Chargers will surprise

Sam Farmer

Los Angeles Times

The stunner here is the Chargers. I think they are going to sneak into the postseason, despite their six-game losing streak, by winning their final two games at Detroit and Oakland and relying on the Dolphins to beat the Jets in Week 17.

So I have the sixth-seeded Chargers playing at Houston in the first round, and Baltimore at Denver in the other AFC wild-card game. In the NFC, I see Detroit and Atlanta being the wild-card teams. So that put the Lions at San Francisco, and the Falcons at the Giants.

If those turn out to be the matchups, the four teams I see emerging from those games are San Diego, Baltimore, San Francisco and the Giants.

sfarmer@tribune.com

Steelers most dangerous

Dan Pompei

Chicago Tribune

The four teams with the best chances of reaching the postseason as wild cards are the Steelers, Jets, Falcons and Lions.

The Steelers are the most dangerous of these teams as long as Ben Roethlisberger's ankle injury doesn't limit him too much. The other wild-card spot in the AFC could come down to the Jets or Bengals, though there are five other teams with legitimate hopes.

In the NFC, the Falcons can clinch a wild-card spot with a victory over the Saints in New Orleans on Sunday (unlikely), or a victory over the Bucs in Atlanta one week later (likely). The Lions may have a hard time beating the Packers in Green Bay on the final week of the season, so they need to beat the Chargers at home on Sunday to get in.

dpompei@tribune.com

AFC is wide open