NFL 5 Things to Know Week 14: Patriots, Bengals, Broncos Can Clinch, Cowboys-Packers Playoffs Rematch Best Game, NFC East Still Open

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Dec 10, 2015 01:40 PM EST
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Wide receiver Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys
Wide receiver Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys catches the ball against cornerback Will Blackmon #41 of the Washington Redskins in the fourth quarter at FedExField on December 7, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. "

The NFL schedule is heading into Week 14 and a number of teams can clinch playoff spots, including the New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals. The Carolina Panthers have already clinched the NFC South, but the team can earn a first round bye for the playoffs depending on how the results go in Week 14.

Here are five things to know heading into Week 14:

Teams can clinch playoff spots this week

The Carolina Panthers are in at 12-0 after clinching the NFC South last week, but the team can also clinch a first round bye in Week 14. The Panthers can clinch with a win or tie this week and they can also clinch it with a Vikings loss or tie and a Packers loss or tie. The Cardinals can clinch a playoff spot or the NFC West depending on how the results go, while the Bengals can clinch the AFC North with a win. The Patriots and Broncos also have situations where they can clinch. Check here for the details on clinching scenarios.

The Cowboys and Packers playoffs rematch is the highlight of Week 14

The Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers will be facing off in a playoffs rematch from last season and this is a big game for both teams. The Packers are trying to stay in position in the NFC and the division, while the Cowboys are looking to get into the mix in the NFC East division. The team is just 4-8, but they are as alive as anyone in the race with the east being so weak. The Dez Bryant play is still being debated about and that should add some intrigue to the game on Sunday.

The MVP race can get much tighter after Week 14

Cam Newton likely will be in the lead for the MVP as long as the Panthers remain undefeated, but Tom Brady can put himself back in the mix for the top spot with another good performance against the Texans. The Panthers are 12-0 this season and if the team ends up 15-1 or 14-2, Newton still could get MVP consideration. Newton and Brady have put up strong numbers and players like Andy Dalton, Aaron Rodgers and Carson Palmer also could get votes.

The NFC East is still open for anyone to win it

The Washington Redskins had the chance to take control of the NFC East with a win over the Cowboys, but the team lost on Monday night. The Redskins now are 5-7 along with the Eagles and Giants and that leaves Dallas alive for the division as well at 4-8. The Eagles are playing the Bills this week, while the Giants will be on Monday night against the Dolphins. The Cowboys are playing the Packers, while the Redskins will be on the road against the Bears. This division is still up for grabs and 8-8 could win it.

LeSean McCoy returns to Philadelphia with the Bills

The Bills and Eagles are playing this weekend and that means LeSean McCoy will return to Philly after being traded in the offseason. McCoy had some harsh words for Eagles head coach Chip Kelly in the offseason after the deal happened and over the week Kelly said that he would like to shake hands with McCoy at the game. Kelly "expressed some regret" about the trade, according to Pro Football Talk, and McCoy later said that he won't be shaking hands with Kelly. Either way, McCoy and Kelly should add some intrigue to this game as well.

Check here for the Week 14 NFL schedule.

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