NFL Playoffs: Texans Cruise Past Bengals On Wild Card Weekend

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 7: Quarterback T.J. Yates #13 of the Houston Texans raises his arm as he leaves the field after the Houston Texans defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2012 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium on January 7, 2012 in Houston, Texas.The Texans defeated the Bengals 31-10. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

The first game on Wild Card weekend was the Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans. The game, unfortunately, didn't live up to the hype. The Texans were the home team and a slight favorite to win, which they did, 31-10.

(Let's just ignore that I picked the Bengals to win, OK?)

These aren't your same old Texans anymore. Their defense is legitimately terrific -- like top five quality (which shows you how quickly NFL teams can change their fortune). They created three turnovers and made Andy Dalton's day hell. And just as impressive is their offense, particularly the running game. Arian Foster blew up for 153 yards and Ben Tate added 37 rushing yards. It's hard to compete when a guy carries the ball 24 times for six yards a carry (and scores two touchdowns).

The Texans were clearly the better team and they'll move onto the divisional round where they'll play the Ravens in Baltimore next weekend. Baltimore beat Houston earlier this year, 29-14, but these are different teams now. My early pick is Baltimore but this Houston team showed me they're for real with yesterday's performance.

Here are a bunch of highlights (video) of the game.

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