HEAD COACH RON RIVERA
On Luke Kuechly's overtime interception: "We started with some really good plays. Good pressure up front, good coverage, the quarterback kind of came off his initial reads. I think he was a little bit late coming back to the next read. Roman Harper had a nice break, got the ball up in the air and then Luke Kuechly broke on the ball and made the great interception. From that point all we needed to do was pick up five more yards and give Graham Gano the opportunity to kick the game winner.
Feelings after Gano missed extra point: It's funny because everybody is missing extra points but guys are making kicks still. I had a lot of confidence in Graham Gano. It's just one of those things where you just know that a kid like him was just fearless. I promise you he wasn't even thinking about that. He was thinking about making it."
On Cam Newton leading the first score in overtime: It's funny because when he went out there you could see the confidence on his face and in fact, knowing him, he probably felt that we could have scored a touchdown. We had an opportunity to and we didn't but again, our guys came back, made some plays, put us in position to kick the tying field goal and then obviously we got the play on the defensive side to kick the winning field goal.
On the secondary's play against Indianapolis: "I think Kurt Coleman played a very big-time game. He did. He made a lot of plays out there for us and he was around the football. We gave up a couple throws that again you wish you had those back because we gave him a lot of time. Again, we got to rush the passer a couple times and we gave him too much time to find receivers. Again, we have to come up with better answers as we get to games later on because we are going to come up against some pretty good quarterbacks starting with next week.
On how the rain impacted the game: "I think early on it took our edge running game out of play. So we came out in the second half and started driving up the middle. Unfortunately we fumbled on the goal line. I thought what Mike Shula and the offense decided to do coming out in the third quarter was excellent because we went right at them. Unfortunately we fumbled on the quarterback/center exchange and it gave them an opportunity."
Thoughts on how the win could help propel the team in future situations later this season: "It gives them confidence. I think our guys will know if we get into a situation like that we have the ability to score. That is one of the positive things about that. We learned an awful lot about ourselves today. We played against a very resilient football team that was in first place in their division. They are fighting and scratching as well. I thought their quarterback came alive and probably had one of his better days so far this season. They are just going to get better. I really do. I think they are a good football team."
On the play of Roman Harper and Charles Tillman: "I thought the two veteran guys made some plays. They tried to go at Charles Tillman a couple times and he was in position to knock the ball down. I thought Roman Harper was all over the place. I thought he did some really good things and helped create some of the takeaways."
QB CAM NEWTON
On whether or not he ever had a doubt during the game: "Never a doubt. Never a doubt. As long as we have Captain America, Luke August Kuechly on our team, I like our odds."
On what it was like to see Graham Gano make the game-winning field goal:"Well, me and Gano, we always tease each other. Anytime Coach gives us the opportunity to try to distract the field goal kicker during practice, we have it at least once or twice during camp. I whisper in his ear right before he goes out there and I say, "Just a little bit of pressure." That's it and I still keep it up. You know, every time he gets something going up through the upright, I whisper in his ear, "A little bit of pressure," so this time he kicked it up right. He came and whispered in my ear, "A little bit of pressure," so it is pretty much nothing man. It is just great to see a team win. It wasn't pretty. We know that. We know we have to be better but at the end of the day we are one of the lucky fews to be 7-0. We're not content by no means. We are just trying to find a way to get to 8-0."
On the weather conditions: "Man, this whole season has been kind of shaky with weather conditions. You know, we had something similar to this in Tampa. You know, kind of fighting the rain. I can't really recall top of the hand but that doesn't dictate our execution and that is great to see. I would love to get a touchdown on the first drive rather than the field goal but it is great that we got points especially Coach trusting in us to go for it on multiple fourth down situations. You know, that says a lot and we just have to make sure we capitalize off of those types of opportunities."
