The Texans will host the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, Jan. 7, at 3:30 p.m. CT at Reliant Stadium in the first round of the playoffs. The game is presented by Kroger.
The Bengals earned the No. 6 seed in the playoffs with a 9-7 record. The game will be televised on NBC and broadcast on SportsRadio 610 AM and KILT 100.3 FM.
"The Bengals are a heck of a team," Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said on Sunday evening. "They're a lot like us. They've been playing a young quarterback. They run the ball well, and they play good defense. I think it's going to be a heck of a battle."
The Texans beat the Bengals 20-19 at Cincinnati in Week 14 to clinch the AFC South title. They came back from a 16-3 halftime deficit behind a stout defensive performance and 300 passing yards by rookie quarterback T.J. Yates, who threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Kevin Walter with two seconds remaining.
That was the Texans' last victory.
"In that first game, I wasn't happy with the way we played until the fourth quarter," Kubiak said. "They played really well against our offense. We were sloppy for awhile. We've got to play better from the start if we expext to win."
The Bengals are led by rookie quarterback Andy Dalton, a native of Katy, Texas. A second-round pick out of TCU, Dalton threw for 3,398 passing yards this season with 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Rookie wide receiver A.J. Green caught 65 passes for 1,057 and seven touchdowns.
Cincinnati ranks 24th in offense (318.8 yards per game) and sixth in defense (314.2 yards/game), including fifth against the run (96.9).
"I've been so impressed with Dalton," Kubiak said. "He hasn't played like a rookie. He's coming home to play in a big game, and you know he wants to play his best. Dalton and Green are a great young twosome."
The AFC North champion Baltimore Ravens (12-4) clinched the No. 2 seed by beating the Bengals 34-26 on Sunday. The Texans will play at Baltimore in the second round of the playoffs if they beat the Bengals on Wild Card Weekend.
The AFC East champion New England Patriots (13-3) are the No. 1 seed. They will have homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. The AFC West champion Denver Broncos (9-7) got the No. 4 seed and will host the No. 5 seed Pittsburgh Steelers next weekend.
The Texans would host the AFC Championship Game if they win their first two games and the Patriots lose to the Broncos or Steelers in the Divisional round.