Posted on: January 6, 2011 10:12 am
Edited on: January 7, 2011 4:02 pm
The playoffs are finally here! This is my favorite time of the year, there is nothing like playoff NFL football. Wildcard weekend will feature 4 games, 3 of which have a spread of 3 or less points. The home teams are favored in all but one of the close spread games and normally Vegas gives the home team three points so Vegas is basically saying those two games are pick'ems. I finished the season above .500 against the spread but barely. This is my time to shine and I am predicting I will have a better than .800 record during the playoffs. Let's get down to business...here we go...
Saturday, January 8th - 4:30 PM - New Orleans Saints (-10.5) at Seattle Seahawks - Mole & Meares Show Pick - Seattle Seahawks
At first blush this line seems really big, especially considering both Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory are done for the season. The Saints running game will have to rely heavily on Julius Jones and Reggie Bush to step up or they will become one dimensional for the entire playoffs. The Saints will win this game, especially considering the quarterback situation with the Seahawks. Both Hasselbeck and Whitehurst have been sharing reps in practice this week meaning they have yet to decide on who will start the game. I am not confident that the Saints will cover the spread though, mainly due to Seattle being at home and the Saints having to rely heavily on the pass. I will take the points and take the Seahawks to cover.
Saturday, January 8th - 8:20 PM - New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) - Mole & Meares Show Pick - New York Jets
This game is a rematch of last year's AFC Championship game where the Colts came out on top. This is a completely different Colts team who, although they have won four straight games, is no where near the caliber of team they were last year. Injuries have taken their toll on both sides of the ball and if it wasn't for Peyton Manning the Colts would have been 4-12 this year. I like the matchup of the Jets defense against a depleted Colts offense and although I don't think the Jets will put up many points I believe they will put up enough to win this game outright. I will take the two and a half points and take the Jets to win on the road.
Sunday, January 9th - 1:00 PM - Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Kansas City Chiefs - Mole & Meares Show Pick - Baltimore Ravens
There are a lot of factors going in the Chiefs favor in this game. First they are 7-1 at Arrowhead stadium this year which is a very difficult place for opposing teams to play. Second, they are basically playing with house money as no one expected them to be in the playoffs this year let alone host a first round game. Third, they have the leading rusher in the NFL this season in Jamal Charles. With all of that said I believe experience is going to play a huge role in this game. The Ravens have been here before and they know how to win a road playoff game in a hostile environment. The Ravens offense is much improved from a year ago with new weapons at the wide receiver position and Ray Rice can bruise opposing defenses with the run. The Ravens defense will need to find away to shut down Charles and force Cassel to beat them through the air which I don't believe he can do. I will give the three points and take the Ravens on the road.
Sunday, January 9th - 4:30 PM - Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) - Mole & Meares Show Pick - Philadelphia Eagles
This is the marquee game of the weekend. The Green Bay Packers were a lot of people's preseason pick to represent the NFC in the Superbowl. Since then they have been decimated with injuries but have found a way to make it to the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers is having a great season when he is able to stay healthy and on the field. The Packers have absolutely no running game and are basically a one dimensional team. The Philadelphia Eagles, on the other hand, were not on anyone's radar before the start of the season, they were supposed to be in a rebuilding year. But Michael Vick has proven he can still play quarterback and is perhaps playing better than when he was in Atlanta. Even though the Eagles defense has been brutal this year I believe they can game plan accordingly for a team that is only going to throw the ball. The x factor in this game is Vick, can the Packers contain him and keep him bottled up? I like the Eagles to pull this one out at home so I will give the two and a half points and take Philadelphia.
There you have it, my wildcard playoff game picks against the spread. I have a good feeling that I am going to get off to a great start in this year's playoffs. Do you see the games going differently? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Also, on my site, www.moleandmeares.com, we are running a playoff contest for a chance to win a great prize. You have to pick the participants in both the AFC and NFC championship games, the teams in the Superbowl and the eventual Superbowl winner. Make sure to sign up before Saturday and Good Luck!
Mole & Meares
Posted on: December 31, 2010 1:16 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2010 1:21 pm
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.
Posted on: November 1, 2010 12:37 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2010 12:38 pm
Okay, so last week I was ready to declare the entire NFC less one or two teams dead. The AFC looked like the dominant conference, far and away. The one thing I have learned this season is nothing is predictable, both the Steelers and the Jets lose to NFC teams that looked lost going into this week. This season just gets stranger by the minute...here are my thoughts on week 8...
1. I am done picking the Dallas Cowboys to win anymore games this season. They got destroyed by the Jaguars in every facet of the game which I didn't think was even possible. Kitna threw for 379 yards but also threw 4 interceptions. Are the Jaguars the worst 4-4 team in the league?
