Tag:Cardinals
Posted on: December 6, 2012 9:10 am
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Top 6 NFL Franchise Moves of All Time

This week Mole and Meares relocated to a new studio.  Call it Mole and Meares studio 6.0.  I was reflecting on Mole and Meares’ nomadic nature and I got to thinking about NFL franchises that have migrated to new cities.  Out of curiosity I began to research and read about several NFL franchise moves.  Breaking up is hard to do and in honor of Mole and Meares studio 6.0 I decided to chronicle six instances of NFL Franchises divorcing their respective cities.

We woke up and you were gone…

Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis

March 28, 1984 - Baltimore Colts fans awoke to an empty bed with their beloved team having left in the middle of the night to leave for a new home.  The infamous images of snow covered Mayflower trucks leaving the Colts facility in the middle of the night would haunt Baltimore football fans until 1995 when the Ravens would come to town. 

Of all the relocations in the history of the NFL, the Baltimore to Indianapolis move has to be considered the craziest in circumstance. 

Stadium issues were the source of tension between the City of Baltimore and the Colts owner Robert Irsay.  Irsay was seeking $15 million in renovations to their home stadium for the football facilities.  In the spring after the Colts lease had expired; the Maryland General Assembly approved $15 million for renovation to Memorial Stadium but only half of that $15 million would go towards improvements for football.  The other half would be used to upgrade facilities for the Baltimore Orioles baseball team.  In the aftermath of these events, Irsay contended that his intent was to keep the Colts in Baltimore but at the same time he was secretly discussing a move with six major cities.  After it was leaked that Irsay was to meet with Arizona for a second time regarding a move to the Sun Devil state, Irsay cancelled the meeting.  At that point the Colts went into “secret secret” mode and made a deal to move to Indianapolis. 

March 27, 1984 - The Maryland legislature fearing a move by the Colts had one of its chambers pass legislation giving the city of Baltimore the right to seize ownership of the team by eminent domain.  In reaction Irsay closed a deal with the city of Indianpolis to move the Colts to Indiana and the city of Indianapolis dispatched 15 Mayflower trucks to the team’s facility in Maryland.  Irsay’s decision to move the Colts was made quickly and the decision to move overnight was due to a fear that the team would be seized by officials in the morning.  The 15 trucks all took different routes out of town in case there was an effort by local law enforcement to stop them. 

Despite the fact that the move was made without the NFL’s permission, the NFL did not contest the team’s relocation after losing in court to Al Davis on the same issue. (That case is noted below)  In March of 1986, representatives of Baltimore and the Colts signed a divorce decree under which all lawsuits regarding the relocation of the franchise would be dismissed and the Indianapolis Colts would endorse a new NFL team for Baltimore when the time came.

How could you do that to us?  Don’t ever show your face here again…

Cleveland Browns to Baltimore

Cleveland’s migration to Baltimore was very interesting for two reasons.  The settlement reached between Cleveland Brown Owner Art Modell and the City of Cleveland set a precedent in American Professional sports and the settlement also resulted in Modell not being welcome in the state of Ohio.

The legal settlement between the NFL, Cleveland, and Baltimore resulted in the Cleveland Browns franchise being ‘deactivated’ for three years.  Modell would retain the current contracts of players and personnel and be granted the 31<sup>st</sup> franchise in the NFL.  This settlement proved to be a precedent in major American sports as nothing the likes of it had been seen before.  In 1999 after a new stadium was built for the Cleveland Browns, the Cleveland Brown franchise would be reactivated with the same uniforms, records, and player history. 

As far as Art Modell, resentment towards him in the State of Ohio grew so intense that he was unable to attend a funeral of a friend in Northern Ohio out of fear for his safety. It is also believed by many that he has been left out of the NFL Hall of Fame due to it’s location in Canton Ohio. 

In the end however, the two broken hearted cities in Baltimore and Cleveland find themselves happily ever after with their new franchises.  Well Cleveland might need some marriage counseling but you know what I mean.

