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AFC Wildcard Game Thread: Bengals (#6) at Texans (#3)

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Cincinnati Bengals (#6) at Houston Texans (#3)

Saturday, January 7th, 2012 | 4:30 PM ET | TV: NBC

Bengals Coverage: Cincy Jungle

Texans Coverage: Battle Red Blog

Here we go, the 2012 NFL playoffs are finally beginning! The first match-up of wild card weekend will be the Cincinnati Bengals at the Houston Texans. This is a game that Patriots fans should be particularly interested in, because if the Bengals win, as the #6 seed, the Patriots will play them in the Divisional Playoffs next Saturday.

If the Texans are to win, the Patriots will not know their playoff opponent until tomorrow. In that scenario, the Patriots would play the winner of the Steelers vs. Broncos game tomorrow at 4:30 PM ET.

In this match-up, both teams are featuring rookie quarterbacks: the Bengals have Andy Dalton and the Texans have T.J. Yates. While I like what Yates was able to do in his first three starts, he has struggled a bit as of late with the Texans going on a three game losing streak, and is battling a shoulder separation on his non-throwing arm.

The Bengals, on the other hand, have won two of their last three headed into the playoffs. I love what AJ Green brings to that offense, and the team's defense is a really underrated unit. I think the match-up will be a close one, with the Bengals barely squeaking out a win. Greg's Prediction: Bengals 23 Texans 20