It began after Carolina's Week 2 loss to Buffalo Bills in which the Panthers gave up 4.5 sacks to Mario Williams. Jets linebacker Antwan Barnes, in discussing the sacks of his AFC East rival, said in a less-than-complimentary way, "It's the Panthers we're talking about."
On Thursday, wide receiver Santonio Holmes took a shot at the Carolina secondary, although you can question whether it was a shot the way he prefaced it.
"Not to call those guys out, but their secondary is probably their weakest link on their defense," Holmes told New York media.
Well, it probably is the weak link, if not for any other reason than the front seven is among the best in the league. That the Jets rank 30th in the league in pass offense might lend to some criticism there, but there's been none of that out of the Carolina locker room.
On the comment by Barnes, who is on injured reserve with a knee injury suffered in Week 5, Rivera said: "That's fine. The too bad thing for Antwan is he's not playing. We'll show up on Sunday and play.''
On the secondary comment, Rivera said: "It's the way it is. People are going to say what they want to say. That's fine. You play them on Sunday to find out.''
The Panthers, by the way, are 11 point favorites.