What a tangled web we weave…

Dallas Texans to Kansas City/Houston Oilers to Tennessee Titans/ making room for the Houston Texans

Ok, bear with me on this one…..In 1952 the NFL Team of the Dallas Texans spent one year in the league and won one game.  They were then dismantled.  In 1960 the AFL was created and within that League the Dallas Texans were revived.  After playing three seasons in Dallas and losing the 1962 AFL championship game to their in state rival, the Houston Oilers.  Not wanting to share the Dallas spotlight with the NFL expansion Cowboys, the Dallas Texans decided to move to Kansas City where they would become the Chiefs.  In their first season they would win the 1963 AFL championship game.

After 38 years in Houston, the Oiler decided that Nashville, Tennessee would be a better home in 1998.  As it has been with many franchise relocations, stadium issues were at the source of the decision.  After the Oilers move, the Great State of Texas was left with just one team, America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys.  A team that was at the beginning of a run of mediocre that is still going today. 

When all the dust was settled, the history of the Texans team name came full circle in 2002 when the NFL expanded back into Houston. The creation of the Houston Texans franchise brought back the name of a team that started in the NFL in 1952 and had a 1-11 record.  In the 2012 season after 12 weeks, the Houston Texans were 11-1.  A tangled web weaved has led to a happy ending to this love story.

Please come back, I’ll do anything…

Oakland Raiders to Los Angeles then back to Oakland

Al Davis was the waffle king of franchise migration.  In 1982 he decided that he would leave Oakland for a larger stadium (The Oakland Coliseum) and the number two television market in the country in Los Angeles.  The move was initially rejected by the NFL owners and when Davis decided to move the team anyway he was blocked by an injunction.  An ensuing lawsuit was ruled in favor of Davis and the Oakland Raiders became the Los Angeles Raiders. 

In 1994 Oakland basically bought the back the Raiders Oakland by spending $220 million on stadium renovations and giving the Raiders a dirt cheap fixed rent. The renovations included a new seating section of 10,000 seats that was named after Raider owner Al Davis.  The City of Oakland also built the team a training facility and paid all its moving costs. The Raiders pay just $525,000 a year in rent and do not pay maintenance or game-day operating costs.  As of today the Raiders are the only franchise in the NFL to return to a former lover.  It just goes to show that true love can be purchased at a price.

Everybody Leaves Us…

Raiders to Oakland, Rams to St. Louis, and Chargers to San Diego

Los Angeles is the city with abandonment issues with regard to NFL teams leaving.  In 1960 the AFL came to Los Angeles with the creation of the Los Angeles Chargers franchise.  It was a brief romance however as the Chargers would relocate to San Diego a year later. 

As noted above the Raiders came to the City of Angels and spent just 12 years in Los Angeles before going back to where they came from in Oakland.

In 1946 Cleveland Rams owner Dan Reeves fought the NFL and won approval to move his franchise to Los Angeles.  The Rams would remain in Los Angeles until 1980 when they moved to Anaheim in nearby Orange County.  The move was made by the Rams new owner of less than a year, Georgia Frontiere, for two reasons.  Their current stadium, the Coliseum seated over 100,000 and rarely sold out, leading to television blackouts.  Also there was a population trend in the direction of Anaheim.  Fourteen years later due to stadium issues in Anaheim, the Rams followed the Raiders out of town to find a new home in St. Louis leaving Los Angeles devoid of any NFL franchises.  If NFL.com had a section of their website for singles there would only be one member, the City of Los Angeles.

To have loved and lost, and loved and lost…

Chicago Cardinals to St. Louis, St. Louis Cardinals to Arizona

The Cardinals are the NFL’s oldest franchise and the only Charter member of the NFL still in existence.  Formed in 1898 in Chicago, the Cardinals became a Charter member of the NFL in 1922 and remained in Chicago until 1960.  In the 1950’s the Cardinals struggled greatly as a football team and their in town rival, the Chicago Bears completely overshadowed the franchise.  The Cardinal owners wanted to relocate the team but did not have the finances necessary to relocate under the rules of the NFL. Attempts were made by several individuals to buy the struggling Chicago franchise but no deal could be made.  The individuals attempting to buy the Cardinals reacted to their lack of success by starting a new league called the American Football League.  The NFL, realizing this new league was a serious rival, quickly made a deal with Cardinal ownership to relocate the team to St. Louis.  This revitalized the franchise and blocked the St. Louis market for the AFL.

