The delay in Sunday night’s kickoff allowed Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera to see the winner of the AFC Championship Game.
Rivera saw New England miss the two-point conversion that would have tied the game with Denver after the NFC Championship Game kickoff was pushed back 5 minutes.
The Panthers and Cardinals were set to kick at 6:40 p.m., but the AFC game was tight in the final minute and threatening overtime.
The in-stadium clock was ticking near 15 minutes when it stopped and was reset to 19 minutes. It stayed at 19 for about a minute before rolling again.
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Strength and conditioning coach Joe Kenn told Rivera about the five-minute hold.
“I ran into the training room to see what happened and I saw the very end of it where they missed the 2-point attempt so I knew who it was,” Rivera said.
But the message may not have gotten to Rivera’s quarterback.
Cam Newton appeared surprised when FOX sideline analyst Chris Myers told him the Panthers would face Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in the post-game interview on the field.
“Oh wow, playing The Sheriff,” Newton said referring to Manning’s nickname. “But anyway, we’re going to live in the moment right now.”