Tag:steelers
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 19, 2011 4:15 pm
 

NFL Playoff Picks - Conference Championships

Well, it seems my prediction of going .800 in the playoffs is not going to happen.  I stunk last week, losing 3 of the 4 games against the spread.  That pulls my playoff record back to .500 at 4-4.  If I can win the last three games I can go a respectable 7-4 but it will not be the .800 I predicted.  Either way those were some very good games last weekend and the two conference championships should be great to watch.  There has been one recurring theme this post season so far, if a team wins the rushing battle they win the game.  It has happened in all 8 playoff games so far and I believe that will continue throughout the rest of the playoffs.  Here are my predictions for this weekend...

Sunday - 3pm - Soldier Field - Green Bay Packers (-3.5) at Chicago Bears - The Mole & Meares Show Pick - Green Bay Packers

The national media is not giving the Chicago Bears any respect and I believe they will be playing with a chip on their shoulder this Sunday.  Unfortunately, the chip is not going to be enough to help them get past a red hot Aaron Rodgers and company.  Aaron Rodgers played like a man possessed against the Atlanta Falcons last week and although the Bears defense is definitely better than the Falcons, they are not going to be able to contain him for 60 minutes.  There is also the concern of a weak offensive line for the Bears going against a highly underrated Green Bay defense.  If Green Bay is able to get pressure on Cutler then watch out for Tramon Williams making another interception and adding to his playoff high tally of 3 already.  The only way that the Bears have a chance in this game is if Devin Hester can make some explosive plays on special teams.  With that said, I will gladly give the points and take the Packers in Chicago.

Sunday - 6:30 pm - Heinz Field - New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) - The Mole & Meares Show Pick - Pittsburgh Steelers

These two teams are evenly matched.  Both teams have great defenses and offenses that are built around the run.  This game will be won in the trenches and the Jets have one of the best offensive lines in the game.  The Jets O line only allowed 28 sacks during the regular season, the least of any of the four teams left in the playoffs.  On the other hand, the Steelers defense has recorded the most sacks during the regular season between the teams left.  One of these lines are going to win this battle and my money is on Dick LeBeau's defense.  I think Pittsburgh is going to shut down the Jets running game and confuse Sanchez and cause him to make mistakes and that is one thing you can't do against the Steelers, turn the ball over, just ask the Ravens.  The Jets are also coming off an emotional win last week agains their arch rivals.  With that said I am taking my second favorite of the weekend and I will give the points and take the Steelers at home.

Do you agree?  Leave your opinion below.  Also don't forget to visit my online NFL picks show at www.moleandmeares.com where we make our predictions for the games and add in some humor.  

Meares
Posted on: January 13, 2011 10:36 am
 

NFL Playoff Picks - Divisional Round

What a start to the 2010/2011 NFL playoffs!  Seattle pulls out one of the biggest upsets in NFL playoff history by outgunning the Saints at home.  The Jets pull out a miracle victory on a last second field goal to advance to New England.  The Packers held Michael Vick in check for most of the game against the Eagles and found a ground game all of a sudden.  The Ravens manhandled the Chiefs sending them to their seventh consecutive playoff loss.  This week should be just as good if not better than wild card weekend.  On a side note, the Mole & Meares Show was featured on Showtime's Inside the NFL last night around the 48 minute mark of the show.  If you have Showtime make sure to check out one of the replays of Inside the NFL to see Mole & Meares in action!  Last week I went 3-1 against the spread and I need to go 4-0 this week in order to get above the .800 mark as I predicted.  Here we go...

 

Saturday, January 15th - 4:30 PM - Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) - Mole & Meares Show Pick - Baltimore Ravens

Here comes the third installment of the "How bad can we injure the opposing team Bowl".  In my mind, the matchup of these two teams provides the most entertaining football to watch.  We will get to see two immovable defenses with a knack for the ball go head to head for the third time this year.  Pittsburgh had the bye and should be much more rested for this game with the Ravens having one less day to prepare.  I honestly am not going to put too much weight on that factor, this is the playoffs and these two teams will be ready to play.  The biggest factor in this game is going to be field position, which team can win the field position battle.  I don't expect it to be high scoring and I would be surprised if either team ends up with a point total higher than 20.  The Ravens have lost to the Steelers in the playoffs every time they have faced them and haven't beaten Ben Roethlisberger in the last 4 years.  I am not sure if they will win this game but I am more than confident they will cover.  This game will be close the entire way so I will take the points and take the Ravens to cover in Pittsburgh.

 

Saturday, January 15th - 8:20 PM - Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) - Mole & Meares Show Pick  - Green Bay Packers

The Packers will head into the Georgia Dome on Saturday night, the same place the lost to the Falcons back in week 12 to a last second field goal.  This is a completely different Packers team than week 12.  They showed last week they can run the ball and that will open up Aaron Rodgers to improve on his last performance against the Falcons where he lit them up for over 300 yards through the air.  The Falcons are and have been the best team in the NFC for all, if not most, of the season.  Unfortunately, they are going to run into a buzz saw this week in a Packers team that is playing really well right now.  I believe the Packers will control the ball on offense, win the time of possession battle and eventually win the game.  I will take the two and a half points and take the Packers on the road.