The Cardinals would remain in St. Louis until 1988 when poor team performance, poor stadium conditions, and poor attendance led ownership to move the team to Arizona where they would become the Phoenix Cardinals.  In 1994 their name would be changed to the Arizona Cardinals.  The Cardinals are the only franchise in the NFL to have loved and lost, loved and lost, and yet still find love again in a third location.  Although after the way this season is going, they might be getting the silent treatment in Arizona.

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: December 23, 2010 10:07 am
 

NFL Week 16 Picks

Well...I just cannot get on track with my picks against the spread.  I went 8-8 last week which marks the third time in a row I haven't been able to go above .500.  On top of that, my online NFL picks show, The Mole & Meares Show, was supposed to be featured in a segment on Inside the NFL last night but the segment was postponed again!  I am not going to make any promises on when it is going to air anymore so as to not jinx myself.  Two weeks left in the NFL regular season in order to get my overall record to be respectable.  I have done extra homework this week to hopefully put up some decent numbers.  Here we go...

Record to Date - 74-68-3

Carolina at Pittsburgh (-14) - Pittsburgh Steelers - The Thursday night game couldn't be much more of a bore than watching the Steelers decimate the Panthers.  If you don't have the NFL network it really isn't that big of a deal.  14 points is a lot to give in an NFL game but I am willing to give the points in this one because I don't think the Panthers are going to score.

Dallas at Arizona (+7) - Dallas Cowboys - Another boring game on the NFL network on Christmas day.  Don't worry about turning it on, enjoy the time with your family and opening gifts.  This game isn't going to be close as the Cowboys will be way too much for the Cardinals to handle.  I will give the seven and take the Boys on the road.

New England at Buffalo (+7.5) - Buffalo Bills - Let me be clear, I, in no way, believe the Bills are going to win this game.  I do, however, believe that Buffalo is going to play them tough and keep it close for much of the game.  The elements in Buffalo, combined with the fact that the Bills have played many opponents tough this year, makes me think this will be closer than 7 points.  Give me the 7 and a half and I will take the Bills to circle the wagons at home. 

NY Jets at Chicago (-1) - NY Jets - The Bears clinched their division last week and although they would like to lock up the second seed I think they are primed for a let down game.  The Jets on the other hand are clinging to a playoff spot and need a victory this week to solidify their post season hopes.  They are coming off an enormous win at Pittsburgh last week and should be playing with a renewed confidence.  I will take the one measly point and take the Jets on the road.

Baltimore at Cleveland (+3) - Baltimore Ravens - The Cleveland Browns are a team that I just can't get a read on.  This game should be a battle but after the loss that Cleveland suffered last week and the win the Ravens had at home against the Saints, I think this line is too small.  I like the Ravens to punch the Browns in the mouth for 60 minutes so I will give the points and take the Ravens.

Tennessee at Kansas City (-4.5) - Kansas City Chiefs - There is no doubt that when Matt Cassell is behind center for the Chiefs they are a good football team.  They need a win this week to put a strangle hold on the AFC West and Tennessee is only playing for pride.  Kansas City is a tough place to play for good teams and Tennessee is not a good team.  I will give the points and take the Chiefs at home.

San Francisco at St. Louis (-2.5) - St. Louis Rams - This is a huge game in the worst division in the NFL.  San Francisco, who is 5-9, holds their own playoff destiny in their hands which is incredible.  With that said, the Rams are the better team and if Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson can find a way to get the ball in the endzone the Rams should have no problem taking this one at home.  I will give the points and take the Rams to win at home.

Detroit at Miami (-3.5) - Detroit Lions - The Lions are coming off a big win in Tampa Bay last week.  Perhaps they enjoy playing in Florida in December.  The Dolphins lost a heart breaker against the Bills at home last week ending any chance of making the playoffs.  The Lions are a young team that is hungry to win  and I think they are going to want this game more the Dolphins.  I will take the points and take the Lions in Florida.

Minnesota at Philadelphia (-15.5) - Philadelphia Eagles - Was there a better game last week than the Eagles coming back from 21 points with less than 8 minutes to go in the game?  The Eagles confidence has to be at an all time high and they get to face an Adrian Peterson and Brett Favre-less Vikings team at home this week with a chance to lock up the NFC East.  The line could be 21 and I would still take the Eagles.  

