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Ron Rivera on facing Peyton: It'll be a 'chess match'

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  • By Andie Hagemann NFL.com
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One week remains until Carolina's looming date with Denver in Super Bowl 50. The Panthers' defense is quickly finding out how difficult it is to crack Peyton Manning's code. Rather than spending hours agonizing over Manning's various gestures and calls, the Panthers are opting for a simple approach.

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"When you think you're onto something, then you find something that discredits it," linebacker Luke Kuechly told USA Today. "So maybe one time he's saying this word and it's like, 'Alright, I've seen it two or three times and it's right' and then the fourth time, it's wrong. It's like, 'Well, that's done now.'"

Panthers coach Ron Rivera has faced this dilemma before during his stint as the San Diego Chargers' defensive coordinator. Rivera feels it's best to play "situational football" when facing Manning.

"He is going to anticipate and do things off of what he sees," Rivera said. "You have to make sure you're disguising, you are holding your disguise. He wants to undress the defense as quick as possible and get a feel for where they are going and he will know where to attack.

"I think it really is a great chess match -- and not necessarily coordinator against coordinator, but quarterback against defense."

Kuechly and Co. are embracing the challenge, though.

"For me, I try to really concentrate on what I'm doing," Kuechly said. "He's so smart, he's got all the checks, the movements and gestures. You can't worry about that too much because that's part of his game. That's who Peyton is ... It's fun to watch."

Make sure to watch Super Bowl Opening Night live Monday on NFL Network at 8 p.m. ET.

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