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Mike Florio: I Don’t Know How Anyone But Rivera Is Coach Of The Year

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(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

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Mike Florio from ProFootballTalk.com joins Mac and Jim in his normal time slot (every Wednesday at 8:05A) to discuss the Panthers-49ers matchup and all the latest storylines from around the NFL.
On the Panthers chances on Sunday: I’d be nervous. I’m being realistic. The 49ers look a lot better than they were in the regular season. Michael Crabtree (is back), Vernon Davis left early with a concussion, and Colin Kaepernick is playing a lot better. It’s not going to be easy. It’s good they earned the right to play this game at home, but we’ve seen time and again how a team that has the bye week and is hosting a team that played in the wildcard round sometimes it takes a little while to get going. Sometimes you get flatfooted and next thing you know it’s a close game and then the team that had the bye week is out.
On the Panthers being underdogs at home: That may be a factor that can help a team that would find itself being complacent in the divisional round. The easy way for the Panthers to have a chip on their shoulder is, ‘We’re underdogs at home. We beat this team at their building and we’re underdogs at home? Can you believe that?’
On Ron Rivera for Coach of the Year: I don’t know how anyone but Ron Rivera deserves it. The analysis is how well did the team do in comparison to its expectations entering the season. I don’t think anyone expected much out of the Panthers. For Ron Rivera to take that team to the two seed and overcome adversity week in and week out. To get those big wins and dig out of that 1-3 hole. I’d be surprised if it is anyone other than him. The thing is there’s so many worthy candidates, you never know how its going to shake out.
Mike also discusses playoff officiating, theinevitable shift to more playoff games, and offers a little legal guidance on Jim’s cancelled Donkey Parade.

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