Tag:New England
Posted on: September 18, 2012 4:00 pm
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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: September 12, 2012 9:42 am
 

2012/2013 NFL Week 2 Power Rankings

What an opening weekend! As usual there were many surprises like the Packers, Giants, Steelers and Saints all losing their openers, three of them at home. Which of those teams will rebound and find their way back into our rankings and which ones will fade away this year? Only time will tell.

Now lets get into the power rankings...

1. New England Patriots - (1-0)

The New England Patriots move up one spot this week after their complete domination of the Tennesse Titans. The Patriots actually ran the ball successfully this past Sunday and their defense definitely seemed to improve over last year. If this team can continue to pound the ball on the ground they are going to be tough to beat. The welcome the Arizona Cardinals to Gillette Stadium on Sunday and all indications point towards a 2-0 start and a second straight week at the top spot.

2. Houston Texans - (1-0)

The Houston Texans played really good football last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. I realize the Dolphins aren't the greatest team but Houston had their way with them on both sides of the ball. Matt Schaub and Arian Foster both looked good coming off injuries last season and their defense was stifling. Much like the Patriots, the Texans get a soft team in week 2 when they travel to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars. Look for the Texans to continue their winning ways and stay firmly positioned in our number 2 spot.

3. San Francisco 49ers - (1-0)

The San Francisco 49ers opened against the Packers in the premiere game of week 1 and it didn't disappoint. Alex Smith continues to play really good football in the face of his naysayers (including me) and has progressed beyond just a game manager. It is very hard to argue that the Niners aren't the best team in the NFC and this week they welcome the Detroit Lions into San Francisco. Everyone remembers what happened at the end of the game last year, right? Perhaps Harbaugh will be easier on Jim Schwartz this year after the 49ers hand the Lions their first loss of the season for the second consectutive year.

4. Baltimore Ravens - (1-0)

The Baltimore Ravens offense was much hyped this off season as vastly improved and it turned out not to be hype at all as they threw up 44 points against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joe Flacco looked poised and confident behind center and Ray Rice continued to be Ray Rice. For the first time in possibly franchise history, the Ravens have an argument that perhaps their offense is better than their defense. They have a huge test this week as they will travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles in their home opener. A win against the Eagles could be an early season statement for the Ravens.

5. Dallas Cowboys - (1-0)

The Dallas Cowboys are a new addition to our power rankings for week 2 and they claim the fifth spot by virtue of taking out last year's Super Bowl Champions in New York to start the 2012 NFL season. A star emerged for the Cowboys in Kevin Ogletree as he slashed up the Giants secondary to the tune of 114 yards and 2 touchdowns. Can the Cowboys become a consistent team this year? It will be an interesting storyline and they have to travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks in week 2. If the Cowboys want to remain in our power rankings in the near future they need to prove they can beat the bad teams along with the good ones.

There you have it, the NFL power rankings for week 2 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 4, 2012 2:49 pm
 

2012/2013 NFL Week 1 Power Rankings

It has been 212 days since we have seen a real football game and in about 24 hours the 2012/2013 NFL season will begin. I love this time of the year, every team has an equal chance (technically) to win the Super Bowl and every team's fanbase has hope. Of course, for about half the teams that hope will quickly fade after week 1.

Each week we will release our top 5 teams in the NFL. The season hasn't started but I am sure our rankings will get some people fired up, just remember, there are 17 regular season games and plenty of time to call us idiots.

Now lets get into the power rankings...

1. New York Giants - (0-0)

We do this every year, the previous year's Super Bowl champions get the honor of our top spot until they lose. The Giants have lost some pieces this off season and might not be as strong as they were in the playoffs last year but I think they will keep the top spot for at least one week. They kick off the regular season on Wednesday night at home against the Cowboys. Should be a great season opener.

2. New England Patriots - (0-0)

The Patriots represented the AFC in last year's Super Bowl, losing to the Giants for the second time in less than 5 years. They still have Tom Brady and they still have Bill Belichick so they are always a threat to make it back to the big game. They had major question marks on their defense last year and had a really good draft. Will the young guys step up and help sure up that defense? If they do, watch out, could be another Super Bowl appearance for B squared.

3. Green Bay Packers - (0-0)

The Packers only lost 1 regular season game last season and looked like the best team in the NFL for a long time. Will Aaron Rodgers continue his MVP play this year? Has their defense improved over last year? These are some of the questions that need to be answered in order for them to regain our first spot and they will get a chance to do so right out of the box as they open their season against the 49ers. A win could solidify their spot in our rankings.

4. Houston Texans - (0-0)

The Texans finally made the playoffs last year for the first time in franchise history and they even won a playoff game with their third string quarterback at the helm. This year, Matt Schaub is back healthy and that defense is still nasty. They have a very soft division so I forsee them staying in the conversation for best team in the league for a quite a while. Will they be able to move to the top spot? Can they hang with the Ravens and the Patriots? Only time will tell.

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

The 49ers were the surprise team in the NFL last year and had one of the best defenses in team history. This team is still a question mark to me if they should even be in our top 5 due to their lack of superstar quarterback. Can Alex Smith continue his consistent conservative play this year? Will the young receivers step up and help him out? They will be tested quickly as they open up on the road against the Packers. A win at Lambeau will be a sure sign that the 49ers are for real.

There you have it, the NFL power rankings for week 1 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].