 

Sunday, January 16th - 1:00 PM - Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears (-10) - Mole & Meares Show Pick - Seattle Seahawks

 

The Seahawks surprised the entire world last week, upsetting the Saints at home where they put up over 400 yards of total offense.  The Bears have one of the best defenses in the NFC and I found it unimaginable they will allow this Seahawks team to put up the same kind of numbers this week.  With that said, I am not a huge fan of the Bears offense or Jay Cutler for that matter.  Cutler was having some ball control issues at the end of the season and is infamous for throwing a bunch of interceptions.  I think this will be a low scoring affair so I am very surprised at the ten point line.  The Bears will win this game but I do not believe they will cover the ten points so I will take the points and the Seahawks but this is where their fairy tale comes to an end.

 

Sunday, January 16th - 4:30 PM - New York Jets at New England Patriots (-8.5) - Mole & Meares Show Pick - New England Patriots

 

This is the second AFC playoff matchup that pits two division rivals against each other for the third time this season.  The Jets and the Patriots split their season series in two games that were completely different.  The Jets won way back in week 2 at home and the Patriots embarrassed the Jets in week 13 on Monday night football.  The Patriots are, without a doubt, playing the best football of any team this year and are the unanimous favorites to win the Superbowl.  The Jets squeaked out a victory in Indianapolis last week against a Colts team that is far from the same caliber as the Patriots.  The Patriots are going to score points in this game and if they put up less than 30 I would be surprised.  With that said, the Jets offense does and will not put up numbers on offense similar to the Patriots.  I like the Patriots to win this game in a rout and deny the Jets their second straight AFC championship appearance.  I will take the Patriots and give the eight and a half points.

 

There you have it, my divisional NFL playoff game picks against the spread.  I have a good feeling that I have a chance to go 4-0 this week and raise my playoff record to 7-1.  Do you see the games going differently?  Let me know by leaving a comment below.  Also, make sure to visit my site, www.moleandmeares.com, to watch our NFL playoff picks video that was featured on Showtime's Inside the NFL last night.  This week's video includes Vince Vaughn and Kevin James paying homage to the Mole & Meares Show!

 

Mole & Meares

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 31, 2010 1:16 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2010 1:21 pm
 

NFL Week 17 Playoff Predictions

Normally I make my picks against the spread at this time but i am going to forgo that option this week as their are so many games that are not going to be played with starters, etc.  What I am going to do this week is make my playoff predictions.  I will tell you what three teams will lock up playoff spots on Sunday and which teams will make it to the Superbowl.  At the beginning of the season, I predicted the Packers vs the Ravens in the Superbowl and it appears as though both of those teams will make the playoffs.  Lets see how far away from my beginning prediction I end up now.  Here we go...

NFC Playoff seeds

1.  Atlanta Falcons (bye)

2.  Chicago Bears (bye)

3.  Philadelphia Eagles

4.  St. Louis Rams

5.  New Orleans Saints

6.  Green Bay Packers

With the above seeds in place the wild card round of the playoffs will feature the Packers traveling to Philly and the Saints going into St. Louis.  I like one road team in these games and that would be the Saints.  

Divisional playoff weekend will feature the Eagles at the Bears and the Saints at the Falcons.  This would make for two great games and I believe we will see the home teams come out victorious in both situations setting up a Bears/Falcons NFL Conference Championship.

I like the way the Falcons are playing this year, they can run the ball effectively and Matt Ryan has progressed as a starting quarterback and is having the best year of his short career.  I believe he is ready to take the next step and lead his team to the Superbowl so I will take the Falcons to top the Bears in a close, hard fought game.

AFC Playoff seeds

1.  New England Patriots

2.  Pittsburgh Steelers

3.  Kansas City Chiefs

4.  Indianapolis Colts

5.  Baltimore Ravens

6.  New York Jets

With the above seeds, the wild card weekend in the AFC should feature some interesting games as the Jets will travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs and the Ravens will go into Indianapolis to face the Colts.  Again, I like one road team in this situation with the Ravens shutting down Peyton Manning and company.

Divisional playoff weekend would then feature the Ravens going into New England and the Chiefs traveling to Pittsburgh.  Tough to go against the home teams in either of these situations.

The AFC championship would then feature the Steelers traveling into New England to face the Patriots.  Tom Brady has owned the Steelers in his career and I am not sure how this game is going to end up differently.  I like New England to come out on top and return to the Superbowl.  

That would set up a Falcons/Patriots Superbowl which would be a great game featuring the two top teams from each conference.  I will not bet against Tom Brady to lose another Superbowl so I will take the Patriots and their high powered offense to win the game.

Do you have a different opinion?  Let me know by leaving comments...also don't forget to visit my website, www.moleandmeares.com, where we have a weekly NFL picks video that was featured on Showtime's Inside the NFL.  

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 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 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