Tag:Atlanta
Posted on: October 9, 2012 10:00 pm
 

2012/2013 NFL Week 6 Power Rankings

And then there were two...two undefeated teams left in the NFL, the Falcons and the Texans, one from the NFC and one from the AFC. Which team do you think has a better chance of representing their conference in the Super Bowl? That is question that we will have to wait and see for the answer, what I can promise you, however, is what team will not be in the NFL playoffs, the Cleveland Browns, the lone team left in the NFL without a victory this year. Better luck next year Cleveland.

All but one of our top 5 teams won last week and we will only have one new team this week, who will it be? Keep reading to find out and lets get into the rankings...

1. Houston Texans - (5-0)

So it wasn't the Texans best performance but it was a victory. The Jets played the Texans tougher than I expected and probably tougher than most people expected but they were at home and coming off an absolute embarrassing defeat. Even with the extra motivation they couldn't beat the Texans and now the Texans stand alone in the AFC as the only unbeaten team. This week they will play host to the Green Bay Packers who are underachieving at 2-3 so far this year. The Texans have two tough games before their bye with the Pack this week and the Ravens the next. If they win the next two games and head to their bye week at 7-0 then I believe they become the clear answer the question I posed in the first sentence.

2. Atlanta Falcons - (5-0)

With the Arizona Cardinals falling to the St. Louis Rams last week, the Falcons had a chance to become the only undefeated team in the NFC and on Sunday, in our nation's capitol, they did not dissappoint. The Redskins played them tough considering they had to play two rookie quarterbacks after their first rookie, RGIII, went down early in the game. But the Falcons proved they have what it takes to win a close game on the road. This week they host the Oakland Raiders who are coming off their bye week. Will Carson Palmer be the quarterback who blemishes the Falcons perfect record? I don't think the Raiders will win but you know the saying, "Any Given Sunday."

3. San Francisco 49ers - (4-1)

The San Francisco 49ers are beating the AFC East 79-3 in their last two games. Yes, that is right, 79-3. Neither the Jets or the Bills could find a way to get into the end zone. I would say that is a pretty solid statement after losing their first game of the year in week 3 to the Minnesota Vikings. This week they will face the upstart divisional foe, the Seattle Seahawks, in what could be a very low scoring, hard hitting, defensive battle. I like the Seahawks but not as much as I like the way that the 49ers defense is playing especially when they are going to face a rookie quarterback. The big question this week will be "can Seattle get the ball into the endzone?"

4. Baltimore Ravens - (4-1)

The Baltimore Ravens won a game on Sunday that was reminiscint of their 2000 Super Bowl year. They won a game without scoring a touchdown, they won the game with their defense. Now, if I am a Baltimore fan, I am not sure I would be too excited because they were playing the Chiefs who are going to be dueling it out with the Browns for the worst record in the NFL for the year. This is the first time that I ever thought about dropping a team in my rankings after a victory. The Ravens offense looked inept and downright pathetic at times. This week they host the Dallas Cowboys who will be coming off of a bye. The Cowboys are a hard team to get a read on and the Ravens will be facing the Texans the following week, seems like a perfect trap game to me.

5. Chicago Bears - (4-1)

The one team that is new to our power rankings this week is the Chicago Bears. It was tough to choose between the Bears and the Vikings but I had to give the nod to the Bears because of the way their defense is playing. The Bears have scored 4 touchdowns in the past two weeks on interceptions and might be the most opportunistic defense in the NFL. If Cutler can start playing like everyone believes he can play this team could be right there come January. The defense is allowing less than 15 points a game and have only given up 7 total touchdowns in 5 games not to mention they are +9 in turnover ratio and are giving up less than 300 yards of offense a game. They head into their bye week this week and will face the Detroit Lions in week 7.

There you have it, the NFL power rankings for week 6 by Mole & Meares. Check back each week as we will update our top five teams weekly.

You can watch our weekly picks video where we pick the top four games in the NFL each week against the spread by going to our site, www.moleandmeares.com or our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/meares78.

