1) I went to bed Sunday night sure that the Broncos were going to the SB and Jack del Rio would be a head coach somewhere next year. well, still might happen, but not so sure. I think the AFC is wide open; the Pats are vulnerable, Cheifs even more so. Colts and Bengals don't scare too many people. Peyton doesn't do well in the cold (see 2012 AFC playoffs). if the Ravens, Steelers or Chargers get that sixth seed, they could have some impact.
2) I'm thinking the schedule will be a factor in this AFC six seed. Ravens have Pittsburgh (@Balt), a probable win; Vikings @ Bal (probable win); @ Detroit (very inconsistent, possible win); host Patriots (possible win, most likely loss), and @ Cinci (possible win). I see 8-9 wins and a good shot at the WC. I'll have to review other's schedules but they look as likely as anyone.
3) Seattle looks like the big dog in the NFC, followed by the Saints, and I think they will play the NFCC. Pack is as good as anyone with Rogers; without him they're nothing. 49ers still scary but I don't see them winning @ Seattle. Cowboys/Eagles? tv fodder.
4) that leaves the Cardinals and Saints. Bruce Arians is showing how good a coach he is, and Carson is resurrecting his career.
Panthers are the ultimate wild card; Cam can torch anybody on the right day, and their D is legit. I think that's the one team I'd hate to play.