Panthers coach apologizes, says Giants game 'got out of hand'

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In the hours after the NFL announced a more than $26,000 fine for Panthers defensive back Josh Norman, Carolina Panthers coach Ron Riviera said the league did what the rules said it should.

"I felt the game got out of hand, I really do," he said.

Riviera apologized to New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin after the game and said he felt responsible for his players.

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Days after the Panthers 38-35 win against the Giants at MetLife Stadium, the aftermath of on field scuffles between Josh Norman and Giants receiver Odell Beckham remained a topic of conversation.

"I'm focused on Atlanta," said Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, recently named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. "I wish we could turn that page."

Newton said there will be two desperate teams on the field in Atlanta Sunday, with the Falcons fighting to keep its playoff hopes alive, and the Panthers in search of 15-0 and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

"That's why it means so much to me, because I've never been 15-0," Newton said.
 
In 2010, he led an Auburn team to 14-0 en route to a national championship.

The Pro Bowl quarterback deflected from talks of earning the league's MVP honor and said it was irrelevant right now.

Instead, Newton said the Panthers success is the result of the team's growth in skill and in confidence. 

"You may see one guy celebrating, two guys celebrating, three guys, but on this team, everybody's doing it and it's contagious," Newton said.

"Now we're starting to see the benefits of it," Rivera added.

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been suspended by the NFL for one game for his conduct during Sunday's game against the Panthers. His appeal was upheld on Wednesday.