Seattle at Tampa Bay (-5.5) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Tampa Bay's playoff hopes took a huge hit at home last week when they lost to the Lions.  With that said, this team is young and hungry and still thinks they have a chance.  The Seahawks are absolutely brutal on the road and traveling across country from west to east never works out well for the west coast team.  I will give the five and a half points and take the Bucs.

Washington at Jacksonville (-7) - Jacksonville Jaguars - The Redskins are in complete turmoil, McNabb has been benched, Haynesworth suspended, Rex Grossman is starting at quarterback, none of this sounds good.  The Jaguars need a win to keep pace with the Colts for the AFC South.  I have no problem giving the 7 points here and taking the Jaguars at home.

Indianapolis at Oakland (+3) - Indianapolis Colts - Peyton Manning willed the Colts to victory last week against the Jaguars and now holds the playoff hopes of the entire city of Indianapolis in his hands; he usually doesn't disappoint.  Oakland has been playing well this year and is much improved from last season but I think this is where the dream ends for them.  I will give the three points and take the Colts on the road.

Houston at Denver (+3) - Denver Broncos - Tim Tebow made his first NFL start last week and played better than many expected.  Look for Denver to loosen the leash a little more on him this week and allow him to throw the ball around more.  The Texans have just had a brutal season and I don't think it is going to get any better this week.   I like the Tebow led Broncos to win this game outright so I will take the 3 points and take the Bronocs at home.

NY Giants at Green Bay (-2.5) - Green Bay Packers - The Giants will not win another game this year after their horrific collapse in the new Meadowlands this past week.  Tom Coughlin is now on the hot seat and when they don't make the playoffs for the second consecutive year he will no longer be employed.  The Packers get Aaron Rodgers back this week and if they can win out they can still make the playoffs.  I like the Packers in Lambeau in December no matter who they are playing so I will give the points and take the Packers.

San Diego at Cincinnati (+7) - San Diego Chargers - The Cincinnati Bengals ended their 10 game skid last week but will be ready to start another losing streak this week.  The Chargers till believe they can make the playoffs and they have had a few extra days to prepare for the Bengals.  Philip Rivers will rip apart the weak Bengals secondary and the Chargers will easily cover the 7 point spread.

New Orleans at Atlanta (-2.5) - Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons just continue to win and impress me at the same time.  I keep waiting for the let down game but it seems as though it will never come.  The Saints are coming off a loss to the Ravens on Sunday and would love to go into Atlanta and win but unfortunately that is not going to happen.  The Ravens exposed the Saints defense last week and I guarantee you the Falcons coaching staff was paying attention.  Look for Michael Turner to have a monster game and the Falcons to cover the two and a half point spread.

There are my week 16 picks ATS.  Check back next week to see how I did.

Don't forget to visit my NFL picks site at www.moleandmeares.com where we have a weekly video talking about the four biggest games of the week.  We also have a place for you to submit your picks for week 16 straight up for a chance to win our weekly prize!  Good Luck!

Meares
Posted on: December 16, 2010 11:13 am
 

NFL Week 15 Picks

The only thing I can say about last week is...ouch!  I went 6-10 and it was by far my worst week of the year.  It isn't going to get any easier this week as we have a ton of games with major playoff implications which usually means close games.  I need to give a quick plug to my online NFL picks show, The Mole & Meares Show (www.moleandmeares.com), which will be featured on Showtime's Inside the NFL on December 22nd.  Our show this week was shot on the set of Inside the NFL and professional edited by NFL Films.  I want to thank NFL Films, Jason Weber and Susannah Collins for making all of this possible.  Okay, enough self promotion, on to the picks.  Here we go...

Record to date (66-60-3)

San Francisco at San Diego (-10) - San Diego Chargers - This game features two teams that are fighting for their respective playoff lives.  A loss will virtually eliminate each team from playoff contention.  With that said, San Diego is clearly the better team and with this game being at home I like the Chargers to win big so I am okay giving the 10 points.

Cleveland at Cincinnati (-1) - Cincinnati Bengals - One of the few games that features two teams with absolutely nothing to play for but pride.  The Bengals have lost 10 games in a row so something has to give and I think this is one of those divisional games they will step it up for and show some pride.  I like the Bengals at home and giving a point is fine by me. 

