Way I see it after the first week of playoffs:
Jets vs. Chargers
This is a tricky one, and could easily go to either team here. The Chargers are the perpetual also-rans of the playoffs, always looking like great AFC championship contenders, but always getting shot down along the way. They have experience here that the Jets do not. However, the Chargers are not the team they used to be; their offensive centerpiece, LaDanian Tomplinson, has seen his number slipping. This, against the best defense in the league, especially the pass game terror that is Darrelle Revis. And let's face it, the Chargers are in one of the worst divisions in the league, second probably only to the NFC West. What this will come down to, is how the Jets offense, particularly rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez, play. If they bring the game they brought to Cinncinati on Saturday, Jets win it.
Colts vs. Ravens
I knew the Ravens had the potential to beat the Pats, but I didn't imagine it would be that easy for them. Still, I don't think they have what it takes to beat Indy. The Pats were not a team at the top of their game; the loss of Wes Welker punched a huge hole in their offense, meaning that the Ravens could effectively shut down the pass game simply by keeping Randy Moss well covered. The Colts, however, are not missing their powerhouse offensive starters. Manning, Wayne, Addai, Clark, all there. As long as they do their thing, and Freeney can make some big plays on defense, Colts have it without much fuss. Also, keep in mind that the Colts won their regular season match-up against the Ravens.
As long as I'm at it, Colts would beat either the Chargers or the Jets. Chargers, for pretty much the same reasons that the Jets could, and the Jets because we all know that the Jets were handed a freebie when they won the regular season match-up. So, Colts as AFC champions.
I give this one to Minnesota. Dallas has been playing well as of late, but not well enough. Beating Philly was not much of a surprise, given their regular season match-ups. But they also suffered some embarrassing regular seasons losses, notably the ones to the Giants and the just unseated Packers. Not to mention that only 4 of their regular season wins came against teams with winning records. They also suffer from having a QB that is not so much a great QB, but more like a facsimile of a great QB. Minnesota just needs to get a standard performance out of the monstrosities that are Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson, and have Favre survive.
Cardinals vs. Saints
Cakewalk for the Saints. Arizona just allowed the 2nd lowest seeded team in the NFC to score 45 points against them. That is not a recipe for playoff success. Up against the team that scored the most points in the regular season? And who had the best points scored-to-points allowed ratio in the league? As long as New Orleans is vaguely pointed in the right direction of something resembling a defense, cakewalk.
Now Saints vs. Vikings, that I call a toss-up. They both have powerhouse defenses and offenses. The real question will be, just how old is Favre going to feel that day? He's been energetic for the regular season, largely due to the Vikings management limiting his practice time, and being able to consistently rely on the run game. But you don't win in the playoffs by being reserved. Beating New Orleans is going to require going all out, and it remains to be seen whether or not Favre can handle that.
The Pro Bowl
will suck as usual, except with the added bonus of not having any of the super bowl teams' players on the field, making it even more dull and pointless.
Assuming Colts vs. either the Vikings or New Orleans, toss up. It definitely won't be one of those disgusting lop-sided slaughterings, like those the NFC committed in the 80's and 90's. It will be evenly matched, and hopefully a good game.
"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed'? Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'" - Carl Sagan
"To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection." - Henri Poincaré