Carolina Panthers

Bye week a mixed bag for Carolina Panthers, Ron Rivera

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, right, talks with officials along the sideline during first quarter action vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 4, 2015 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fl. The Panthers defeated the Buccaneers 37-23.
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, right, talks with officials along the sideline during first quarter action vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 4, 2015 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fl. The Panthers defeated the Buccaneers 37-23. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

The bye week, historically, is never good news for the Carolina Panthers under Ron Rivera.

With Rivera as coach, since 2011, the Panthers are 0-5 after having the previous week off (including a playoff loss). Carolina has been outscored 125-46 in games coming off a bye.

Now they get one of the earliest byes in the NFL after rolling to a 4-0 start, their best in 12 years.

“Yes and no,” Rivera said when asked if the bye was coming at a good time. “With us playing well right now, you’d like to keep that going. We’ve got a lot to correct and get better at, but on the inverse it does come at a good time because we get a chance to slow some guys down, get some guys back on the field.”

This time the Panthers go into their bye with the two-time defending conference champion Seahawks on the other side. The Panthers haven’t beaten Seattle in the past five meetings.

Despite the early bye, Rivera draws some confidence from what he refers to as a “mini-bye” in November. The Panthers have a quick turnaround when playing on Thanksgiving Day, but then they get 10 days before playing at New Orleans.

Carolina has a better record under Rivera coming off Thursday night games, going 1-2 and being outscored just 88-80.

“We play Thursday night so that’ll help us as well,” he said. “I think coming off a bye comes at a good time because we’re going to Seattle and we should hopefully be well rested in terms of having to deal with that long flight.”

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