Oct 24, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera reacts against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Carolina Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Rivera confident the Panthers can make the playoffs

Carolina Panthers’ head coach Ron Rivera is very happy with his team right now.

And why shouldn’t he be?

His Panthers are coming off of a 34-10 beat down of the division rival Atlanta Falcons and have won four straight games to improve their record to 5-3.

“I’m confident in who our guys are. And I’m an optimist,” Rivera told Joe Person and Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer. “But the thing I want to stress is this is the next most important game we play because it’s the one we’re about, and that’s the 49ers.”

Many have questioned just how legitimate the Panthers’ win streak is – they’ve defeated Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Falcons during this span. None of those teams have a winning record.

However, as Rivera notes, you can only play who you are supposed to play.

Either way, the Panthers, who are just one game behind the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South, are clearly in the mix.

The Panthers will get a big test Sunday when they travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers.

Tags: Cam Newton Carolina Panthers Ron Rivera

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