To kick off Wild Card Weekend in the 2011 NFL Playoffs, the AFC South Champion Houston Texans will play the first playoff game in franchise history when they host the No. 6 seed Cincinnati Bengals at Reliant Stadium at 4:30pm ET on Saturday afternoon.
Both of Saturday's playoff games will be shown on NBC, with their "B" team of Tom Hammond, Mike Mayock, and sideline reporter Alex Flanagan assigned to the Bengals-Texans game.
In addition to the Texans playing the first playoff game in franchise history, Saturday's game will be the first time in the Super Bowl era where both teams will be starting rookie quarterbacks. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was a second-round pick in last April's draft and opened the season as the starter, while fifth-round pick T.J. Yates has gained his starting role after Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart suffered season-ending injuries.
Led by Yates, the Texans came from behind to defeat the Bengals 20-19 in Week 14. Dalton passed 189 yards and a touchdown in that meeting and Tim at Battle Red Blog anticipates a long day for Dalton against a Texans defense that ranked 2nd in total and were 3rd against the pass.
The guys at Cincy Jungle think the key match-up involves Bengals first-round wide receiver A.J. Green against Texans Pro Bowl cornerback Johnathan Joseph, a former Bengals first-round pick who signed with the Texans when the lockout ended.
For more on this 2012 AFC Playoff matchup, follow our comprehensive Bengals vs. Texans StoryStream. Get the latest news and fan perspective at our Bengals blog, Cincy Jungle and our Texans blog, Battle Red Blog.