You can also keep up with us on twitter, [@moleandmeares], or on Facebook at [www.facebook.com/moleandmeares].
Posted on: September 20, 2011 9:46 am
Edited on: September 20, 2011 9:48 am
 

2011 NFL Week 3 Power Rankings

All I can say is WOW! After only two weeks we are down to only 7 undefeated teams in the NFL, three of which have come out of no where. We have two new addtions to our top five power rankings, teams which have NEVER appeared in our rankings previously, EVER!

We have three teams from one division in our top 5 which will surely change after this upcoming week. One thing is for sure, this is going to be one hell of an NFL season. Now on to our rankings...

1. Green Bay Packers - (2-0)

The Packers have started off with two wins over one good team and one not so good team. Their offense is clicking on all cylinders and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. One cause for concern might be their defense giving up an average of almost 30 points a game. With that said they are still the defending Super Bowl champions and they haven't lost so they remain our top team. Next week they head to Soldier Field to face the Bears in a rematch of last year's NFC Championship game.

2. New England Patriots - (2-0)

Is there anything more to say about the Patriots then two words, Tom Brady? He has thrown for over 900 yards and 7 touchdowns in the first two games. That means he is on pace for over 7200 yards and 56 touchdowns...pretty incredible. This week they will travel to upstate New York to face the upstart Bills. Who would have thought that the Bills vs the Patriots would be a battle of two undefeated teams?

3. New York Jets - (2-0)

In the crowded AFC east the Jets have quietly made their way to 2-0. The defense is playing extremely well and the offense is finding the end zone. If Sanchez can continue to play better from week to week, this team will be there to contend at the end just like the previous two years. The Jets will travel across the country to the black hole to face the Raiders on Sunday. This could be a trap game for the Jets so I wouldn't bet the house on a victory.

4. Detroit Lions - (2-0)

The last time the Lions were this good this early in the season I wasn't born yet. They have scored the second most points in the NFL through two weeks and have allowed the second least amount of points. This team is young and hungry and if they can remain healthy (mainly Suh, Stafford and Megatron) they have a realistic chance of making the playoffs for the first time in almost 200 years...well maybe not that long but it does seem like it. They will head to Minnesota this week to face one of their divisional rivals in the Vikings. Could the Lions really start out 3-0?

5. Buffalo Bills - (2-0)

Another surprise team has jumped into our rankings for the first time. The Bills offense has exploded for 79 points in the first two games, tops in the NFL. Their defense, on the other hand, is not looking too solid and that could be trouble with the Patriots coming to town this weekend. Will it be a short lived trip into the power rankings or will the Bills keep their improbable run going by beating their biggest divisional rival?

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

Make sure to visit us at www.moleandmeares.com to see all of our picks each week and enter your picks for a chance to win our weekly prize!
Posted on: August 28, 2011 2:44 pm
 

2011 NFL Pre Season Power Rankings

Welcome to the start of the 2011 NFL season. Just a couple of months ago we were wondering if there was even going to be football and now I am about to release the 2011 pre season NFL rankings.

This offseason has been one of the strangest we have ever seen. A long lockout followed by a flurry of free agent signings in a short period of time. So who is most improved? Which team is in the best position to make a run to the Superbowl? Let's look at our power rankings and try and answer some of those questions.

1. Green Bay Packers - 2010 Super Bowl Champs

The Green Bay Packers are your defending Super Bowl champions and unlike other teams didn't make a big splash in the free agent market. What is scary is they really didn't have to because they are returning so many injured players from last year. Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley and a slew of other players will be back with the team this year. Aaron Rodgers was impressive last year and there is no reason to believe his spectacular play won't continue. This team is at the top and until someone proves they are better this is where they will stay.

2. New England Patriots - 2010 AFC East Champs

Every year that the New England Patriots start the season with a healthy Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as their head coach they have a chance to win it all. Why? Because they have done it three times in the past 10 years. The Patriots did add some big names this off season in Chad Ochocino and Albert Haynesworth although I am uncertain how much those two will contribute. The one issue this team will have will be in their running game. Is Benjarvis Green-Ellis able to carry this team on the ground? Does he need to? We will find out but right now the Patriots are the best team in the AFC.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers - 2010 AFC Champs

Pittsburgh represented the AFC in the Super Bowl last season and should be poised to make another run at it again this year. They return most of their team and have actually signed some of their most important defensive pieces to long term contracts. This team always wins with defense and over the past few years their offense has begun to make strides to be considered high powered. If Rashard Mendenhall learned how to hold on to the ball this off season then the Steelers could be a force to be reckoned with even though their receiving corps might not be the best in the league.

4. Philadelphia Eagles - 2010 NFC East Champs

Philadelphia was definitely the biggest buyers in the off season. Even though I don't agree with the "Dream Team" tag that Vince Young gave to this unproven team during training camp, it is hard to argue that the Eagles aren't the class of the always competitive NFC East. If Michael Vick can stay healthy, and that is a big if, and the defense can come together behind rookie defensive coordinator, Juan Castillo, the Eagles have a chance of giving the Packers a run for their money this year.

5. New York Jets - 2010 AFC Championship Loser

The New York Jets are never the favorite on paper but for the last two seasons they have found themselves one win away from the Super Bowl. The Jets lost the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes this year but did manage to pick up Plaxico Burress from jail and sign Santonio Holmes to a multi year deal. I am not sure if they have the offense still to match up with the Patriots but I am not betting against them this year. Could this be the year the Jets finally get over the hump and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl? Stay tuned...

There you have it, the 2011 NFL pre season power rankings by Mole & Meares. Check back each week as we will update our top five teams weekly. Will two of these teams meet in the Super Bowl in February? Your guess is as good as ours!

Make sure to visit us at www.moleandmeares.com to see all of our picks each week!
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
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com