No. 5 Seed: Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are lucky to have gotten off to a good start, because the schedule gets rough in the second half of the season, and the team's defense is reeling.
With five road games remaining, this team will be lucky to finish the season at 10-6 after losing Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb—not to mention the perpetually injured Ed Reed and an ailing Haloti Ngata. These injuries have seriously affected this defense—a unit that is ranked No. 30 against the run in 2012.
Furthermore, Cam Cameron doesn't use best offensive weapon nearly enough, as Ray Rice only carries the ball approximately 15 times a game—a ridiculously low number for a back with his talents.
Joe Flacco is still as shady from one week to the next, and the Ravens offense just isn't good enough to consistently overcome the weaknesses the team has on defense.
All of this adds up to a team good enough to get into the playoffs, but it'll be limping in.
Final record: 10-6
No. 6 Seed: Miami Dolphins
Who'd a thunk it? The Dolphins are right in the playoff hunt midway through the 2012 season, and the young team is surging under the leadership of Joe Philbin and his staff.
The scary thing about the Dolphins is that this team could well be 7-2 if not for two overtime losses in a row.
Ryan Tannehill is playing lights-out football, putting up big numbers in some clutch situations, and if the Dolphins end up finishing the way I think they will, he'll deserve some serious consideration for the NFL's Rookie of the Year award.
Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas have three touchdowns apiece on the ground, and once Bush's knee is 100 percent, the Dolphins ground attack will be tough to stop.
The best aspect of this team, though, is it's dominant defense, which is ranked No. 5 in the NFL in scoring defense, giving up just 18 points per game.
Final record: 10-6