2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Rivera: Big win over Giants can serve as catalyst

By STEVE REED - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-23 15:23

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Carolina's 38-0 rout of the New York Giants on Sunday could serve as a ``catalyst'' for his team.

There certainly is that potential after Carolina's disappointing 0-2 start.

Not only is the Panthers' confidence soaring following the most lopsided win in the franchise's 19-year-history, but the they have a favorable schedule coming up after this week's bye.

Beginning next week, the Panthers have a four-game stretch that includes Arizona (1-2), Minnesota (0-3), St. Louis (1-2) and Tampa Bay (0-3).

The Panthers don't play a team with a winning record until they host New England on Nov. 18.

``You look for something that can be a hallmark game, a game that everyone points to and says 'Wow, that's the one that got things rolling,''' Rivera said at a press conference Monday.

Ron Rivera said now the big challenge is not losing that momentum with the players getting four straight days off beginning Thursday and coming back hungry next week.

``We have to be realistic because we've not arrived by any stretch of the imagination,'' Rivera said. ``We have to approach each week as a learning situation, a growing situation and keep shooting for the top of the mountain.''

The win was a big one for Rivera, whose hot seat might have gotten a lot hotter had the Panthers lost.

But the attitude around the stadium changed almost overnight following the huge win.

And while it can be said the victory came against a winless Giants team that appears in disarray offensively, wide receiver Steve Smith said he could care less.

``Some people are going to try and discount the win and say, `It's a win against team that wasn't very good,''' Smith said. ``We played a team that was struggling and we did what was necessary, so that was good.''

It might be tough for the Panthers to match their performance on Sunday moving forward.

After squandering fourth quarter leads in losses to Buffalo and Seattle the first two weeks, the Panthers left no doubt about this one completely dominating the Giants in every phase of the game.

The Greg Hardy-led defense sacked Eli Manning seven times, forced three turnovers and pitched a shutout. The offense scored five touchdowns, rolled up 402 total yards and tallied 27 first downs.

Cam Newton was special, throwing for three touchdowns and running for another in his best game of the season.

Newton said it was far from a perfect performance but added the win gives the Panthers an ``ego boost'' and some needed ``swagger'' after two tough losses.

``For us this is just one step,'' Newton said. ``We have to keep going and get the mentality of `We can win - and we will win.'''

Newton's swagger was certainly back and his teammates took notice.

``Cam was outstanding,'' offensive tackle Jordan Gross said. ``When he's on and leading the team the way he's supposed to, then we're tough to stop.''

What's encouraging for the Panthers moving forward is they played their best defensive game despite being without four starters on defense and missing four defensive backs.

Free safety Charles Godfrey was lost to a season-ending injury the previous week, cornerback Josh Thomas (concussion) and defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (thigh) were injured, and defensive coordinator Sean McDermott benched struggling three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jon Beason for Chase Blackburn.

But the Panthers showed they have depth - and a pretty darn good front seven.

``We know exactly what we've got to do to keep winning,'' said safety Robert Lester, who went from practice squad player last week to starting against the Giants. ``That's the mindset we're going to keep, that's the mindset we're going to have going into the bye week and to the following week at Arizona.''

Despite the momentum gained by the win, Rivera said the bye week comes at a good time.

He's anxious to get several players back on the field and allow some others to get healthier when the Panthers return to face the Cardinals on Oct. 6.

---

AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org

---

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

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

Pierre ThomasNov 20 05:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20. Thomas has missed the last four games, but he said there's a chance that [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonNov 20 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jimmy SmithNov 20 04:32p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (foot) said Thursday, Nov. 20, that a Lisfranc injury is the reason he is out for the rest of the season.

Montee BallNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Ronnie HillmanNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 20 04:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is optimistic he'll be able to play Sunday, Nov. 23. He went through rehabilitation Wednesday, Nov. 19 and Thursday, Nov. 20.

James AndersonNov 20 04:02p

The Atlanta Falcons signed LB James Anderson (Titans) Thursday, Nov. 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Josh GordonNov 20 04:02p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon was amped up and excited to take part in his first practice with the team this year Wednesday, Nov. 19, but QB Brian Hoyer [ More ]

Charles ClayNov 20 03:02p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) is expected to be a game-time decision for Week 12 because of a knee injury.

Dwayne AllenNov 20 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) missed his second straight day of practice Thursday, Nov. 20, and The Indianapolis Star's Zak Keefer would bet on Allen sitting out this weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 20 02:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Julius ThomasNov 20 01:32p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 01:22p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is not participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Giovani BernardNov 20 01:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (clavicle, hip) is participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Reggie BushNov 20 01:02p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) said he is on track to play against the New England Patriots in Week 12. He was not able to play in Week 11 because of the injury.

Josh GordonNov 20 12:32p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is expected to be limited in Week 12 because it will be his first game of the season, and the team does not want [ More ]

Adrian PetersonNov 20 11:52a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has officially appealed his suspension, according to a source. The NFL Players Association is looking for a neutral arbitrator to hear the case, but [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 20 09:13a

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is likely share carries with RB Alfred Blue if he plays in Week 12.

LeGarrette BlountNov 20 08:32a

The New England Patriots signed free-agent RB LeGarrette Blount (Steelers) to a two-year deal for the veteran's minimum plus incentives Thursday, Nov. 20.

Giovani BernardNov 20 01:13a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (clavicle, hip) will be eased back into the lineup, offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said Wednesday, Nov. 19. 'I think we've got to work him [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 20 01:13a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill is likely to get a bulk of the carries in Week 12 against the Houston Texans, according to beat writer Geoff Hobson, despite the [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 19 09:33p

Free-agent RB LeGarrette Blount (Steelers) went unclaimed on waivers Wednesday, Nov. 19, and is now an unrestricted free agent available to sign with any club.

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