It’s come up from time to time that the last team to make the playoffs with a losing record was coached by the man who’s now taking a team to the playoffs with a losing record.
Ron Rivera led the 2014 Panthers to the NFC South crown, with a 7-8-1 record. And the Panthers won in the wild-card round.
The Panthers beat the Cardinals. The Cardinals were coached at the time by the same man who will coach the Buccaneers against Rivera’s Washington Football Team on Saturday night.
Of course, Bruce Arians didn’t have access to Tom Brady in 2014.
“We had our fourth-string quarterback and it wasn’t much fun,” Arians told reporters on Tuesday. “We signed Ryan Lindley off the street and we’re actually playing against the other quarterback — Logan Thomas — who’s now a tight end for [Washington]. All our guys had gotten hurt and it was still a close game. It came down to an interception down on the goal line. It was a very frustrating game.”
Arians’ memory is favorable to the Cardinals. The interception in the end zone came with 2:03 to play — and the Panthers led at the time, 27-14. So it came down to an interception in the end zone that if it had been caught for a touchdown would have required Arizona to recover an onside kick and then driven down the field for the go-ahead score.
This time around, Arians will have a much better chance to win, thanks to the presence of Tom Brady.