Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera said this week’s game against the Carolina Panthers is all about clinching the NFC East, not earning revenge against his former employer.
Rivera’s team has a one-game lead in the loss column on every other team in the division, and a win over the Panthers this Sunday — combined with a New York Giants loss — would clinch the division for Washington (6-8). It would be Washington’s first postseason appearance since 2015.
“This is about the organization winning and getting into the playoffs and not Ron Rivera getting revenge,” Rivera said Monday. “That’s the last thing I want it to be.”
Rivera was fired by the Panthers last season after a Week 13 loss to Washington. He finished with a 76-63-1 record in eight-plus years in Carolina, including a Super Bowl appearance following the 2015 season.
“If this had been our opener, believe me it would be a highly emotional game. But it’s not,” Rivera said. “The consequences of this game is about this team, this organization, trying to be relevant and trying to take a step forward. I want to see us focus on the reasons why we want to win the game as opposed to a personal reason.”
The Panthers are 4-10 under new coach Matt Rhule.