Washington at Dallas (-6) - Dallas Cowboys - Another game with absolutely no playoff implications.  Dallas has been vastly improved since the firing of Wade Phillips and Washington has been playing brutally bad of late, losing a game last week due to a botched extra point.  Witht his game being in Dallas, I like that explosive Cowboys offensive to take care of business so I will give the points and take the Boys at home.

Houston at Tennessee (-1.5) - Houston Texans - The last of the games featuring two teams with no chance of making the playoffs.  Houston started the season with so much promise being the Colts at home for the first time.  Since then they have really struggled and came up short last week against the Ravens.  With that said I think they are a better team than the Titans and will win a road game for the first time in a long time.  I will take the little bit of points and put my money on the Texans.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis (-5) - Jacksonville Jaguars - One of the biggest games of the week.  If Jacksonville wins they all but lock up the AFC South and their first division crown in a long time.  Peyton Manning is still playing with players from the JV team but never count him out.  I think the Colts will pull this one out but it will be too close for me to give 5 points so I will take the points and take the Jaguars.

Kansas City at St. Louis OFF - St. Louis - This game is off the board due to the uncertainty surrounding Matt Cassell's playing status for Sunday.  If he plays I think the Chiefs have a chance to win, unfortunately I don't think he is going to be able to suit up so I will take the Rams to win this game and move one step closer to a division crown.

Buffalo at Miami (-5.5) - Miami Dolphins - The Dolphins still have the smallest glimmer of hope of making the playoffs...they would have to win out and hope everyone else loses but stranger things have happened.  They are coming off arguably their biggest win of the season against the Jets.  The Bills are also coming off a win but I think Miami's rushing attack is going to be too much for them to handle.  I will give the points and take the Dolphins at home.

Detroit at Tampa Bay (-6) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The Buccaneers are fighting for a playoff spot and still have an outside chance of getting in if they can win out.  Detroit is coming off their biggest win of the season when they took out both Aaron Rodgers and the Packers last week.  I think Tampa Bay is definitely the better team here and is out to prove they deserve to play in January so I will give the 6 points and take the Bucs at home.

Arizona at Carolina (-3) - Arizona Cardinals - The Cardinals are still alive, albeit barely, in their division even though they have looked like a high school team at times this season.  Carolina is the worst team in the NFC and probably the entire NFL.  Even though the Cardinals have been absolutely dreadful on the road this year I think they will want this game more than Carolina so I will take the points and pray the Cardinals find a way to pull this out on the road.

New Orleans at Baltimore (-1) - Baltimore Ravens - Another one of the featured games of the week.  New Orleans has quietly returned to their Superbowl champion form over the past few weeks and travels into Baltimore to face the stingy Ravens defense.  If this game was played in New Orleans I would take the Saints and put my mortgage payment on it but since it will be in Baltimore, played outside in wintry conditions, I like the Ravens rushing attack and their defense to hinder the pass happy Saints offense.  I will give the point and take the Ravens at home to end the Saints run of 6 games in a row.

Philadelphia at NY Giants (-3) - Philadelphia Eagles - Ok, I will admit, I am a little biased in this pick being a diehard Eagles fan, but at the same time I think the Eagles can win this game.  The Giants did contain Michael Vick the last time these two teams met and they will probably do the same this time.  With that said the Eagles have been running the ball much better in recent weeks and if they stick to the run game I like them to pull this out.  I will take the points and take the Eagles, big surprise, I know.

Atlanta at Seattle (+7) - Seattle Seahawks - This is my upset pick of the week.  Do I think the Seahawks are going to win out right?  Probably not but I like them to keep this close.  The Seahawks are fighting for their division title and the Falcons have a huge game against the Saints the following week and have to travel across country to play in a difficult stadium.  If there is a week where there is a chance for the Falcons to stumble then it is this week and this game.  I will take the 7 points in the only game featuring a home dog and I will take the Seahawks.

NY Jets at Pittsburgh (-6) - NY Jets - This game features two of the premier defenses in the NFL and that is the ONLY reason I will take the Jets.  I think the Steelers will win this game but it will come down to a game winning field goal in the final seconds.  6 points is just too much to give in a game that might have a combined 20 points scored.  Give me the points and the Jets.