You can also keep up with us on twitter, @moleandmeares, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/moleandmeares.
Posted on: October 2, 2012 9:01 pm
 

2012/2013 NFL Week 5 Power Rankings

Yay! The real refs are back!!! You want to know why I am excited about the real refs? The games aren't lasting 4 hours anymore. This will be last time the referees are mentioned in this weekly post and I am so thankful for that point.

After four weeks in the NFL (the first quarter if you will) one thing is obvious, there are a lot of average football teams in the league. Two teams really stand tall above all others, one in the AFC and one in the NFC. If recent past seasons are any indication of what we are to expect out of our Super Bowl teams then neither the Texans or the Falcons will win this year's championship. Super Bowl talk is a little premature at this point so how about we just get into the rankings.

1. Houston Texans - (4-0)

The Houston Texans absolutely dominated the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Houston. They ran the ball at will, passed at will and scored two touchdowns on defense. This team looks unbeatable at this point and will travel to New Jersey to face the NY Jets on Monday night. Houston's defense is as good, if not better than the 49ers defense who shutout the Jets last week so I have a pretty good feeling that the Texans will remain in our number one spot after week 5.

2. Atlanta Falcons - (4-0)

The Falcons looked poised to lose their first game this past Sunday when they faced the Panthers at home but a late game comeback sealed the victory and kept their record unblemished through 4 weeks. Matt Ryan is having his best season of his career averaging almost 300 yards a game with 11 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. The running game was also effective last week and Michael Turner is averaging a respective 4.7 yards a carry for the season. The Falcons will travel to our nation's captial on Sunday to face the inconsistent Washington Redskins. The Falcons had trouble containing Cam Newton on Sunday and now will face RGIII who is basically the same quarterback. This will be a good road test for the best team in the NFC.

3. Arizona Cardinals - (4-0)

The Atlanta Cardinals just continue to impress even though it took overtime to beat the young Miami Dolphins team. Kevin Kolb continues to play well after taking over for the injured John Skelton in week one and has secured his position as the team's starting QB. They have a short week as they will face their divisional opponent, the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night. Can they continue this surprising streak? Sam Bradford and company might have something to say about that and might bring the red birds back to Earth.

4. San Francisco 49ers - (3-1)

The San Francisco 49ers avenged their horrible outing against the Vikings last week and rebounded with an amazing defensive show against the New York Jets, holding them to less than 200 yards of offense and keeping them off the scoreboard. They ran the ball hard and often against the weak Jets rush defense and if they want to remain in our rankings they need to continue with that game plan. This Sunday they welcome the Buffalo Bills into Candlestick fresh off of their ass whipping by the New England Patriots who scored 45 second half points. I am not sure how the Bills are going to stop the 49ers from getting into the endzone or how they will score against that staunch defense so I see little doubt the 49ers will remain in our top 5.

5. Baltimore Ravens - (3-1)

The Ravens rebounced last week against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night and although they didn't look sharp, they were on 4 days rest. The defense for the Ravens doesn't seem as strong as years past and their offense is carrying them to victory. This week they go to Kansas City to face the Chiefs we really aren't a very good football team at this point. One thing the Ravens have been able to do over the last five season or so is beat the teams they are supposed to beat and this week won't be any different.

There you have it, the NFL power rankings for week 5 by Mole & Meares. Check back each week as we will update our top five teams weekly.

You can watch our weekly picks video where we pick the top four games in the NFL each week against the spread by going to our site, www.moleandmeares.com or our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/meares78.

You can also keep up with us on twitter, @moleandmeares, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/moleandmeares.
Posted on: September 25, 2012 5:26 pm
 

2012/2013 NFL Week 4 Power Rankings

I am not going to do what everyone thinks I am going to do and FREAK OUT! Seriously, I hate to keep harping on this but these replacement referees are not prepared to officiate these games and it needs to be rectified immediately. Causing the game to be long is one thing, blatantly getting a call wrong which causes a team to lose is a whole can of worms that should never have been opened. I hope something gets figured out soon because this is getting tough to watch.