2. The Bengals season is officially over, you can mark it down right now. They fell to 2-5 in the powerhouse AFC North and have no chance of making the playoffs. Carson Palmer has fallen from grace completely, he only completed 17 of 38 passes for 156 yards against the Dolphins at home. On another note, are the Dolphins the best team in the NFL on the road? They have beaten the Bills, the Vikings, the Packers and now the Bengals all on the road. Pretty impressive.
3. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a Donovan McNabb fan but to bench him for Rex Grossman with 2 minutes left in a one score game, what is the philosophy behind that? He was your leading rusher for christ's sake. The loss of all of the Redskins running backs was the reason they lost this game and they seem to be reeling heading into the bye week. Should be an interesting two weeks for the Redskins who have had more off the field distractions than any team.
4. Poor Buffalo, still winless and still playing their hearts out. They have to be one of the best 0-7 teams in the history of the NFL, although, I am not sure they want that label. Kansas City finds a way to win but they need to figure how to score some points if they want to compete come January. When your running back counts for 238 of your 410 total yards, more than 50%, you need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to spread the ball around.
5. When did the Packers defense turn into the New York Jets defense? They recorded the first shut out of the NFL season. The Jets, coming off of a bye on a five game win streak couldn't get anything going. If Sanchez has to throw the ball 38 times every game the Jets are going to be in a world of hurt. If you like defensive football then this was the game for you, three field goals was as much as either team could muster, pitiful.
6. Did you know there was a game played in London this weekend? The English cared as much about who won the game as the Americans did. Troy Smith, playing for the injured Alex Smith, was very productive and played a clean game with no turnovers. The Broncos have now lost two weeks in a row to the Raiders and now the 49ers, not a good stretch.
7. The combined offensive yardage in the Rams/Panthers game was 447 yards, that is fairly pathetic. Give credit to the Rams though, after a horrendous 2009 season they are 4-4 through 8 weeks in 2010 and right in the mix in the awful NFC West. Sam Bradford looks like the real deal and Steven Jackson is just a beast.
8. Just when you think San Diego's season is over they pull out a huge win. How is it that the Chargers start out so slow every year only to begin to play in November? The Titans had a chance to have a share of first place after 8 weeks of the season but they couldn't stop the Chargers from scoring. Vince Young gets injured again and if the Titans have to rely on Kerry Collins it will not work out for them.
9. Who would have thought the biggest shootout of the weekend would have been between the Buccaneers and the Cardinals? Welcome to the NFL Mr. Blount, he ran for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns and didn't punch any of his opponents in the process, that has to be a win for the Bucs! The Cardinals QBs combined for 4 interceptions, just another normal Sunday.
10. The big question of the week was finally answered at Foxboro on Sunday, yes Brett Favre started the game, but no he didn't finish it. If I have to hear all week about whether or not Favre is going to start this week I am going to go crazy. Who cares? The Vikings are 2-5 and look awful. On the other hand, somehow, the Patriots are the only team in the NFL with only 1 loss...can Brady win another Superbowl?
11. The Raiders have scored 92 points in their last two games, are you kidding me? Did they score 92 points all of last season? Where did this Jason Campbell come from? He throws for 310 yards and 2 touchdowns with no picks. This isn't the same guy that played in Washington. As a Maryland Alumni, it was nice to see Heyward-Bey actually do something in a game in the last 2 years.
12. I am going to congratulate myself now, I saw this coming, I saw the Saints beating the Steelers and if you watch our weekly video you will see the proof yourself. The Steelers were begging for a loss and the Saints were embarrassed last week at home. The most impressive thing about the victory is that the Steelers knew exactly what the Saints were going to do, pass and pass often and they still couldn't stop them. It will be interesting to see if this is the game that gets the Saints back on track.
Make sure to visit our site, www.moleandmeares.com, to see our weekly NFL picks video and to submit your weekly picks for a chance to win our weekly prize. See you week 9!
Posted on: October 26, 2010 11:50 am
For the first time all season there are no changes in our power rankings after this past week's games. The only differences come in our honorable mentions with a couple of additions and subtractions but they couldn't find a way to crack into our top 5. Here we go...
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-1) - The Steelers went on the road to Miami on Sunday and squeaked out a victory against the Dolphins. Some how the Steelers ended up on the correct end of a weird call by the referees, it seems this is a regular occurence for the Steelers. Big Ben fumbled at the goal line and because the play was blown dead for what was determined at the time as a touchdown, there was no clear evidence of a recovery. The Steelers got the ball back and kicked the winning field goal. Tough loss for the Dolphins. The Steelers will travel to New Orleans on Sunday night to face the struggling Saints. The Steelers need to gear up to play the '09 Saints, not the current Saints if they want to win.
