AFC Wild Card
Bengals (10-6, No. 6 seed) at Texans (12-4, No. 3)
4:30 p.m., WCNC
The Texans enter these playoffs emitting a beeping sound, like when garbage trucks back up, after ending the regular season with two consecutive losses that cost Houston a coveted first-round bye. Bengals arrive hotter, on the wing of three consecutive wins. That hot-vs.-not factor suggests a very close game unlike Houstons 31-10 rout of Cincy in last years playoffs if not quite an outright upset. Bengals are 0-3 in the postseason under Marvin Lewis and last won a playoff game in 1990. The Texans, though, are a solid home team and have a clear edge in overall talent as reflected in their eight Pro Bowl selections. Arian Foster should run for around 150 yards to help control the clock, and that J.J. Watt-led pass rush could make it a rough go for Andy Dalton.
NFC Wild Card
Vikings (10-6, No. 6) at Packers (11-5, No. 3)
8 p.m., WCNC
The Vikings beat the Packers just last week, 37-34, dramatically earning a playoff spot and denying Green Bay a first-round bye. But its tough to beat Green Bay twice in one season, let alone twice in two weeks. Adrian Peterson ran for 199 yards last week, narrowly missing the NFL season record, and hell get his yards again. But consider that the Vikings are 0-3 at Lambeau even when Peterson tops 100 yards rushing. Count even more on a huge day by Aaron Rodgers, who has a 132.5 passer rating with 16 touchdowns and one interception his past five games vs. Minnesota. The Vikings were 3-5 on the road this season, and Packers will get a big boost both defensively and emotionally from the well-timed return of safety and leader Charles Woodson from a long injury absence.
Greg Cote / Miami Herald