Just like last January, the Cincinnati Bengals will travel to Texas for a matchup against the Houston Texans on Saturday to kickoff the 2013 NFL Playoffs. The Texans had no problems stopping the inexperienced Bengals in the opening round last year, but don’t be surprised if things play out differently this time around for Marvin Lewis and company.
Cincinnati enters the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in football as they finished the second half of the regular season winning seven of their last eight games. In their second season together, Andy Dalton and A.J. Green quickly became one of the league’s top quarterback-wide receiver duos–which could cause problems for Houston’s defense.
In the first half of the season, the Texans appeared to be one of the most well-balanced teams in football with a high-powered offense and one of the league’s top defenses. Unfortunately, the defense has cooled off a bit in the second half of the season and the Texans ended the season losing three of their last four games.
As for the other AFC matchup, the Baltimore Ravens find themselves in a similar situation to the Texans as they went from one of the top teams in the AFC to finishing out the regular season losing four of their final five games. Experience could end up playing a key factor on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, but the last thing this Ravens team should want to do is play against Andrew Luck–who finished with an 11-5 record after winning just two games all of last season.