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The Early Lead
Posted at 04:10 PM ET, 01/07/2012

NFL Playoffs: Bengals vs. Texans

A pair of rookie quarterbacks lead the Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans into Saturday’s NFL playoffs opener at Reliant Stadium (4:30 p.m. EST, NBC).

Second-round draft pick Andy Dalton started all 16 games for the Bengals while fifth-rounder T.J. Yates took over for an injured Matt Schaub to help guide the Texans to their first AFC South title.

Led by Arian Foster (1,224 yards, 10 TDs) and Ben Tate, the Texans boast the league’s second-best rushing offense, which will be the key to their offensive gameplan against Cincinnati’s top-10 passing defense. A healthy Andre Johnson will provide Yates with a big-time playmaker in the passing game as Houston looks to ride its home crowd to victory.

Dalton will be looking to connect with fellow rookie A.J. Green (1,067 yards, 7 TDs) downfield but could have his hands full with Wade Phillips’ second-ranked defense.

Expect a low-scoring, grind-it-out kind of game as both teams try to establish their playoff footing and make a run at the Super Bowl.

More NFL Playoffs coverage from Washington Post Sports:

Early Lead: Rookie quarterbacks take center stage for Bengals, Texans

NFL Playoffs: Schedule and game previews

Post Sports Live: NFL wild-card weekend predictions

Darkhorses: First round has produced four of past six Super Bowl winners

By  |  04:10 PM ET, 01/07/2012

 
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