Picking Lock hasn't been tough, but Panthers haven't been thieves

Broncos (4-8) at Panthers (4-8)

1 p.m. ET | CBS

Matchup rating: 35.9 | Spread: CAR -4

What to watch for: Can the Panthers keep quarterback Teddy Bridgewater clean against a defense tied for eighth in the NFL in sacks with 32? Bridgewater might be without several of his top weapons, with running back Christian McCaffrey in doubt with a quad injury and wide receiver DJ Moore on the NFL's reserve/COVID-19 list. He might need more time than normal to give more inexperienced players a chance to create separation. But when Bridgewater is kept clean, the Panthers are usually competitive. -- David Newton

Bold prediction: Broncos quarterback Drew Lock will have his first interception-free day since Week 2 (when he threw just four passes before exiting with a shoulder injury). Lock has struggled in the turnover department since he returned in Week 5 from that injury and has tossed 13 interceptions in his seven starts since then. But he says he has gotten the message, and the Panthers defense has intercepted just five passes this season. -- Jeff Legwold

Stat to know: Lock ranks in the bottom four among all 32 qualified quarterbacks in Total QBR (29th), completion percentage (32nd) and TD-to-interception ratio (30th).

Playoff/draft picture: Both teams are 4-8 and in the top 10 projected draft spots. The Panthers are looking at the No. 8 spot, per FPI, while the Broncos are at No. 10. Could either get into the top five? The Panthers have a 8.7% chance, and Denver is slightly more likely at 10.1%.

Injuries: Broncos | Panthers

What to know for fantasy: Will McCaffrey be back this week? The consensus first overall pick in fantasy drafts has appeared in three games this season, the last of which was Week 9. And yet, in Weeks 1-9, he ranked as RB26 with 90.4 fantasy points. See Week 14 rankings.

Betting nugget: Carolina is 0-4 ATS in both its past four games as a favorite and its past four as a home favorite. Read more.

Legwold's pick: Broncos 23, Panthers 16

Newton's pick: Broncos 24, Panthers 10

FPI prediction: CAR, 65.6% (by an average of 5.4 points)

Matchup must-reads: What the Broncos want to see from Lock over the next four games ... McCaffrey comes 'full circle' in prep for Broncos ... Broncos 'tough guy' Patrick approaching 1,000 yards ... McCaffrey's return for Panthers meaningful, even if final games aren't ... Broncos DC Donatell expects to return to field Sunday after battle with COVID-19 ... Quick fade of Panthers and Broncos after Super Bowl 50 started at QB