|Chuck Burton / Associated Press|
|Pro Bowl players Eli Manning and Julius Peppers will square off Sunday night.|
Carolina has taken three of the four all-time matchups, including a playoff win in 2005. See a breakdown of the meetings.
Keep your eye on ...
Eli's protection: The Giants' offensive line is widely considered one of the league's best, but it was completely manhandled by the Cowboys last Sunday. New York allowed Eli Manning to be sacked eight times. Carolina has the ninth-most sacks in the league and will challenge a suddenly shaky unit.
Which Steve Smith steps up: The Giants and Panthers each have a wide receiver named Steve Smith, and both lead their respective teams in receptions. Carolina's Smith has more big-play potential and is a proven playmaker, but New York's Smith is developing into a reliable possession receiver.
Williams' scoring touch: After going scoreless in the first four games this season, Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams has 16 touchdowns in his last 10 outings. He has a rushing TD in a team-record seven straight games. The Giants have allowed only nine rushing touchdowns all season, so it won't be easy for Williams to maintain his streak.
Did you know?
The winner clinches the NFC's No. 1 seed and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. See the complete playoff picture by clicking here. ... Panthers coach John Fox was the Giants' defensive coordinator from 1997 to 2001. ... The Giants have won the last nine games in which Amani Toomer has a touchdown catch.