The Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals come into their 2012 playoff wild card contest with opposing trajectories, but similar backstories. The two squads combined for 22 wins during the regular season, but only five came against other playoff-bound teams. The Bengals recorded just two wins all season against playoff-caliber clubs (Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins). Houston had three (Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots).
The Texans offense ranked among the best in the NFL, with an average of 26.0 points (eighth) and and 372.1 yards per game this season. Quarterback Matt Schaub eclipsed the 4,000-yard passing mark, and star rusher Arian Foster rolled up 1,424 yards on the ground, as well as 15 rushing touchdowns. Wideout Andre Johnson had another stellar year, notching 112 catches (fourth in the league) and 11 touchdowns (tied for fourth).
Cincinnati was also powered by an emerging offensive attack. Quarterback Andy Dalton boosted his QB rating seven points in his second professional season, helped by the presence of top wide receiver A.J. Green (97 catches, 1350 yards, 11 touchdowns). The Bengals developed a stifling defense, allowing opponents just 319.7 yards per game.
Saturday, Jan. 5, 4:30 p.m. ET
Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
NBC (Dan Hicks, Mike Mayock)
This postseason wild card game is available for online streaming at NBCSports.com and NFL.com.
Verizon subscribers can watch games live with the NFL Mobile app (subscription required).
NFL Game Pass offers live online broadcasts to users outside the USA.
Texans: SR610 AM/100.3 KILT FM/1010 AM
Bengals: 1530 AM WCKY/102.7 FM WEBN/700 AM WLW