4-0 Panthers feel undervalued by media, public

Which 4-0 team is better: Falcons or Panthers? (1:26)

The His & Hers crew says whether they are buying either, neither or both the 4-0 Falcons or Panthers. (1:26)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera doesn't feel guilty because pundits and social media are calling Carolina the worst of the NFL's six remaining undefeated teams.

To those not putting the Panthers on the same level as the other 4-0 teams -- Green Bay, Denver, Cincinnati and Atlanta -- and 3-0 New England, the fifth-year Carolina coach has a message.

"We were the worst team in the playoffs last year, and we won a playoff game and scared Seattle a little bit [in the divisional round]," Rivera said Monday, recalling how a 7-8-1 Carolina team beat Arizona in the wild-card round. "I felt pretty good about that.

"I'm not going to apologize for everybody else's record."

Rivera refuses to look at his first four opponents -- Jacksonville (1-3), Houston (1-3), New Orleans (1-3) and Tampa Bay (1-3) -- any differently than he does the Seahawks. Carolina plays the two-time defending NFC champions Oct. 18 after a bye week.

"Our schedule says this is who we play," said Rivera, whose team has won eight straight regular-season games dating back to last season. "There is nothing I can do, and you can't please everybody."

Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen echoed his coach's thoughts. He said it "blew my mind" to read it stated that the Panthers are 4-0 because their opponents are a combined 4-12.

"A big reason we've had one of the easier schedules is because we've beaten all of them," Olsen said.

Olsen reminded that Carolina's opponents would be 8-8 if they had all beaten the Panthers.

Rivera tells his players, as he has since the 2013 Panthers overcame a 1-3 start to go 12-4 and win the NFC South, that "the next game is the biggest because it is the next game."

He knows that upcoming contests against Seattle, Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Green Bay will be measuring sticks for Carolina, in particular Seattle and Green Bay because they have been the class of the NFC the past few years.

Rivera also understands that there are critics who look only at whom Carolina has played thus far. He has talked to his players about it.

"I get that," Rivera said. "I'm OK with that. And our players are OK with that. ... I've told them there is nothing you can do but get ready to play your next game, and that is what we'll do. We'll take the bye and get ready for Seattle."