With that said, the games will go on. Interesting stat through three weeks that may only interest me: The Cardinals, Vikings, Seahawks and Bills are a combined 9-3. The Patriots, Steelers, Packers and Saints are a combined 3-9. Anyone see that coming? Only three undefeated teams left in the NFL after 3 weeks so which 2-1 teams will round out our top five? Let's find out!

1. Houston Texans - (3-0)

The Houston Texans went into Mile High Stadium on Sunday and took care of business. For the first 3 quarters they shutdown Peyton Manning and absolutely ripped the Broncos defense to shreds. This team is playing really good football right now on both sides of the ball. Hopefully Schuab will get his ear reattached in time to face the Titans this week. This is definitely a trap game for the Texans with the Jets and the Packers coming up in consectutive weeks after the Titans. As long as the Texans don't look beyond the Titans they should remain at the top of our rankings for the third straight week.

2. Atlanta Falcons - (3-0)

The Falcons are really making their case for the top spot in our rankings. They outplayed the Chargers on both sides of the ball and made San Diego look really bad. They have a bit of a soft schedule in the coming weeks with games against three teams under .500. This week the face division rival Carolina who is coming off of a really bad loss to the Giants and have had a few extra days to prepare. It wouldn't surprise me to see the Falcons at 6-0 heading deep into October.

3. Arizona Cardinals - (3-0)

The Atlanta Cardinals are third in our power rankings. I can't believe I just wrote that last sentence. This team didn't even name a starting quarterback until days before opening day and then watched as he was knocked out of the game. Last week they dominated the Eagles from start to finish and proved their defense is the real deal. I am not quite sure they can keep this up but their schedule definitely sets them up for a chance to keep the winning streak alive. This week they welcome in the Dolphins who are not the best team in the world. Ryan Tannenhill better be prepared to spend a good part of Sunday on his back.

4. New York Giants - (2-1)

The New York Giants started our power rankings as the number one team but promptly lost on opening night to the Cowboys. Despite some fairly significant injuries they have fought back to win the next two games and sneak in at #4 in our power rankings. Eli Manning continues his strong play at quarterback last week and two new possible stars emerged in Ramses Barden and Andre Brown. They travel down the Jersey Turnpike this week to face their hated rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles. If Vick and company continue to turn over the ball at their regulary clip this game will be over really quickly.

5. San Francisco 49ers - (2-1)

The 49ers were the surprise upset last week losing in Minneapolis to the Vikings. I don't believe anyone saw this coming but in the NFL it is any given Sunday. I am going to assume this was more a bump in the road then a trend and I believe they will rebound nicely this week against the Jets in Northern New Jersey. The 49ers defense is too good to allow Sanchez to throw all over them and a steady dose of Frank Gore should lead to a victory.

There you have it, the NFL power rankings for week 4 by Mole & Meares. Check back each week as we will update our top five teams weekly.

You can watch our weekly picks video where we pick the top four games in the NFL each week against the spread by going to our site, www.moleandmeares.com or our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/meares78.

You can also keep up with us on twitter, @moleandmeares, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/moleandmeares.
Posted on: September 18, 2012 4:00 pm
 

2012/2013 NFL Week 3 Power Rankings

Week 2 featured some surprises but the most surprising item was the length of the games this week. I believe the replacement officials are doing the best job they can but one thing that is suffering is the length of the games. This situation needs to be rectified soon because it is getting tough to watch with all of the delays. I understand missing a call because they are human but the time delays are just ludicrous.

Enough of my rant, lets talk about where we stand two weeks into the 2012 NFL season. Only 6 teams are unbeaten through 2 weeks and only 6 teams are winless, something that hasn't happened since the mid 90s. The most surprising of the unbeatens has to be the Arizona Cardinals with their much improved defense. The most surprising of the winless has to be the New Orleans Saints, a guess not having your coaching staff does takes its toll.

