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.