Denver at Oakland (-7) - Oakland Raiders - The Raiders are playing Raider football and they are playing it well.  They are pounding the ball down the throats  of their opponents and getting to the quarterback on defense.  The Broncos season is over and they have nothing to play for but pride.  The Raiders on the other hand have a chance to win their division if they get some help down the stretch.  I believe the Raiders will run the ball all over the Broncos so I have no problem giving the 7 points and taking the Raiders.

Green Bay at New England OFF - New England Patriots - This game is off the board due to the uncertainty of Aaron Rodgers playing status.  If Rodgers doesn't play then Green Bay has absolutely no shot at winning this game.  If he does play they have a tiny chance of winning.  The one thing that scares me is this is a must win game for the Packers whereas for the Patriots they can basically go on cruise control.  With that said, I still like the Patriots at home, their offense is way too good.

Chicago at Minnesota OFF - Chicago Bears - This game is also off the board but for mulitple reasons.  We have no idea who will be taking the snaps behind center for Minnesota and it will be played at the University of Minnesota's stadium where it will be really &^%$# cold.  Chicago needs to rebound after getting embarrassed by the Patriots last week and there is no better team to take out your anger on then the Minnesota Vikings.  I don't care if Brett Farve plays or not, Chicago will win this game.

There are my week 15 picks ATS.  Check back next week to see how I did.

Don't forget to visit my NFL picks site at www.moleandmeares.com where we have a weekly video talking about the four biggest games of the week.  We also have a place for you to submit your picks for week 14 straight up for a chance to win our weekly prize!  Good Luck!

Meares
Posted on: December 9, 2010 10:45 am
Edited on: December 13, 2010 2:50 pm
 

NFL Week 14 Picks

Not a stellar week for me last week as I went 8-8 ATS.  More importantly, my online NFL picks show, The Mole & Meares Show, caught the eye of Showtime's Inside the NFL and is going to be featured as a segment next week, December 22nd at 9 pm on Showtime.  You can check out our most recent show at www.moleandmeares.com where Susannah from Showtime appears as a guest at around the 5 minute mark.  Okay, enough self promotion, lets get on with the picks, here we go...

Record to date (60-50-3)

Indianapolis at Tennessee (+3.5) - Indianapolis Colts - Peyton Manning has thrown 11 interceptions in the last 3 games and 4 for touchdowns in the last 2 games.  That is not the Peyton Manning we are used to seeing.  This week he has a favorable matchup against the reeling Titans.  The Colts should win this game comfortably because of the turmoil going on in Tennessee, remember they were shutout by the Texans who have one of the worst defenses in the league.

Cleveland at Buffalo (pick em) - Cleveland Browns - This game features two teams that I believe will have a legitimate chance to make the playoffs...next year.   The Browns are playing better all around football than the Bills and Peyton Hillis will have a huge game this week.  I will take the Browns.

New England at Chicago (+3) - New England Patriots - Game of the week.  The Bears have a chance to prove that they belong among the elite teams in the NFL, a place the Patriots are already in.  Unfortunately for the Bears, I don't think they have much of a chance.  I will give the 3 points on the road and take the Patriots and feel very confident.

Tampa Bay at Washington (+2) - Washington Redskins - This line seems awfully small for a Buccaneers team that has shown they can play with anyone in the NFC.  With that said, Vegas usually knows what they are talking about and I think the Redskins are poised to win a game now that the cancer of Haynesworth is no longer lingering in the locker room.  I will take the points and take the Redskins.

Atlanta at Carolina (+7.5) - Atlanta Falcons - I am hesitant to give up more than a touchdown in this game because I feel like it could be a trap game for the Falcons.  The Panthers are running the ball better and the Falcons have had some close games recently that could be taking their tool on their confidence.  If they are looking ahead to their match up with the Saints they could end up fighting to the end.  With that said I will still give the points and take the Falcons on the road.

Oakland at Jacksonville (-4) - Jacksonville Jaguars - I have yet to buy into either one of these teams but the Jaguars are leading their division and this is a must win road game for the Raiders.  Comparing these two teams, they both play the same game, pound the ball down their opponents throats and play stingy defense.  I like Garrard over Jason Campbell so I will give the points and take the Jags.