Now lets get into the rankings!

1. Houston Texans - (2-0)

The Houston Texans take over our first spot this week. They are the third different team to hold this position in three weeks, the previous two teams lost, lets hope this isn't the curse of death. The Texans have put up 57 points in their first two games while only allowing 17 points against. After losing Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans this offseason I thought their defense would struggle but they are number one in points against in the NFL. This week they face their first real test when they have to travel into Denver to face Petyon Manning and the Bronocos. If they hold the Broncos under 10 points this week that is doing something.

2. San Francisco 49ers - (2-0)

The 49ers made a case to be in our top spot this week and it was a close call. They are definitely the class of the NFC after dismantling the Detroit Lions on Sunday. They have beat two playoff teams from last year in the first two weeks and their offense looks really good this year. If Frank Gore continues to run the ball the hard and Moss and Crabtree can continue their impressive play this is going to be a tough team to beat. The 49ers travel to Minnesota this week to face their third straight NFC north opponent but unlike the first two, the Vikings probably won't be able to compete.

3. Atlanta Falcons - (2-0)

The Atlanta Falcons are one of our three new teams in the rankings this week and they come in at the highest position. They looked awfully good on Monday night on defense against Peyton Manning causing 4 turnovers in the first quarter. They confused, in my opinion, the smartest quarterback to ever play the game and made him look really bad. They travel across the country this week to face off against another undefeated team in the San Diego Chargers. A win against the Chargers will go a long way in helping the Falcons continue to climb up our power rankings.

4. San Diego Chargers - (2-0)

The San Diego Chargers have started the season with two consecutive wins and they have done it with solid play on both sides of the ball. They are holding their opponents to just 12 points a game while averaging 30 points a game on offense. If Philip Rivers can continue his solid play (i.e. not throwing a million interceptions) this team has a chance to compete in the relatively week AFC west. The Chargers host the Falcons this week in one of two games featuring undefeated teams. If they find a way to beat the Falcons they will turn me into a believer.

5. Philadelphia Eagles - (2-0)

The Eagles have turned the ball over 9 times in two weeks. NINE TIMES. And they have won both games. If they find a way to not give the ball to the other team 4 to 5 times a game they might be the best team in the NFL. Until then they will stay at the bottom of our rankings. This week they face off against the surprising Arizona Cardinals who went into Foxboro last week and shutdown the Patriots. If the Arizona Cardinals can cause the Eagles to continue to turn over the ball I have a feeling this will be a short lived trip into our top 5.

There you have it, the NFL power rankings for week 3 by Mole & Meares. Check back each week as we will update our top five teams weekly.

You can watch our weekly picks video where we pick the top four games in the NFL each week against the spread by going to our site, www.moleandmeares.com or our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/meares78.

You can also keep up with us on twitter, @moleandmeares, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/moleandmeares.
Posted on: January 4, 2011 11:26 am
 

NFL Power Rankings - Post Season

The NFL regular season is now officially over and it is on to the playoffs.  That means it is time to rank the 12 playoff teams in our post season version of the NFL power rankings.  Can anyone beat the Patriots this winter?  Are the Falcons the team to beat in the NFC?  Both of these are good questions and below you will find my attempt at answering them.  Here we go...

1.  New England Patriots - The Patriots have won 8 games in a row and all but two haven't even been close.  They are the only team in the NFL to score over 500 points this season and the only team that has outscored its opponents by over 200 points for the season.  They are also the only team to be undefeated at home and one of two teams (Chiefs) to not lose a game to the NFC.  Did I also mention that Tom Brady is probably the runaway MVP this year?  He has a 65.9 completion percentage, has thrown 36 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions and has a passer rating of 111.0.  Someone tell me how this team doesn't win the Superbowl?

