Rivera urges Panthers to refocus after winning streak is snapped


Ron Rivera has urged the Carolina Panthers not to lose focus after seeing their quest for an unbeaten season come to an end on Sunday.

The Panthers dropped to 14-1 for the season with a 20-13 defeat on the road to the Atlanta Falcons, who Carolina had beaten 38-0 at home earlier this month.

They now need to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or hope the Arizona Cardinals lose to the Seattle Seahawks in the final regular-season game to ensure top seed in the NFC for the playoffs.

Asked whether his team had been complacent, head coach Rivera said: "No we did not take this football team [the Falcons] lightly.

"They had some things they did nicely and you have got the give them credit, they played a good football game and we didn't play very well and they made us not play very well.

"You have got to give them credit, they deserve it, and I think the truth is we came in and played hard but they played better and coached better and we have got to be better at everything we do to expect to win football games.

"Our 16th game of the season will be very important for us as far as trying to accomplish our goal of being at home throughout the playoffs, hopefully.

"We are on a journey and this is part of it. As you go along you will have bumps in the road and this just happens to be a big bump. Now we have to refocus and get geared up ready to go.

"It is not the end of the season and we have accomplished a lot and to be 14-1 at this point of the season is tremendous, let us not lose sight of that.

"This is not the end of the world or the season so the truth of the matter is we have to get focused up for the next game."