CHARLOTTE – For two months, the Panthers were desperate for that winning feeling.
Sunday's 41-10 triumph over the Saints lifted the locker room. And it made for a feel-good Monday at Bank of America Stadium.
"Everything feels different," head coach Ron Rivera said. "It tastes different. Things sound different. You guys are nicer. That's all part of it. That's the truth of the matter. It lifts everybody's spirit."
But this was no "Victory Monday," meaning the players got the day off. Instead, the Panthers got right back to it.
"The players are in and they're working," Rivera said. "That's the approach we are taking. We have to work every day and every opportunity we get as we go forward.
"Right now, we control the moment. We are going to work that way."
Rivera always remained positive during his team's seven game winless streak, but how did he handle the disappointing string of defeats?
"Come to work every day," Rivera said matter-of-factly. "In life, you get a second chance. It's called tomorrow. That's the way I look at it.
"Some of you can't believe that I'm optimistic about things, but that's just me," he added. "I'd much rather go through life with the glass half full as opposed to empty. That's just the way I am going to approach it with our players."
Carolina is once again in the race for NFC South title. But after earning their first win since Week 5, Rivera wants the Panthers to focus solely on turning one win into two.
"The thing we talked about is not looking at the end but looking at the race," Rivera said. "Don't look at the finish line."
Boosted by a dominant win, the Panthers just need to keep their heads down and run their race.
"We have to continue to believe in it and build on it," Rivera said. "We're gaining momentum."