2. New York Jets (5-1) - The Jets were the hottest team in the NFL going into their bye week, winners of 5 straight. They should be well rested and healthy for their matchup this week against the struggling and hurting Green Bay Packers at the new Meadowlands stadium on Sunday. Can they continue to play well and extend their winning streak to 6 games? It should be an interesting match up for them on Sunday and I would expect the Jets to come out with a win.
3. New England Patriots (5-1) - The Patriots traveled to San Diego this past Sunday to face the under performing Chargers. They jumped out to an early and comfortable lead before having to hang on as the Chargers made a late comeback. The Patriots avoided an overtime game when the game tying field goal doinked off the right upright. I am still not 100% on board with the Patriots this year, their defense has been suspect at times and I am not sure if they can hold up for the entire season. This week they face the Vikings in Foxboro. Will Brett Favre play? Does it matter? I like the Patriots to win easily at home.
4. Baltimore Ravens (5-2) - The Ravens played one of the toughest games of the week against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, yes, you read that correct, the Buffalo Bills. The Bills took the Ravens to overtime but a great defensive play by who else, Ray Lewis, got the Ravens the ball deep in Bills territory for the game winning field goal. The Ravens get a bye this week which will be needed after their difficult opening 7 games.
5. Indianapolis Colts (4-2) - The Colts have been battling injuries all season so the bye week came at just the right time for them. They have a huge divisional game this week against the Texans in a rematch of week 1 where they lost in Houston. This time it will be in Indianapolis, on Monday night, off of a bye week, against a Texans defense who has forgotten how to stop opposing teams. I would put my money on Peyton Manning.
Honorable Mentions: Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs
There is the top 5 teams in the NFL after week 7. 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 7 NFL picks for a chance to win a weekly prize.
Posted on: October 11, 2010 12:40 pm
This post used to be called thoughts on week 5 but it didn't get much traction so I have changed the name to hopefully garner more interest. I will give you my perspective on each game from yesterday.
1. I thought the Bills might get there first win this week, then I woke up from my dream and remembered they were the Bills. 216 rushing yards allowed isn't going to win you any games.
2. The Lions are winless no more. When was the last time that a team had less yards of offense but won a game by 38 points?
3. I figured out this weekend why Kyle Orton is leading the league in passing yards, the Broncos don't have a running game, 39 total rushing yards??? Welcome back to the league Ray Rice and thank you for showing me why I drafted you second in my fantasy league, you were about to be benched.
4. Maybe the Kansas City Chiefs are good? They held the potent Colts offense to only 1 touchdown. Matt Cassel is not a good quarterback and that will be their achilles heal for the season.
5. What happened to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers offense? 13 points against the Redskins? This team looks out of sorts and they need to get the train back on the tracks or they are going to dissappoint a lot of Wisconians.
6. Explain to me how you win a game when your starting quarterback goes 6-16 for 32 yards and throws 4 interceptions? Oh wait, you play the Carolina Panthers, thats how. By the way, Matt Forte, you are a beast.
7. Up 7 points with the ball with 3 minutes left in the game and your opponent has 1 timeout left. How can you possibly lose in regulation? I know, have Carson Palmer throw not one, but two interceptions. Not a good loss for the Bengals.
8. In the most boring game of the week, the Falcons beat the Browns. Did anyone watch this game? The Falcons are now the best team in the NFC but can they beat any of the top 5 teams in the AFC?
9. The New York Giants defense has finally woke up. They allowed less than 200 yards of offense to one of the best offensive teams in the NFL. Eli Manning needs to stop throwing interceptions if this team is going to be a contender.
10. Drew Brees, what happened? New Orleans Saints, what happened? You lost to an undrafted rookie quarterback? How is that even possible? The Cardinals had less than 200 yards of offense but yet beat the defending Superbowl champions.
11. There is trouble in Big D. Dallas is now 1-3 and at the bottom of the NFC East which really isn't the strongest division in the league this year. Tony Romo, you are supposed to be a veteran quarterback but yet you keep making rookie decisions. Not good.
12. Congrats to the Raiders for beating the Chargers for the first time since 2003. The Chargers need to spend a week figuring out how to hold onto the ball, three lost fumbles sealed their fate.
13. LeSean McCoy is a tough cookie, playing this game with a broken rib and putting up 138 yards from scrimmage. At the same time you earn the Idiot of the Week award for diving like a quarterback 2 yard short of the first down marker and almost losing the game. Congrats!
Check back next Monday for my week 6 recap and don't forget to check out our site at www.moleandmeares.com to see our weekly picks video show and submit your picks for a chance to win our weekly prize!