2.  Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons are definitely the best team in the NFC at this time but they aren't the Patriots.  They showed two weeks ago against the Saints they can be beat and be beat at home.  With that said they are the most likely candidate to face the Patriots in the Superbowl but they are far from a lock.  Matt Ryan is unproven in the post season and althought Matty "Ice" has had a very good season, we all know that the post season separates the men from the boys.  If Ryan continues his stellar play they should have a chance to play in February.

3.  Pittsburgh Steelers - The Steelers have the best defense in the league again this year, only allowing 232 points against for the season.  Their offense, on the other hand, shows up only from time to time.  They have probably the best chance of any other AFC team to take down the Patriots this year except for the fact that Tom Brady owns them.  If their defense can play at the same level they have all season and they find a way to put the ball in the end zone instead of through the uprights they might have a chance.

4.  Chicago Bears - The Bears have a first round bye but at the same time they do have some cause for concern.  I know they didn't have anything to play for in the final week of the season but they still lined up their first stringers against the Packers and only managed 3 points.  What is more concerning is that Cutler looked shaky and so did their offensive line giving up 6 sacks.  This team is still good though and their defense in probably the best in the NFC.  If Cutler can hold onto the ball and not turn it over than the Bears have what it takes to play for a chance to go to the Superbowl but I am not sure if they can go further.

5.  Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens are almost the exact clone of the Pittsburgh Steelers, they play the same type of football.  Their defense has shown at times that they can give up points but their offense is more consistent than the Steelers.  Other than the Steelers, the Ravens match up best against the Patriots and I believe it will be either the Ravens or the Steelers playing the Patriots for the right to go to Dallas.  If the Ravens can ratchet up their defense for the playoffs and they can continue to run the ball down the throat of their opponents then this team has a chance.

6.  Green Bay Packers - The Packers are the most dangerous 6 seed I have ever seen.  They are coming into the playoffs on a two game win streak where both games were basically playoff games for them.  Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFC when he is healthy and that will be the goal of the offensive line of the Packers, keep Rodgers off the ground.  It is truly amazing what this team has accomplished with the amount of injuries they have sustained this season.  I like the Packers to win this week and go into Atlanta next week with a chance to shock the world.

7.  New Orleans Saints - The Saints are not quite the same team they were last year but they are back in the playoffs with a chance to defend their Superbowl crown.  They won the lottery and get to face the first sub 500 team to ever make the playoffs this year when they travel to Seattle on Saturday.  Stranger things have happened, but I would be surprised not to see New Orleans make it to the divisional weekend of the playoffs.  From there, who knows what happens, they proved a couple of weeks ago they can go into Atlanta and win so maybe they can do it again?

8.  Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs are an interesting team.  They, perhaps, run the ball better than any other team in the playoffs and they are very quick on the defensive side of the ball.  They have a tough first round game against the Ravens but they will get to play in the friendly confines of Arrowhead Stadium.  No one expected this team to be in this position and that is sometimes the most dangerous team out there.  They are playing on house money so they could be looser than everyone else because they know they have nothing to lose.  

9.  Indianapolis Colts - The Colts managed to find a way into the post season again and this time with a JV team around Peyton Manning.  On one hand, it is hard to imagine this Colts team making any noise in the post season but on the other hand it is never a good idea to bet against Manning.  The Colts are riding a 4 game win streak but two of those games were against the awful Tennessee Titans.  I think that the injuries have taken their toll on this team and I can't imagine them being able to beat the elite teams in the AFC this year, could be a one and done this post season.

10.  New York Jets - The Jets are a hard team to get a read on.  Their defense is no where near as good as it was last year when they made the run to the AFC championship game and their offense has been hit or miss.  With all of the off the field distractions, StergerGate, TrippingGate, FootGate and now FavreTextingGate I am not sure if there is any time left to focus on football.  This team has all the tools to be a Superbowl contender, but they can't seem to get out of their own way.  Mark Sanchez needs a year or two more to mature into a better quarterback and Rex Ryan needs to learn how to close his mouth from time to time.  This is not the Jets year.

