The Panthers secured their place in the playoffs by winning the NFC South crown with a 41-38 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
Rivera's men are on course to become the third team in NFL history to go through the entire regular season unbeaten, along with the 1972 Miami Dolphins and the 2007 New England Patriots.
However, the 53-year-old has conceded that he faces a difficult decision to rest his players ahead of the playoffs following a bad experience when he coached elsewhere in the NFL.
He told reporters: "The goal is not to go 16-0 or undefeated. The goal is to win the Super Bowl.
"I wasn't the head coach then, but I went along with it. Unfortunately, I felt we were rusty coming out of it.
"To me we've got to do it smart, we've got to be judicious about how we do it, hypothetically speaking. But that's my thought process now. We'll do it as we need it."
The Panthers are yet to win the Super Bowl in their 20 years in the NFL.