NFL Picks Week 15: Playoff Teams in Trouble This Weekend

Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2011

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 11:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos throws the ball against the Chicago Bears at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 11, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Four teams have already qualified for the playoffs and we still have three more games in the regular season.

With one more win the Green Bay Packers will earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints are vying for No. 2 while seeds 4, 5 and 6 are an absolute bloodbath.

Things are even crazier in the AFC. Four teams have a 10-3 record and two of them are actually in the same division. The AFC West and wild-card spots are still up for grabs with as many as six teams battling it out for three spots.

There aren't a ton of playoff-laden matchups this week, but a few postseason hopefuls are in trouble.


New York Giants

Big Blue takes on a Washington Redskins team that has already beaten them once this season. The Giants are also coming off an emotional, last-second win over division rival Dallas, which could signal a letdown for the current division leaders.

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 11:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants runs off the field after a 37-34 win against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Eli Manning and the Giants offense will be able to keep up and/or come back, but this game is going to be on the defense. 

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has to find a way to have his other 10 players make something happen rather than counting on Jason Pierre-Paul to dominate every snap.

This is a dangerous game for the Giants.


Denver Broncos

The Tebow Time Broncos are in for their toughest matchup yet.

The Patriots have reason to worry, too, considering the Colts and Redskins pulled within seven points by game's end the past two weeks, but the most danger rides with the Broncos on this one as they cannot afford a loss as they continue their run towards and AFC West title.

The Broncos' defense will be put the test and Bill Belichick is going to force Tebow to throw on his weak secondary.

This could be a Tebow game or this could be a Tom Brady-led massacre.


New York Jets

Gang Green struggles to make things happen on the road and the Philadelphia Eagles have finally gotten Michael Vick back.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 11:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets talks to an official during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Rex Ryan will have his work cut out for him this time around, as will Mark Sanchez.

Philadelphia still has a remote, outside both-the-Cowboys-and-Giants-need-to-fall-off-the-wagon-type chance at the postseason.

New York needs to not only be alert, but also on top of its game.