Green Bay at Detroit (+6.5) - Green Bay Packers - Detroit has been playing almost every opponent tough this year and have been covering a lot of spreads.  With that said I think the Packers are one of the most dangerous teams left in the NFC and they will take care of business in Detroit.  Look for Aaron Rodgers to have a big day against the weak Detroit secondary.  I will give the points and take the Packers on the road.

NY Giants at Minnesota (+1) - NY Giants - This should be a very interesting game with the quarterback situation in Minnesota.  If Farve starts will he be effective?  If Tavaris Jackson starts with the Giants D eat him alive?  Either way, the Giants need a victory to keep pace in the NFC east and they will be ready to play.  I will give the one point and take the Giants on the road.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (-8.5) - Cincinnati Bengals - Pittsburgh won a huge game this past week against the Ravens and now they face the lowly Bengals.  The Steelers seem to have played to their competition this year and I am not willing to give up 8 and half points to a team they lost to twice last season.  I think the Bengals keep this close and cover the spread.

St. Louis at New Orleans (-9.5) - St. Louis Rams - The Saints are another team that seems to be playing to the level of their competition and the Rams are a much improved team.  Sam Bradford seems poised to win the Rookie of the Year award in a runaway and I think he will play well in the dome at New Orleans.  I will take the points and take St. Louis.

Seattle at San Francisco (-5.5) - Seattle Seahawks - This line is sort of baffling to me.  The 49ers have a huge issue at quarterback and have decided to go back to Alex Smith this week.  As bad as the Seahawks have been on the road they need to win this game to keep pace in the NFC west and I think they will win this game outright so I have no problem taking the points.

Miami at NY Jets (-5.5) - NY Jets - The Jets are coming off of an embarrassing loss to the Patriots last week and this team has too much pride to allow themselves to play two bad games in a row.  People are questioning how good the Jets really are and I think they will prove this week they are still contenders in the AFC.  I will give the points and take the Jets at home.

Denver at Arizona (+5.5) - Denver Broncos - If the trend continues, when a team fires their coach they tend to play with more passion and more enthusiasm (see Cowboys and Vikings).  The Cardinals are just not a good team this year and the decision to allow Leinart to leave has seemed to have backfired.  I will give the points and take the Broncos on the road.

Kansas City at San Diego (-6.5) - Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs have a chance to sweep the season series against the Chargers and at the same time eliminate the Chargers from the division race.  The Chargers are really hampered by injuries and Kansas City has a really good rushing attack.  I like the Chiefs to win this game outright so I will take the points and take the Chiefs on the road.

Philadelphia at Dallas (+3.5) - Philadelphia Eagles - The last two times this time faced each other, Dallas beat the Eagles and eliminated them from the playoffs.  The Cowboys have been playing much better since Garrett took over the head coaching duties.  The Eagles will take advantage of their speed against a Dallas defense that hasn't been really good this year and I will give the points and take the Eagles.

Baltimore at Houston (+3) - Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens are coming off a very tough loss against the Steelers.  The Texans have had a couple of extra days to rest before this game but I still think Baltimore is going to be too much for the Texans to handle.  I will give the points on the road again and take the Ravens.

There are my week 14 picks ATS.  Check back next week to see how I did.

Don't forget to visit my NFL picks site at www.moleandmeares.com where we have a weekly video talking about the four biggest games of the week.  We also have a place for you to submit your picks for week 14 straight up for a chance to win our weekly prize!  Good Luck!

Meares
Posted on: December 2, 2010 9:49 am
Edited on: December 2, 2010 9:51 am
 

NFL Week 13 Picks

So I didn't put my picks up last week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, for week 11 I went 9-6-1, which is respectable.  I am feeling very confident this week as the games seem to be slightly easier then in weeks past.  With that said I am sure I will go under .500 this week.  Here we go...

Record to date (52-42-3)

Houston at Philadelphia (-9) - Houston Texans - The Eagles are coming off a very difficult loss and are on short rest against the visiting Texans.  I believe the Eagles will win this game but 9 points is a bit too much for my liking so I will take the Texans with the points.