On his calm demeanor during overtime: "I hope I didn't look that, but I don't think we would have responded if you guys would have seen panic. The defense did a great job with just giving up three points and giving us the opportunity, because the overtime moves dictate that if they go down there and score, the game is over. Of course, we would always want to finish with the ball in our hands as an offense. A couple questionable calls but yet, that's another thing that you've just got to respond with that. We had a great officiating crew and we knew the game was going to be tight going into a game like this. With a quarterback like Andrew Luck, with a solid defense that plays lights out and a team that is very resilient. We have seen this happen numerous times. I kept thinking in the back of my mind, this is a team that thrives on when teams get lax late at the end. You see it happening on the sidelines. You just got to find ways to get first downs before you get touchdowns especially at the end of the game."
*TE GREG OLSEN *
Thoughts on if the crowd impacted the game: "Yeah, it did. For them to stick through that, it was rough conditions there for a while, and to hear them have our back when we were struggling a little bit trying to close that game out, I think it means a lot. This city right now is abuzz with Panther mania. They're excited, and we're happy they're enjoying it. They deserve it, and we're happy to share this with them here at home."
RB JONATHAN STEWART
Feelings after the victory: "I feel relieved. We definitely put it all out there tonight. It was a team effort that had to happen tonight for us to get that victory."
On if he was ready for overtime:"To be honest, you have to be prepared on the sideline but I had faith in my defense so I was cold, stiff, all that, but they held them to the field goal and we went into overtime. I had to go over to the heater and get warmed up, but once you get on the field you just forget how cold you are."
On how the team came together to win: It's all about toughness and grinding it out. There are going to be times where you have to have games like this to pull out victories where it's not pretty. Tonight was definitely not pretty. There were definitely things that we could have done better, but that's the nature of the game. Things aren't gonna go your way and you're going to make mistakes, but it's all about how you bounce back. That motto that we live by, Sam Mills, 'Keep Pounding' is the definition of how we played tonight.
LB LUKE KUECHLY
Regarding the interception at the end of regulation time: "Yeah, I turned around and it popped up on me quick. I don't know if I was falling or slipping or something, but I couldn't get my hands on it, so Roman (Harper) made a great play on it (in overtime), and I was just in the right spot."
On the overtime interception:"It was great. That play is really a result of the defensive line and Roman. Honestly, if you guys go back and look at it, they got a push. Roman made a great play and it really just popped right to me and all I had to do was catch it, and that time I was like, 'Alright, just catch it this time.' It was a great play by those guys up front; I was just in the right spot."
Thoughts on what this win says about the team: "(We've been) fighting since Day One, and that's what we do. We don't win pretty; that's not what we do. We just find a way to win at the end of the game, and that's what makes it fun here is we keep it exciting. You never know what to expect, we just know that you've got to step up in big moments and we were able to do that today."
S KURT COLEMAN
Thoughts on what it took to pull out this victory: "It took a total team effort and I am totally exhausted. I felt like I was running in sand and if anybody has run in sand, your calves really start to cramp up after a while so I was glad God was able to give me the motivation and the strength but this was a total team effort and I am so proud of everyone in this locker room and what we've been able to accomplish so far. I'm going to enjoy this for about the next seven hours then let's get ready for Green Bay."
Regarding the defense's play: "Well we always say we drive the bus from the back so I know as far as the DBs go we feel like we really set the tempo. I know with J-No (Josh Norman), J-No did a great job being able to match up whatever side T.Y. (Hilton) went to and then I thought that Peanut (Charles Tillman) had a couple of great, great plays down the field as well as Rome (Roman Harper) had a great pass break up, I mean I could go down the list. Then when you look at the front seven, T.D. (Thomas Davis), Luke (Kuechly), those guys had a tough job being able to stop that run and being able to play in pass coverage and then when we weren't able to cover I thought the D-line was able to affect Andrew Luck all the time. Andrew Luck is a strong, strong QB. I know they were dragging him down and he was still able to get the ball off but being able to get him off his spot and make him throw the ball a little high, a little off. They did a tremendous job up front."
View the top photos by team photographer Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez from Carolina's game against Indianapolis.