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Bill Barnwell: Worst Coaching decision of the year goes to.....

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Worst Coaching Decision of the Year

Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers

It was a terrible process and an even worse outcome. Why on earth did Ron Rivera think that his $102.8 million backfield of Cam Newton, DeAngelo Williams, and Jonathan Stewart (let alone Mike Tolbert) couldn't pick up a half yard against the Falcons with a one-point lead and 1:44 left? They'd actually done it on third down, only for Newton to fumble backward after converting and fall on the ball short of the sticks again. They're now 34-for-41 (82.9 percent) converting runs on third- or fourth-and-1 into first downs since Rivera took over. Instead, Rivera punted, and while Carolina did manage to put the ball on the Atlanta 1-yard line, the Falcons drove 77 yards in 49 seconds and kicked the game-winning field goal with 10 seconds to spare. ESPN Stats & Information calculatedthat Rivera decreased his team's chances of winning by 26.1 percent by punting, and that's without adjusting for how good Carolina is in short yardage. Rivera could have not watched a single second of Atlanta film all week and it would have been less damaging to his team's chances of winning than punting in that situation.


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but...but...but... he did it "by the book!"


you can't protect a lead by giving the other team the opportunity to score. we gave it to them. we invited them. we laid out the red carpet. all they needed to do was take us up on it, which they did...as did the other teams we allowed to have the ball in clutch time with a small lead.

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That one play could have changed our entire season. I truly believe that.

As do I.

I'm still pissed.

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