SB Nation Minnesota's Week Fifteen NFL Picks

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 11: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 11, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

So, how do you top a week where you went 12-3 straight-up with your picks? Why, you go 13-2 the next week, that's how. Of course, one of the two games we missed was our "Lock of the Week" as San Francisco somehow managed to not beat Arizona, and the only other game we were incorrect on was a fairly meaningless match-up between Miami and Philadelphia. We were even above water against the spread last week, managing to go 8-7 and keeping us above the .500 mark against the number for the season.

We're already off to a nice start this week, as our tweeted pick of Atlanta demolishing Jacksonville both straight-up and against the spread came to fruition on Thursday night, so let's move on to the rest of the week, shall we?

Game of the Week - New England Patriots (-4.5) at Denver Broncos

CBS and NBC fought over the right to broadcast this one, and with good reason, as we get one of the AFC's best teams taking a trip to the Mile High City to do battle with the NFL's most compelling story.

You know something? If you want to pick against Tim Tebow at this point, you go right ahead. Have fun with that. Like I said last week, I'm done attempting to figure out the Broncos, and I've learned my lesson.

Straight-Up - Broncos, ATS - Broncos

Lock of the Week - Green Bay Packers (-15) at Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City has a new coach, and they're still not very good. Ugh.

Straight-Up - Packers, ATS - Packers

Upset of the Week - Detroit Lions (-1) at Oakland Raiders

Neither of these teams were terribly impressive in Week 14, with the Raiders getting demolished in Green Bay and the Lions needing to hold on for dear life against Minnesota. Both of these teams are still in the thick of the playoff hunt, and even with the return of Ndamukong Suh, the Lions still have a chance of imploding. A win over a 2-11 team doesn't impress me enough to take them over the Raiders.

Straight-Up - Raiders, ATS - Raiders

The Rest of the Week

Dallas Cowboys (-7) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Cowboys could have taken firm control of the NFC East last week. . .but, that's not the Cowboy way, as they completely collapsed against the Giants at home. Now they need to keep winning, but against a team like Tampa, that shouldn't be that tall a task.

Straight-Up - Cowboys, ATS - Cowboys

Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5) at St. Louis Rams

Cincinnati is still locked in a battle for the last playoff spot in the AFC, while the Rams are in an epic battle with the Minnesota Vikings for the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Bengals should win this one, but something tells me it won't be a terribly convincing win.

Straight-Up - Bengals, ATS - Rams

Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-7.5)

A tough loss to Green Bay and a thrilling comeback victory over the Cowboys might just be the spark the Giants need to get themselves to the top of the NFC East. A victory over the hapless Redskins will help, too.

Straight-Up - Giants, ATS - Giants

Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears (-3.5)

The Bears are the latest team to get "Tebowed," knocking themselves out of the NFC playoff picture for the moment in the process. The Seahawks have an outside shot at a playoff spot. . .and it's a long shot. . .and will have to run the table if they want to make it happen. As long as Chicago is starting Caleb Hanie behind center, I can't in good conscience pick them to do anything of merit.

Straight-Up - Seahawks, ATS - Seahawks

Miami Dolphins (-1.5) at Buffalo Bills

Remember when the Dolphins were "Sucking for Luck" and the Bills were one of the hottest teams in the NFL? Yeah. . .seems like forever ago, doesn't it? Now the Dolphins are favored to go into Ralph Wilson Stadium and come out with a win. No reason to think they won't get it at this point.

Straight-Up - Dolphins, ATS - Dolphins

Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans (-6)

I don't know how the Texans keep doing it, as they're now on their third-string quarterback and still without Andre Johnson. They're still in a battle for the AFC's top seed with New England, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Cam Newton, for as great as he's been, is going to have issues with Houston's defense. The Texans should keep things rolling.

Straight-Up - Texans, ATS - Texans

Tennessee Titans (-7) at Indianapolis Colts

The Colts have quit. They've got one shot at a win this season, and it's the season finale in Jacksonville. With the Titans having gotten Chris Johnson going (finally), this one doesn't look promising for the home team.

Straight-Up - Titans, ATS - Titans

Cleveland Browns at Arizona Cardinals (-6.5)

Colt McCoy isn't going to play in this one after absorbing a James Harrison cheap shot last Thursday night. The Cleveland offense is a mess right now, to the point where I don't think they're going to beat the Cardinals regardless of who Arizona starts at quarterback. By the way, if you're a Vikings fan, how happy are you that Minnesota didn't get suckered into trading for Kevin Kolb? It doesn't appear that he's even Arizona's best quarterback at the moment.

Straight-Up - Cardinals, ATS - Cardinals

New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles (-2)

The Eagles are favored here? Huh? Why? How? Because they beat the Dolphins on the road last week? I don't get it. . .the Jets are getting hot at the right time again, and the Eagles still aren't very good. Rex Ryan and company should take another step towards sneaking into the AFC playoffs as a lower seed again.

Straight-Up - Jets, ATS - Jets

Baltimore Ravens (-1) at San Diego Chargers

The Chargers are trying to make up for completely falling apart in the middle portion of the season by putting together a run at the end. The Ravens might be the best team in the AFC, and the defense is playing out of its mind despite the absence of Ray Lewis. Whatever mini-run the Chargers might be on, it probably ends on Sunday night.

Straight-Up - Ravens, ATS - Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers at San Francisco 49ers (-2.5)

Another favorite I don't quite understand. The Steelers have had nearly two full weeks off, while the Niners are coming off of a home loss to Arizona. San Francisco might be starting to feel the pressure of trying to hold on to the #2 seed in the NFC playoffs ahead of the hard-charging Saints. I think they fall out of the 2-hole on Monday night.

Straight-Up - Steelers, ATS - Steelers

Straight-Up For Season: 126-65 (13-2 last week)
ATS For Season: 93-91-7 (8-7 last week)
Lock of the Week: 7-6
Upset of the Week: 5-8

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