As they prepare for their second game against the Broncos, they're thrilled to have another chance to play against Manning after falling in that game 36-14.
For Kuechly—who is, in essence, the quarterback of the defense facing Manning—the mental challenge of going against the 18-year veteran is a thrill of its own.
"He's a guy that's got all kinds of calls and you've got to try to figure something out, but at the end of the day, you've just got to play your job because I'm sure he's got fake ones, he's got real ones," Kuechly said. "We're excited to be in this situation and it's cool for me to go against a guy like him when you spend your life watching him."
Outside linebacker Thomas Davis, one of the longest tenured players on the Panthers defense, joined his fellow first-team All-Pro teammates in lauding Manning for his level of detail in helming the offense and the success he's had throughout his career.
"I mean, he’s going to go down as—if not the greatest—one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play this game and you don’t just lose that overnight. You look at some people talking about his arm strength, but in the Patriots game, it looked pretty good to me. He looked good throwing the ball to me, from watching the game. We have to understand that as a defense, that he’s a true competitor. He’s a guy that’s going to come and want to do whatever he can to make sure that his team leaves that field victorious so we have to make sure that we’re doing whatever we can in our power to make sure that that doesn’t happen."