Rivera Proven He Can Turn Units Around; Deserves One More Season

Streeter Lecka

I wasn't prepared to say this six or eight games ago, quite the opposite in fact. But over the last six games Ron Rivera has shown that he can face adversity and still persist, even thrive. His team has rallied around him, played better every week and now look to be a formidable unit. The defenses rise to #8 in the league completes the turnaround of a unit that finished #28 in 2011.

Here's the results of the Ron Rivera tenure with one game remaining in 2012 looking at both yards and NFL team rank:

2010 2011 2012 2010 2011 2012
Offense Yds /Game 258 390 349 Offense Rank 32 7 17
Defense Yds Allowed/Game 336 378 326 Defense Rank 18 28 8

In 2011 we saw Rivera and his coaching staff take an epicly bad offense and turn it into a top 10 unit. Though the defense instead went the other direction it gave us hope given Rivera's strength is defense.

Now in 2012 Rivera has taken the defense to a top 10 ranking. Outside of two games the defense has played well all season. Yet the offense's struggles including those of QB Cam Newton early in the season essentially ruined any chance of a playoff berth before it got started.

But now we know this coaching staff can produce top 10 units on both sides of the ball, they just need the opportunity to make it happen in the same season. I think 2013 can be that season. I think the Panthers would be wise to give Rivera one more season of stability to do just that. The players are asking for it which says a lot in my view. Well at least most of the players. Those in the Rivera doghouse might disagree but otherwise I think they want to play for this staff again in 2013.

So do you agree Rivera should get one more chance?

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