Rivera: I was going for the win

Head coach Ron Rivera addresses the media after Carolina's narrow defeat against Detroit.

On mistakes the Panthers have to overcome after today’s game: “Well, there were (mistakes), but give credit to them. They did some good things. Their punter kicked a—did a heck of a job keeping the ball inside the 10‐yard line. That’s also a difficult thing. It’s tough to go 90 yards and expect to win a football game or score. But when you get in a scoring position you have to put points on the board. That’s the bottom line.”

On the decision to go for two at the end of the fourth quarter: “I think you go for two on the road to win. That’s what I did at the end of the day. What’s to say the coin toss is going to go in our favor, what’s to tell you we’re going to stop them? So, why not go for two.”

On K Graham Gano’s performance: “He missed a couple kicks. That’s all part of it. I was going for the win. That’s just the bottom line.”

On QB Cam Newton having options and time on the two‐point conversion: “He did. That’s the unfortunate part. They rushed three, so we knew we had time. Jarius (Wright) broke his route off and came back to the middle, presented a nice target and unfortunately, the ball was a little bit high. We had a chance.”

**On the Panthers’ explosive plays combined with several drops: “**Very much so. We had opportunities to make plays, you have to make them. The drops are costly. The explosive plays are great. We had a real, big explosive play and unfortunately, we didn’t get points out of that. We have to get points. In this league, if you don’t score points, you’re not going to win games.”

On the adjustments the Panthers can make moving forward to stop sacks on third down: “Be better on first and second down. That’s the unfortunate part. A couple things happened on first and second down that put you in those third‐and‐loss situations, and then a couple times just winning at the line. Getting off clean, presenting a good target for the quarterback to get the ball to you.”

On if WR Devin Funchess was overly excited today: “I couldn’t tell you that. You’d have to ask Devin that. That’s a question for him.”

On what caused the drops from the Panthers offense: “Well, it’s all part of the game. There’s a combination of things that happen when things like that happen. You have to go back and watch it on the tape a little bit closer.”

On what goes into the choosing the go‐to options on offense despite inconsistencies: “Well, I think the quarterback—you have to ask the quarterback on those decisions that were made. But he was open. So, when you throw the ball to an open guy, hopefully he’ll catch it. But those things happen.”

On QB Cam Newton’s injury: “A guy fell on his leg from behind. Landed on the quarterback’s legs below his knees.”

On why he made the decision to go for two at the end of the fourth quarter: “To win the game. That’s just as simple as it gets. I went for two to win the game on the road and go from there.”

On how frustrated he is with the loss: “Oh, very frustrated, especially (with) the first drive. We had opportunities to keep them backed up and we didn’t do that and that’s unfortunate. You get a chance to put them in a tough situation and we missed tackles, and you can’t do that. Can’t do that against teams that run the ball hard. And that’s the tough part about it. You go back and you look at it and we’ll see what exactly happened and why, and get those things looked at and taken care of.”

On the matchup between Lions WR Kenny Golladay and Panthers CB James Bradberry and the play Golladay was able to make that led to a touchdown: “Well, the third down one, again, we’ll just go back and look at that one. We’ll go from there. The unfortunate part about it was the quarterback bought a little more time on the penalty one, and then on the third down one he just threw the ball out and threw it to where only the receiver could catch it and the receiver made a heck of a catch.”

On if he thought there was contact on the play: “I definitely thought there was contact, but I’m not the one making that decision. I was also wondering why—you guys saw it, was there a facemask on that on the one where they picked the flag up. I couldn’t tell you, I didn’t see it.”

On how frustrating it is to start fast but then slow down as a team: “It’s very frustrating. This one happened a little bit differently. We didn’t tackle. At the end of the day you have to give them credit, they did some good things. They made some things happen, let’s not take anything away from them. But at the end of the day we had our opportunities’ and we just didn’t capitalize.”

On why the loss today is frustrating: “Yes, because a lot of that stuff shouldn’t have happened. That’s the unfortunate part. It’s part of football. But, again, we’ll go back. We’ll look at it. We’ll make sure we’re giving these guys these guys an opportunity to succeed. Are we putting them in place to have success? And if not, we’ll do a better job.”

On if it’s disappointing to see a veteran team struggle with fundamental mistakes: “It’s disappointing. I’m going to leave it at that. But at the end of the day, as coaches we’ll go back, we’ll show the tape, we’ll talk about what happened and we’ll work to get it corrected. Again, there’s no quick fixes, this is about understanding what your responsibilities are. You have to do your job when you’re called on to do the job. Like I said though, we have to make sure that we’re calling the right kind of plays and we’re putting them in position.”

On if he changed the play call on the timeout during the two point conversion attempt: “No, because the initial read was—we got something off the initial read. So, we went back and said, ‘If they stay in that, this is what we have to do.’ And so we went to another call and unfortunately we had a guy there and we overthrew him.”

On who was the first option on the two‐point conversion attempt: “Well, again, on that I’m not going to talk about it specifically. But the quarterback gets back there with a three‐man rush and he has time to make a good decision and unfortunately, like I said, we threw it high.”

On the type of confidence QB Cam Newton showed in the younger receivers looking for them late in the game: “It’s a tremendous amount of confidence. Again, it’s about finding the guys that are open, going through your progressions, making your reads and then delivering the ball, which he did.”

On the throws to WR Devin Funchess being contested: “Well, anytime the ball is in your catch radius, you have to make it. The guy’s a terrific receiver, he’s made a lot of big plays for us. Unfortunately, he had a couple that didn’t go his way.”

On his decision to attempt a two‐point conversion in the fourth quarter: “I went for two to win the football game, OK? That’s all I’m going to say about it. That was my mindset. We didn’t come here to tie. We didn’t come here to lose. We came here to win the football game and I just felt that was our best opportunity to win.”


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