Just to play devil's advocate here, lemme ask this question:
To the folks saying of Rivera that he can only win when it's meaningless and we're playing crappy teams, what's to stop people from applying that same disclaimer to Cam Newton? Ditto DeAngelo Williams. Or even Greg Hardy for that matter.
(and please try to respond with something more intelligent than 'haters gonna hate')
The reality is that the team as a whole, both players and coaches, is improving. And yes, in that context, an argument can indeed be made for not switching horses in midstream.
Like it or not, that's reality.
I've thought that myself - my justification to myself for applying that stamp to Rivera and our coaches, but not the players, is that I believe the responsibility for our early season losses lies more on the coaches than the players.
Early on this year every single aspect of our team had badly regressed, we were stubbornly running a silly offense scheme based around the read-option more than anything else, and our head coach admitted more than once
that we just weren't prepared schematically. Not to mention that our QB got worse
mechanically after spending an offseason with our coaches after making huge strides working with Weinke during the lockout.
The players had their moments where they could have won in spite of the poor coaching, and they certainly have their share of the blame, but I don't see enough blame going to them to earn that label just yet.
I do realize that the scheme is different and the team is improving in all aspects - but we did the same thing last year then went backwards this year after a stronger finish than beginning.
I don't know what's in the coach's heads but I don't think it's a coincidence that our entire philosophy seems to be different when there's nothing to lose than when we aren't eliminated from postseason play entirely.