11.  Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles are limping into the post season after two consecutive losses.  Now granted, the loss on Sunday was because of the Eagles resting most of their starters but it is a loss nonetheless.  Michael Vick hasn't been as electric recently as he was in the middle of the season, perhaps all of the hits he has been taking are finally taking a toll on him.  Their defense has more holes in it than a piece of swiss cheese.  Eagles fans should take solace in the fact that after week one they would never have thought they would be in the playoffs.  This is going to be a very short post season for the Eagles. 

12.  Seattle Seahawks - 7-9.  First team EVER to make the playoffs with a losing record.  They don't even deserve to be in these rankings.  Enjoy your home playoff game because that is where your season ends.

There you have it, the power rankings for the 2010-2011 NFL playoff teams.  Do you see them ranked differently?  Let me know by leaving comments below.  Also, don't forget to check out my online NFL picks show, The Mole & Meares show, at www.moleandmeares.com.  We will be picking all of the playoff games this post season.

Meares

Posted on: December 29, 2010 9:06 am
 

NFL Power Rankings - Week 17

Going into the final week of the NFL regular season, the playoff picture is almost completely set.  Their are only three spots available, one in the AFC and two in the NFC, which will be determined this Sunday.  The Patriots have locked up home field advantage in the AFC and Atlanta is all but guaranteed home field advantage in the NFC.  Some teams have backed into the playoffs (Eagles & Jets) and some teams will enter the playoffs on a roll.  With how crazy this NFL season has been I would expect some surprises in the playoffs.  Here are the top 5 teams entering week 17...

1.  New England Patriots (13-2) - The Patriots have won 7 games in a row and haven't scored less than 31 points since November 7th.  I would venture to say that this offense is rolling right now.  New England is not known for resting their starters much, even in games where nothing is on the line so I believe we will see the Patriots roll out to an early lead on Miami at home this week and then coast through the second half and enter the playoffs on an 8 game win streak.  It is tough to envision a Superbowl in February that won't include the Patriots.

2.  Atlanta Falcons (12-3) - The Falcons finally lost at home and showed they aren't unbeatable in the Georgia Dome.  Matt Ryan only lost for the second time at home in his career.  With that said the Falcons face the lowly Panthers this week at home and a win gives them the number one seed in the NFC and forces the road to the Superbowl to go through Atlanta.  I like Atlanta to win this week and force teams to beat them on their own turf but we now see that is not an impossible task. 

3.  Baltimore Ravens (11-4) -  The Ravens are quietly on a 3 game win streak.  Three of their four losses this year came against the Patriots, the Falcons and the Steelers, all playoff teams.  Their fourth loss was at the Cincinnati Bengals who they face at home this week with a chance to avenge their earlier loss and perhaps sneak into the two seed in the AFC.  If the Ravens continue to pound the ball down their opponents throat and can find a way to capture their defense of years past they could be the team to give the Patriots some trouble come late January. 

4.  Chicago Bears (11-4) - The Bears just continue to impress, taking down the Jets last week at home after falling behind 21-10.  I have doubted this team all year, waiting for Jay Cutler to become the turnover machine we are all accustomed to seeing.  That hasn't happened and now with the Vikings upsetting the Eagles last night, the Bears have clinched a first round bye in the NFC.  They face the Packers this week in Lambeau with nothing to play for whereas the Packers need a win to make the playoffs.  More than likely, the Bears will rest most of their starts and the Packers will cruise into the playoffs. 

5.  New Orleans Saints (11-4) - What an impressive win in Atlanta last week.  As I alluded to earlier, the Falcons had not lost at home all season and yet the Saints managed to go into the Georgia Dome and take down the best team in the NFC.  This keeps the Saints slim hopes alive of winning their division and securing the number one seed in the NFC.  This scenario is highly unlikely with the Falcons facing the worst team in the NFL and the Saints welcoming in the upstart Buccaneers who believe they still have a chance to make the playoffs.  But that is why they play the games, you never know!

