The NFL is heading into Week 15 of the season and the main storyline is whether or not the Carolina Panthers can stay undefeated when they take on the New York Giants.
The team comes into the game at 13-0 and they will be travelling to East Rutherford to take on the Giants at 1 pm ET on Sunday. The Giants have some experience playing an undefeated team, as they took on the 15-0 Patriots and lost in the regular season before beating the 18-0 Pats in the Super Bowl that same season. The Giants will play the Panthers tough and if Carolina wins, they will need two more victories to reach 16-0.
A number of teams can clinch playoff spots this weekend, including the Packers, Broncos, Bengals, Seahawks and Vikings. The AFC South and NFC East divisions are still up for grabs and there is a crucial game in the south with the Texans taking on the Colts.
Here are five things to know about the NFL in Week 15:
Can the Carolina Panthers Stay Undefeated?
The Panthers will visit the Giants on Sunday with their undefeated record on the line and the team will try and improve to 14-0 with a win. Cam Newton is having an MVP season and the defense has played very well, giving the Giants a tough task at home in Week 15. The Panthers will have to try and win without Jonathan Stewart in the lineup, as he is out with an injury. Greg Olsen was banged up last week, but he is expected to play.
More teams can clinch playoff spots
The Panthers, Patriots and Cardinals have all clinched playoff spots and more teams can join in this week. Depending on how the results shake out, teams like the Bengals, Broncos, Packers, Vikings and Seahawks all can clinch playoff spots. The Pats and Panthers have clinched division titles, while the Cardinals can get the NFC West with a win. Check here for the details on the clinching scenarios. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/12/15/five-more-teams-can-clinch-playoff-berths-this-week/
Divisional matchups on the schedule
The AFC South has a major division game on Sunday with the Houston Texans visiting the Indianapolis Colts. Both teams are 6-7 and the Colts currently sit in first place after winning the previous head-to-head matchup this season. The winner of this game will have the inside track to taking the division title. The Bears and Vikings matchup in the NFC North will give the Vikings a chance to clinch a playoff spot, as they currently are in wild card position in the conference.
MVP Race Update
Cam Newton is being looked at as the overall favorite in the MVP race this season, as he has very strong numbers and has his team undefeated at 13-0. Tom Brady, Carson Palmer and Aaron Rodgers all have strong numbers and will get some consideration, but right now it appears to be Newton's award to lose. Even if the Panthers finish 13-3, 14- or 15-1, Newton likely will win the award, as many did not predict this team to make the playoffs coming into the season, let alone start 13-0.
Who gets the number one pick in the 2016 NFL Draft?
The battle for the number one overall pick in the draft will continue over the final three weeks and teams like the Titans, Browns, Chargers, Lions, Cowboys and 49ers are all within range to get it. Right now the Titans, Browns and Chargers are 3-10 and one of those teams likely will be the one to get it.