Ron Rivera Says He Plans to Give the Panthers an Extended Break During Their Bye

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints

After Sunday’s 41-38 loss to New Orleans, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he plans to practice for two days and then give his team an extended break, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.

“I’m going to bring the guys in and we’re going to work the first two days next week and then we’re going to get them out of there,” he said. “I told them I want them to get away from it, don’t read anything, don’t watch anything, don’t listen to anything. Just get yourselves ready to come back focused in and start right back to work the following Monday.”

Rivera said the bye is coming at “the perfect time.”

“We have a chance to get away from it, shake it off and then come back refocused and ready to roll,” he said. “That’s the only challenge that we have left.”

Panthers Fall to 1-5; Lose Late in New Orleans to the Saints 41-38

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees passed for 465 yards and four touchdowns, Will Lutz kicked a 52-yard field goal with 11 seconds left, and the Saints pulled out a 41-38 victory over the Panthers on Sunday.

With his 15th 400-yard game, Brees broke a tie with Peyton Manning for the most all time in the regular season.

Brees also led the Saints (2-3) to a second straight victory while Carolina lost its fourth straight despite the return of quarterback Cam Newton, who missed last week’s loss to Tampa Bay because of a concussion.

Newton 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.

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Panthers at Saints NFL Week Six Inactives

Panthers: CB James Bradberry, OT Michael Oher, CB Robert McClain, DT Vernon Butler, DT Paul Soliai, RB Cameron Artis-Payne, LB Jeremy Cash.

Saints: OT Terron Armstead, CB Delvin Breaux, LB Dannell Ellerbe, LB Paul Kruger, QB Joe Callahan, CB De’Vante Harris, RB Marcus Murphy

Panthers Newton Set to Be Back Under Center Sunday Against Saints

Cam Newton

The Panthers will finally look to get on track against the Saints Sunday, and will have last season’s NFL MVP back in the fold to help.

Today coach Ron Rivera said quarterback Cam Newton is expected to start against the New Orleans Saints “barring a setback” in his recovery from a concussion.

Newton participated fully in practice Friday, but remains in the league’s concussion protocol. Rivera said the league’s reigning MVP still has to meet with an independent doctor before being cleared to play.

Rivera also said running back Jonathan Stewart is expected to return to action after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury.

However, Carolina has other injury concerns, most notably in the secondary where it will be without both starting cornerbacks when facing Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who has thrown 27 touchdown passes in his last seven games at the Superdome.

James Bradberry (toe) and Robert McClain (hamstring) have been ruled out, along with offensive tackle Michael Oher (concussion) and defensive tackles Vernon Butler (ankle) and Paul Soliai (foot).

Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart Back at Practice for the Panthers

Jonathan Stewart

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since receiving a concussion in the fourth quarter of an October 2nd loss at Atlanta, David Newton of reports.

Running back Jonathan Stewart also was back after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury.

Newton had a helmet and cleats, but it was unclear how much he would do in practice.

If symptoms of Newton’s concussion do not return over the next few days he will be cleared to play in Sunday’s game at New Orleans.

Panthers vs Saints NFL Week Six Capsule



STREAKS 4 of past 5  
COACHES VS. OPP. Ron Rivera: 6-4 Sean Payton: 8-12
LAST WEEK L 17-14 vs. Tampa Bay Bye (Wk. 4: W 35-34 at San Diego)
LAST GAME 12/6/15: Panthers 41 at Saints 38. Carolina QB Cam Newton passes for 331 yards & 5 TDs for 122.1 rating. Panthers WR Ted Ginn Jr. has 5 receptions for 80 yards & 2 TDs.
REFEREE Walt Anderson
BROADCAST FOX (1:00 PM ET): Sam Rosen, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 146 (Car), 136 (NO). XM: 383 (Car), 229 (NO).


PASSING Cam Newton: 77-133-974-6-5-80.2 Drew Brees: 116-176-1269-10-3-98.9
RUSHING Fozzy Whittaker: 32-186-5.8-0 Mark Ingram: 54-221-4.1-1
RECEIVING Greg Olsen (TE): 33-516-15.6-2 Michael Thomas (R): 21-229-10.9-2
OFFENSE 392.0 (3L) 386.0
DEFENSE 341.2 422.8
SACKS Tre Boston: 2 Nick Fairley: 3
INTs 4 tied: 1 B.W. Webb: 1
PUNTING Andy Lee: 49.8 Thomas Morstead: 51.1 (2L)
KICKING Graham Gano: 35 (11/12 PAT; 8/11 FG) Wil Lutz (R): 28 (13/13 PAT; 5/8 FG)


