Sports

Coach Ron Rivera confident Panthers can be a playoff team following four-game win streak

  • Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera cheers on his team against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

    Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera cheers on his team against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)  (The Associated Press)

  • Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, left, talks with Atlanta Falcons' Tony Gonzalez, right, after an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. The Panthers won 34-10. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

    Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, left, talks with Atlanta Falcons' Tony Gonzalez, right, after an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. The Panthers won 34-10. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)  (The Associated Press)

  • Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, right, shakes hands with Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith after an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. The Panthers won 34-10. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

    Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, right, shakes hands with Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith after an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. The Panthers won 34-10. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)  (The Associated Press)

Coach Ron Rivera says he's confident the Carolina Panthers can be a playoff team.

The Panthers have won four straight games, including a 34-10 victory Sunday over the Atlanta Falcons. The win leaves the Panthers (5-3) one game behind the division-leading New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.

Rivera says Monday, "I think we can be a playoff team because of the things that we've done and because of the way we're playing."

It doesn't matter to Rivera that Carolina's five wins have come against teams with a combined 8-33 record. Rivera says "you play who you're supposed to play."

The Panthers haven't been to the playoffs since 2008.

Carolina travels to San Francisco (6-2) this Sunday and Rivera says "it will give us a good indication of where we are."

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