Honorable Mentions:  Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles

There is the top 5 teams in the NFL after week 16. Thoughts or opinions?  Feel free to leave a comment!  Also don't forget to visit my site, www.moleandmeares.com, to watch our weekly picks video and submit your week 17 NFL picks for a chance to win a weekly prize.

Meares
Posted on: December 21, 2010 9:22 am
 

NFL Power Rankings - Week 16

What an amazing week 15 in the NFL.  There were so many good games and so many surprises at the same time.  There have been some major shakeups in our week 16 power rankings and the playoff picture has become much clearer as we head into the final two games of the season.  We have two new teams in our top 5 although our top 2 spots remain the same for the fourth consecutive week.  Don't forget that my online NFL picks show, The Mole & Meares Show, will be featured in a segment about social media on Showtime's Inside the NFL on Wednesday night at 9 pm.  Here we go...

1.  New England Patriots (12-2) - Here is some scary news for the rest of the NFL, the Patriots played their worst game in a long time on Sunday night and still managed to beat a Packers team who was desperate for a win.  Yes, Matt Flynn was the quarterback and yes, the Packers have been decimated by injuries all year long, but the Packers showed heart and almost came away with a victory.  The Patriots are basically on cruise control for the last two games as one more victory will lock up home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  This should be the week where they get that done as they will travel to Buffalo to face the AFC east basement dweller Bills.  Although the Bills have played a lot of teams tough this year with homefield advantage on the line, I like the Patriots to continue their winning ways.

2.  Atlanta Falcons (12-2) - The Falcons entered week 15 in the perfect spot for a trap game.  They had won 7 games in a row and have a huge game against the Saints on tap for Week 16.  They had to travel across the country to face a Seahawks team who is battling for their division in a stadium known for its 12th man.  With all of that said, the Falcons took care of business and easily defeated the Seahawks.  The Falcons look to be head and shoulders above the rest of the teams in the NFC as they just keep on winning.  They are undefeated at home this year and with one more win the ticket to the Superbowl for the NFC will have to be punched in Atlanta.  This week they have their toughest test yet as the Saints will come marching into Atlanta off of a tough loss to the Ravens.  This will be the best, and last, Monday night football game of the season.

3.  Baltimore Ravens (10-4) - The Ravens offense woke up on Sunday against the Saints and all but clinched a playoff berth in the AFC.  The Ravens still have to be worried about their supposed stingy defense allowing Drew Brees and company to put up 24 points against them.  With that said, this was a huge win for the Ravens who needed a victory to get back on track in the AFC North and although they have the same record as the Steelers, they are actually behind them with the tie breaker.  I believe the Ravens are the better team at this time with the awful loss the Steelers endured at home last week to the Jets.  The Ravens travel to Cleveland this week to face the Browns who always seem to give the Raven a tough game.  

4.  Chicago Bears (10-4) - The Bears join our top 5 for the first time in a long time this season.  I am starting to believe that they are a decent team.  They took care of business in Minnesota last night against a struggling Vikings team in the bitter cold.  I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop on Jay Cutler and for him to throw 3 picks in a game but it doesn't happen.  He is quietly playing the best football of his career and if he continues his consistent play there is no telling how far this team can go.  They have another huge game this week as they will play host to the NY Jets who are fighting for their playoff lives.  With the division wrapped up for Chicago will they play with the same intensity they have shown the past few weeks?

5.  Philadelphia Eagles (10-4) - In what is being called the game of the century (at least here in Philly), the Eagles came back from a 21 point deficit in the New Meadowlands stadium with less than 8 minutes to go in the fourth quarter.  The victory has all but clinched the NFC East for the Eagles and has definitely gone a long way to building this young teams confidence for January.  Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy make up the most dymanic four team offensive punch in the NFL.  This week the Eagles welcome in the Vikings to Lincoln Financial Field.  If the Eagles win they clinch the NFC east and move one step closer to perhaps a first round bye.  

