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Bears-Panthers matchup of the day: Friday

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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Posted Oct. 08, 2010 @ 11:42 a.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's Week Five game between the Bears and Panthers.

Bears DE Julius Peppers vs. Panthers OTs Jordan Gross and Geoff Schwartz

Bears DE Julius Peppers was asked this week whether the Panthers are going to have an advantage over him since they had seen all of his moves and practiced against him during his eight seasons in Carolina.

Peppers said he didn't think so, pointing out that he has developed a few more moves since he arrived in Chicago.

Familiarity may not make much of a difference when the time comes to try to block a freakish athlete like Peppers. OLT Jordan Gross and ORT Geoff Schwartz, who is filling in for the injured Jeff Otah, will both get a chance to stop Peppers on Sunday. The Bears are expected to continue moving their ace pass rusher from side-to-side until he finds the matchup he likes best.

Gross is considered the better pass protector — he made the Pro Bowl in 2008 — but Schwartz has been playing well. Carolina also will double-team Peppers with TE Jeff King if the situation calls for it. Head coach John Fox probably remembers some games when other teams shut down Peppers, but that doesn't mean the Panthers will execute well enough to do it on Sunday.

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