Ron Rivera still believes Panthers have playoff shot

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A chip and a chair, that's all Ron Rivera is focused on as the Carolina Panthers cling to their long playoff odds.

"Five percent, that's what they're giving us," Rivera said Tuesday of his team's playoff chances, via Joe Person of The Athletic. "We'll see."

"As little as (the chance) is, we've been here before," Rivera added, mentioning 2014 when the Panthers eked into the playoffs with a 7-8-1 record.

The Panthers won their final four games to make the playoffs in 2014. They might need to win their final three this year to repeat that magic.

FiveThirtyEght gives the Panthers a 9 percent chance at making the postseason, behind Minnesota (57 percent) and Philadelphia (18 percent) for the final spot -- with the other five positions essentially clinched. The Washington Post gives the Panthers a 12 percent chance, same as Philadelphia. FPI gave Carolina a 4.6 percent chance before Monday Night Football.

Following the Minnesota Vikings' loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the Panthers' odds should improve slightly once all the brainiacs are done fiddling with their abacuses.

The dream, however, rests on the 6-7 Panthers winning at least two of their final three games, and possibly needing to win all three. With the New Orleans Saints on the docket twice, it's a tall task.

Marred in a five-game losing skid, Rivera's team doesn't look like an outfit that's going to run the table, especially with Cam Newton's sore shoulder curtailing the passing game.

With all the other would-be NFC playoff teams looking similarly disappointing, however, the Panthers at least still see an opening.

"We still have an opportunity, believe it or not," Rivera said.

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