ``We know what we're capable of. But the results need to change and it's up to us to change the outcome.''

---

Online: AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Steve Reed on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SteveReedAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Kapri BibbsOct 23 07:02p

The Denver Broncos have declared OG Ben Garland, RB Kapri Bibbs, OT Michael Schofield, DL Mitch Unrein, RB Montee Ball, S Omar Bolden, LB Steven Johnson inactive for Week 8.

Manti Te'oOct 23 07:02p

The San Diego Chargers have declared CB Steve Williams, RB Ryan Mathews, CB Brandon Flowers, RB Donald Brown, LB Manti Te'o, LBs Jeremiah Attaochu and Cordarro Law inactive for Week 8.

Perry RileyOct 23 05:49p

Washington Redskins LB Perry Riley (knee) will start as soon as he is healthy enough to do so, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

John SullivanOct 23 05:46p

Minnesota Vikings C John Sullivan (concussion) is still in the testing phase to be cleared for a concussion, but he has not been cleared to this point. Head coach [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 23 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (bicep) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps), [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 23 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert (concussion), DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), DT Steve McLendon (shoulder) and SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 23. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 23 05:42p

Chicago Bears DE Jared Allen (rest), S Danny McCray (knee) and WR Chris Williams (illness) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LBs Lance Briggs (ribs), Jonathan Bostic (back), CB [ More ]

Quentin GrovesOct 23 05:42p

Tennessee Titans LB Quentin Groves (ankle) and CB Coty Sensabaugh (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. DE Ropati Pitoitua (hand) and TE Taylor Thompson (knee) were limited.

Zach MettenbergerOct 23 05:34p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger has been named the starting quarterback for Week 8, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. QB Jake Locker will serve as the backup quarterback.

Sharrif FloydOct 23 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (hernia) and S Antone Exum (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Gerald Hodges (hamstring), C John Sullivan (concussion), DT Sharrif Floyd (ankle), [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 23 05:32p

New York Jets OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), OG Willie Colon (knee), LB David Harris (shoulder), LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) [ More ]

Dashon GoldsonOct 23 05:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Jonathan Casillas (hamstring), OT Anthony Collins (knee), FS Dashon Goldson (ankle) and CB Keith Tandy [ More ]

Daryl SmithOct 23 05:22p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (wrist) and LB Daryl Smith (non-injury) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OT Eugene Monroe (knee) and OG Kelechi Osemele (knee) practiced in full.

Colt McCoyOct 23 05:22p

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy will start Week 8, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Josh McCownOct 23 05:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

Brandon ThompsonOct 23 04:52p

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andrew Whitworth (rest) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OG Clint Boling (rest) and CB Leon Hall (back) were limited, while TE Kevin Brock (neck), LB [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 23 04:52p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) sat out of practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 23.

Morgan BurnettOct 23 04:42p

Green Bay Packers S Morgan Burnett (calf) and CB Sam Shields (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. DE Datone Jones (ankle) was limited.

James StarksOct 23 04:42p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, after not practicing Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Thomas DavisOct 23 04:33p

Carolina Panthers CB Bene Benwikere (ankle), LB Chase Blackburn (knee), WR Philly Brown (concussion), OG Nate Chandler (thigh), OG Amini Silatolu (calf), OG Trai Turner (knee) and RB Fozzy [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 23 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (knee, ankle) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. CB Keenan Lewis (knee, shoulder), LB Ramon Humber (ankle) and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 23 04:22p

New Orleans RB Pierre Thomas (ribs, shoulder) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

R. Griffin IIIOct 23 04:22p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is unlikely to be ready to play Monday, Oct. 27, against the Dallas Cowboys, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Gruden said [ More ]

Mario WilliamsOct 23 04:22p

Buffalo Bills WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) and LB Ty Powell (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. WR Marcus Easley (knee) and FS Aaron Williams (neck) were [ More ]

Rashad JohnsonOct 23 04:12p

Arizona Cardinals S Rashad Johnson (knee) underwent an MRI exam on his patellar tendon Monday, Oct. 20, that came back negative. Head coach Bruce Arians said Johnson is dealing with some tendonitis.

Jack CrawfordOct 23 04:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Jack Crawford (calf), OT Doug Free (foot) and S Jakar Hamilton (non-injury) all did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Bruce Carter (thigh) and DE Anthony [ More ]

Alan BallOct 23 04:02p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Alan Ball (biceps) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, and is considered highly unlikely to play in Week 8, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Toby GerhartOct 23 03:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson will start at running back in Week 8 even if RB Toby Gerhart (foot) is active, according to head coach Gus Bradley. Gerhart will [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 23 03:32p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

John BoyettOct 23 03:32p

The Denver Broncos released FS John Boyett from their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 23.

Gosder CherilusOct 23 03:32p

Indianapolis Colts LB Erik Walden (rest) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. TE Jack Doyle (knee) was limited during practice, while CB Darius Butler (ankle), OT Gosder [ More ]

Brice ButlerOct 23 03:22p

Oakland Raiders WR Brice Butler could receive more playing time moving forward after making a big play in each of the last two weeks. Butler said he has not [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group