Dec 9, 2013 at 1.30am UK at ​Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints
Colston (13:35, 2:44), Graham (0:18)
Smith (5:15)
Graham (9:54)

Ron Rivera "surprised and disappointed" by defeat

Head coach Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers watches on against the Seattle Seahawks during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 8, 2013
© Getty Images
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is "surprised and disappointed" by his side's 31-13 defeat to the New Orleans Saints yesterday.

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera has admitted that he was "surprised and disappointed" by his side's 31-13 defeat to the New Orleans Saints last night.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw four touchdown passes against a Panthers defence that had not allowed more than two in a game this season as New Orleans ended Carolina's eight-match winning streak.

Rivera hinted that he thought the Saints benefited from home advantage during the match, a theory he is keen to test when the two sides meet again in Carolina in a fortnight's time.

"I'm surprised and disappointed. We're a better team than we played today. They have the crowd behind them and they're on turf, not natural grass, which is a little bit different," Rivera told The AP.

"It helps them as far as their speed and their timing. The things that they do here, they do very well. We'll see how things go when they come to Carolina."

The result means that the Saints now have sole control of the NFC South with just three games of the regular season remaining.

Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints throws a pass around Mario Williams #94 of the Buffalo Bills at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 27, 2013
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