Honorable Mentions:  New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts

There is the top 5 teams in the NFL after week 15. Thoughts or opinions?  Feel free to leave a comment!  Also don't forget to visit my site, www.moleandmeares.com, to watch our weekly picks video and submit your week 16 NFL picks for a chance to win a weekly prize.

Meares
Posted on: December 14, 2010 9:25 am
 

NFL Power Rankings - Week 15

The playoff picture is starting to become clear and there is now a dominant team in the NFL emerging.  This is the first week in a while where there is no changes in our top five rankings.  The only changes occur in our honorable mentions.  There are at least 5 huge games this week that could definitely impact our rankings and have huge playoff implications.  On a side note, The Mole & Meares Show, our online NFL picks show, will be appearing on Inside the NFL on December 22nd on Showtime at 9pm.  Our video from last week featured Susannah Collins from Inside the NFL who made a special guest appearance.  Make sure to check it out at ww.moleandmeares.com.  Ok...Here we go...

1.  New England Patriots (11-2) - Last two weeks, Patriots 81, opponents 10.  Those two games were against division leaders, not the Panthers and the Bills.  The Patriots have now emerged as the dominant team in the NFL.  Tom Brady is the hands on favorite to win the MVP award.  Bill Belichick should win the coach of the year.  With all of that said, they actually have a very good game this week as they welcome in the desperate Green Bay Packers.  The Packers could be without Aaron Rodgers (concussion) and if that is true, the Packers have no chance to win.  Can anyone compete with the Patriots at this point?

2.  Atlanta Falcons (11-2) - The Falcons took care of business on Sunday in what could have been a trap game against the lowly Carolina Panthers.  The Falcons got out to an early lead and never looked back.  This week they travel across the country to face the Seahawks in one of the toughest stadiums to play in.  The Seahawks are coming off an embarrassing loss at the hands of the 49ers and will be desperate for a win to have any chance of making the playoffs this year.  I think the Falcons have progressed enough to take care of business but I wouldn't be completely surprised to see an upset.  The Falcons will face the Saints the week after so they need to take care of business or risk playing for the division the following week.

3.  Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3) - The Steelers defense made the Bengals look awful on Sunday.  Not only did the Steelers hold the Bengals to 34 yards rushing but the only two touchdowns the Steelers scored came on the defensive side of the ball with two interceptions returned to the house.  The Steelers might be the only team that can compete with the Patriots in the AFC, the only problem is that Tom Brady is incredible against the Steelers.  This Sunday the Steelers will invite the reeling Jets into Heinz field.  The Jets have lost two games in a row and have looked pitiful doing it.  If the Steelers defense continues to play like they did this past Sunday, this game will be over early in the first quarter.

4.  New Orleans Saints (10-3) - Are the Saints the quietest defending Superbowl champions ever?  No one is talking about them yet they continue to improve each week. For the fifth consecutive week, the Saints put up at least 30 points.  Their offense is beginning to click on all cylinders especially with the return of Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush to full health.  There is a chance, albeit a small one, that if they win out they could get the number one seed in the NFC.  With that said, this Sunday will be a huge test for the Saints as they travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens.  If the Saints go into the Raven's house and win, I guarantee they will no longer be under the radar.

5.  Baltimore Ravens (9-4) -  The Ravens won last night against the Texans although it took them till overtime to get the job done.  I predicted the Ravens to win the Superbowl before the season and I am starting to lose faith.  They had a huge lead which they allowed the Texans to erase and could have easily lost this game.  They haven't been playing Ravens defense of recent and if they are going to emerge as the AFC representative in Dallas in February then they need to get back to Ravens football.  This week they face a very tough test when the Saints come marching into Baltimore.  The defense will need to find a way to stop the potent Saints offense in order to win this game.  

Honorable Mentions: Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers

There is the top 5 teams in the NFL after week 14. Thoughts or opinions?  Feel free to leave a comment!  Also don't forget to visit my site, www.moleandmeares.com, to watch our weekly picks video and submit your week 15 NFL picks for a chance to win a weekly prize.

Meares
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com