Panthers’ Rivera stands firm on going for two

Coach Rivera Monday Press Conference

Carolina Panthers’ head coach Ron Rivera had no second thoughts on Monday about going for a two-point conversion in Sunday’s 20-19 loss to the Detroit Lions.

Following a Panthers touchdown that reduced the Lions’ lead to one point with 1:07 left, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton failed to hit an open Jarius Wright in the end zone on the failed two-point attempt.

Rivera said he would do it again.

“Without a doubt,” Rivera said Monday. “At some point in the game you’ve got to score to win, you’ve got to make a play. Why not sooner than later? Why take a chance on something you can’t control and that’s the toss of coin (to determine who receives in overtime).

“I liked the fact that we were putting the ball in Cam’s hands. I liked the play call. We got the coverage that we could beat. Unfortunately he missed the throw. We had a chance to do it.

“Again, without a doubt in my mind.”

Rivera did not say there was any doubts about kicker Graham Gano, who had missed a 34-yard field goal and an extra point earlier in the game.

He said he has not spoken to Gano and saw no need to.

“I’ll talk to him when I think it’s appropriate,” Rivera said. “Let’s not forget, the guy made a 63-yarder to beat the Giants. So let’s all calm down.”

The other issue was the three dropped passes by receiver Devin Funchess.

“Just keep your head up and keep working,” Rivera said regarding what he told Funchess.

–QB Cam Newton recorded his franchise-best ninth consecutive game with at least two passing touchdowns on Sunday. He finished with his 18th career 300-yard passing game, going for 357 passing yards on 25-of-37 passing with three touchdowns and an interception for a 114.1 passer rating. It was Newton’s personal-best fifth straight game with a 100 or better passer rating. Newton has seven games with at least a 100 passer rating this season.

–WR DJ Moore posted a Panthers season-best 157 receiving yards and one touchdown on seven catches. Moore’s 82-yard reception was the longest pass play for the Panthers since Ted Ginn had an 88-yard touchdown reception against the Raiders in 2016.

–DE Julius Peppers recorded a sack in the second half, bringing his career total to 158.5. He needs two sacks to pass Kevin Greene (160.0) for third place all-time. Peppers has four sacks this season.

–K Graham Gano missed a field goal in the third quarter, ending his league-leading and franchise-record streak at 28 straight made field goals in the regular season.

–RB Christian McCaffrey had 110 yards from scrimmage on Sunday — 53 rushing yards and 57 receiving yards.

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