Rivera optimistic facing biggest challenge as Panthers coach

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ron Rivera says starting the season 1-5 is the biggest challenge he's faced as Panthers head coach, but he remains optimistic the team can still make the playoffs.

The New Orleans Saints pulled out a 41-38 victory over the Panthers on Sunday.

During his news conference on Monday afternoon, Rivera noted that the Atlanta Falcons lost Sunday to the Seattle Seahawks, so that gives them hope.  With 10 games remaining in the regular season, the Panthers do have a fighting chance at making the playoffs.

When asked if letting Josh Norman go was a mistake, Rivera responded, "That's 20/20.  I ain't going there."

Quarterback Cam Newton, who returned after suffering a concussion, passed for 322 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a 2-yard score that tied the game at 38 with 2:58 left and completed a comeback from an early 21-0 deficit.

However, he was also intercepted by Sterling Moore in the back of the end zone, stalling a promising drive in the first half - a turnover that came back to haunt the defending NFC champions.

After the game on Sunday, Newton wasn't in the mood the talk.  His entire post game news conference lasted then than two minutes.  He offered a few short responses - including "just trying to find a way to win the football game" and "next question" - before departing just an estimated 90 seconds into the session.

When asked about it, Rivera responded, "I didn't see it. Quite honestly, I didn't see it."

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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