PANTHERS: QB CAM NEWTON passed for 331 yards & 5 TDs in last meeting. Has 872 pass yards (290.7 per game) with 10 TDs & 1 INT for 119.2 rating in past 3 vs. NO…RB CAMERON ARTIS-PAYNE rushed for career-high 85 yards & 2 TDs last week. FB MIKE TOLBERT had TD catch in last meeting…WR KELVIN BENJAMIN had TD catch in his last game vs. NO (12/7/14). WR TED GINN JR. had 5 receptions for 80 yards & 2 TDs in last meeting. TE GREG OLSEN had 9 receptions for career-high 181 yards in Week 5. Has 27 catches, 335 yards (111.7 per game) & 3 TDs in past 3 vs. NO. Ranks  4th in NFL & 1st among TEs with 516 rec. yards in 2016…DE MARIO ADDISON had FF in Week 5. DT KAWANN SHORT has sack in 2 of past 3 vs. NO. LB THOMAS DAVIS had 7 tackles, sack & FF in last meeting. Aims for 3rd in row vs. NO with FF. LB LUKE KUECHLY ties for NFL lead with 57 tackles. S TRE BOSTON had sack last week. S KURT COLEMAN had INT in last meeting…SAINTS: QB DREW BREES passed for 282 yards & 3 TDs in last meeting. Aims for 4th in row vs. NFC South with 300+ pass yards. Has 27 pass TDs in past 7 at home…RB MARK INGRAM had 105 scrimmage yards (56 rush, 49 rec.) & rush TD in last game. Aims for 3rd in row vs. Car with TD. FB JOHN KUHN had 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 rec.) in last game…WR BRANDON COLEMAN had rec. TD in last meeting. WR BRANDIN COOKS had 6 receptions for 104 yards & TD in last meeting. Has TD catch in 6 of past 7 at home. WR WILLIE SNEAD has TD catch in 2 of past 3. Rookie WR MICHAEL THOMAS aims for 3rd in row with TD catch. TE COBY FLEENER had TD catch in only meeting (11/2/15 with Ind.)…DT NICK FAIRLEY had 1.5 sacks in last game.  DE CAMERON JORDAN has 5 sacks in past 6 vs. Car. Had sack & FF in last game. LB NATHAN STUPAR led team with 8 tackles in last game. CB STERLING MOORE aims for 4th in row with PD. S KENNY VACCARO aims for 3rd in row vs. Car. with 9+ tackles.

The Panthers Are a Complete Mess Five Games Into 2016 – Plenty of Reasons As to Why

Greg Olsen

What a mess. Yes, the Carolina Panthers are a total mess.

Monday night proved that in more ways than one. The team had a chance despite injuries and a backup quarterback to come out and get a divisional win against a Buccaneers team that they clearly look on paper to be better than.

Instead, more mistakes, both mental and physical, were made and the team fell on the final play of the game as the Bucs hit a field goal 17-14.

With 11 games left in 2016, turning this around is possible, but the questions seem pretty clear, how do they do it – and how did we get here?

Here’s a couple reasons as to why the team has reached this point.

1. Injuries

Not having Cam Newton is obviously a huge deal, but there were other injuries suffered by the team that has put them behind the 8-ball in terms of moving forward.

One injury is that of running back Jonathan Stewart, who the team is hopeful to get back soon. Monday night backup Cameron Artis-Payne had 85 yards and two scores, but it was not enough.

The team also was without left tackle Michael Oher (concussion) and cornerback James Bradberry (toe), and it seems like every time they take a step forward with injuries, they take two steps back.

2. Overconfidence

The turning point of this season was when the team was up 10-0 on the Minnesota Vikings at home in week three, and put it in cruise control, only to get punched in the mouth and never fired back, and in the end wound up losing 22-10 in a stunner.

Sometimes (as expected after a Super Bowl) teams think they can just throw their helmets on the field and win, and that’s what it feels like right now with the Panthers, that they are just thinking ‘we’re better than this team,’ and not putting the effort forth to get the job done.

While it falls on the players, it also falls on the coaching staff to motivate and get a gameplan ready for these guys to be ready to go out and play, and there’s been weeks it just hasn’t been there.

3. A Defense Going Backwards

The Panthers D was very good last season, but this year has not gotten the job done in just about any facet. They showed Monday night they couldn’t stop the run or the pass, which is why the Bucs were able to go down and kick the game winning field goal.

One example of a breakdown was the final drive when on 3rd down the ONLY wide out on the field was Mike Evans for the Bucs, and yet with three guys around him Jamies Winston was able to get it to him for a first down.

Josh Norman not being around is a factor, but don’t kid yourself, there’s plenty of players on this team that are not playing up to potential, so stop using that as an excuse.

Mistake Prone Panthers Fall on Final Play to Buccaneers 17-14 to Drop to 1-4

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers

Roberto Aguayo kicked a 38-yard field goal as time expired, and the Buccaneers defeated the Panthers 17-14 on Monday night.

Aguayo had missed from 33 and 46 yards earlier in the game and was just 3 of 7 on field goals this season before the winning kick.

Jameis Winston
was 18 of 30 for 219 yards and a touchdown, and led a 66-yard drive to get the Buccaneers (2-3) into field goal range. A costly 15-yard facemask penalty on Kony Ealy hurt the Panthers.

The Panthers turned the ball over four times, three of those by Derek Anderson, who was filling in for the concussed Cam Newton.

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