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Ron Rivera has strong approval rating

Ron Rivera hasn’t won a game yet, but he’s only slightly behind Raheem Morris and Sean Payton in SportsNation’s NFL Coach Approval Ratings.

This is what’s known as a honeymoon period. The Panthers, 2-14 a year ago, have lost two close games. That’s prompted 78 percent of the voters to give Rivera a thumbs up.

That’s only one percent behind Morris and Payton, whose teams each are 1-1. Atlanta’s Mike Smith is also 1-1, but he’s at 74 percent. I thought Smith and his staff did a good job Sunday night against the Eagles, although the clock management at the end of the game certainly could have been handled a bit more efficiently.