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Black and Blue Review

Black and Blue Review

Carolina Panthers News and Coverage for the Digital Age

6-Pack: Resurrected Careers, Coaching Calls and a Janitor

Photo: Ben Coon
Photo: Ben Coon

 

RIVERA’S RISK

 

One of two things had to happen Sunday for the Panthers to lock up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Either they had to beat the Bucs or Seattle needed to top the Cardinals. So while both were well on their way to happening, it was surprising to see Rivera leave his starters in as long as he did.

After three quarters in Charlotte, Carolina led Tampa Bay 31-10. In Arizona, the Cardinals trailed 36-6 after three. But Rivera didn’t want anyone thinking about anything anywhere else, so he requested secrecy, including the removal of the Cardinals’ result from the Bank of America Stadium scrolling scoreboard.

“In hindsight, maybe I should have had somebody at least tell me what was going on in the third quarter,” Rivera said. “But I came in with the focus that we were going to play.”

Most starters played a good chunk of the fourth quarter, including quarterback Cam Newton, who sat out for just two snaps. Fortunately for the Panthers, they avoided adding to their injury list.

Tillman’s ACL tear did come in the second half, but that was something that could have happened as soon as this week in practice.

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