Jacksonville at Tennessee (no line) - Jacksonville Jaguars - Not sure why there is no line for this game but even if there was I would still take Jacksonville whether they were favorited or not.  Tennessee is in a world of hurt right now with a rookie quarterback who looks like a rookie quarterback leading their team.  Should be an easy win for the Jaguars.

Denver at Kansas City (-9) - Kansas City Chiefs - Although this is a pretty large line, I really like the way Kansas City is playing and the Broncos have not been putting up a fight lately.  I think the Chiefs will take care of business and easily cover the 9.

Washington at New York Giants (-7) - Washington Redskins - Seven points is a lot to give up in a heated divisional rivalry game so I will take the points and the Redskins.  They lost a tough game to the Vikings last week but I still think they can compete and will keep the game close.

Chicago at Detroit (+3.5) - Detroit Lions - I think the Bears are poised for a letdown game this week and Detroit has played almost all of its opponents tough this year.  I like the Lions straight up this game so I will definitely take the 3 and half points and take the Lions.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay (+3) - Atlanta Falcons - I can almost say the same thing about the Falcons as I did about the Bears, this could be a letdown game for them.  I also believe that the Falcons are a much more complete team than the Bears and they will not allow the Buccaneers to be overlooked.  I will give the 3 and take the Falcons.

New Orleans at Cincinnati (+7) - New Orleans Saints - This line seems way too low to me.  The Bengals season is over and they have looked absolutely terrible at times this season.  The Saints are playing the best football they have played all year.  If they were giving 14 I would still take the Saints.

Buffalo at Minnesota (-6) - Buffalo Bills - The Bills are the best one win team in the history of the NFL through 12 weeks.  This game will be close and could go either way.  With that said I will take the points and the Bills all day long.

Cleveland at Miami (-4.5) - Cleveland Browns - I have been riding the Browns for over a month now and I they haven't been proving me right.  I am going to ride them for one more week.  I think they can win this game against the Dolphins because Miami is not very good against the run.  Give me the 4 and a half points and I will take the Browns.

San Francisco at Green Bay (-10) - Green Bay Packers - San Francisco is one of those teams that I cannot get a read on this year.  Green Bay is coming off a brutal last minute loss to the Falcons and they will be ready for the 49ers.  I think this game could get out of hand fast so I will give the 10 and take the Packers.

Oakland at San Diego (-13) - San Diego Chargers - The fact that this is the biggest line of the week really surprises me.  I know San Diego is playing well but 13 points in a pivotal division showdown seems like a lot.  With that said I think San Diego is playing that good right now and I will give up the 13 and take the Chargers.

St. Louis at Arizona (+3.5) - St. Louis Rams - Arizona is a really bad team right now having lost 6 games in a row.  St. Louis has a real shot at winning the NFC West and I think they will be ready for this game and will take care of business.  I will give the 3 and a half and take the Rams.

Dallas at Indianapolis (-5.5) - Dallas Cowboys - This is my upset pick of the week.  Dallas is coming off an extra few days of rest and a loss against the Saints.  I think they will play the Colts close and could pull out a win against an extremely depleted Indianapolis team.  I will take the 5 and a half points and take the Cowboys.

Carolina at Seattle (-6) - Seattle Seahawks - To be honest, I have no idea who to take in this game.  The Panthers showed some signs of life last week and the Seahawks are the most up and down team in the NFL.  I will give the points and take Seattle only because they are at home.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore (even) - Baltimore Ravens - Game of the week #1, I like the way the Ravens are playing right now, their defense has been steady and improved.  On the other hand, Pittsburgh has been struggling lately even though they have been winning.  It is very hard to beat a team in your division twice in a season but I am going to go out on a limb and take the Ravens.

New York Jets at New England (-3.5) - New York Jets - Game of the week #2.  This is the biggest game of the week and should allow the winner to get home field advantage in the AFC playoffs.  New England's defense has been too inconsistent this year for me to be willing to give up 3 and a half points so I will take the Jets and enjoy watching this Monday night game.

There are my week 13 picks ATS.  Check back next week to see how I did.

Don't forget to visit my NFL picks site at www.moleandmeares.com where we have a weekly video talking about the four biggest games of the week.  We also have a place for you to submit your picks for week 11 straight up for a chance to win our weekly prize!  Good Luck!

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