Carolina DBs made 'bad penalties'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera was disappointed with what he called three "bad penalties'' in Sunday's 23-10 NFC divisional playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

He should be. It was one of the few times this season the team lost its composure.

And it proved costly.

The first was a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on safety Mike Mitchell for his late hit in the first quarter that led to a field goal. Then there was the 15-yarder against cornerback Captain Munnerlyn for a head-butt that led to another field goal.

Then with about four minutes left, corner cornerback Josh Thomas was flagged for taking a swing at receiver Quinton Patton after Carolina had stopped the 49ers on third down.

"Unfortunate,'' Rivera said during Tuesday's season-ending news conference. "Guys lost their cool and temperament, and that’s on me. We can’t get caught up in that.''

Rivera said it wasn't so much that the defensive backs were trying to prove San Francisco couldn't push them around as much as they reacted wrongly.

"Certain point where you have to get control and we didn’t,'' he said.