Texans pound Bengals, run AFC North's playoff record to 1-4 since 2011

Ronald Martinez

Behind a lackluster performance by the Bengals, Houston overcame a recent swoon and advanced to take on New England in the Divisional round of the AFC Playoffs.

The first half of the NFL Wild Card Playoff games Saturday will not be noted as the Saturday of the Quarterback.

With the exception of Packers passer Aaron Rodgers, three other quarterbacks - Houston's Matt Schaub, Minnesota's Joe Webb and Cincinnati's Andy Dalton - all put up less than stellar performances, to put it mildly.

While Webb was easily the worst of the day (11-for-30 passing for 180 yards and a touchdown, the bulk of which came after the Vikings trailed 24-3 in the second half), but Dalton wasn't too far behind him - 14-for-30, 127 yards, one interception.

The pick was the result of A.J. Green simply not turning around for a well-thrown pass, but it was one of the few decent balls Dalton threw in the Texans' 19-13 win, their fourth consecutive playoff loss.

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Schaub had the benefit of a powerfully effective running game, but was relatively ineffective throwing downfield, leading to more questions as to whether he'll be good enough to lead the Texans past the divisional game for the first time in franchise history.

The Bengals' loss continues a mini slump for the AFC North in the postseason. Dating back to 2011, a year after the Steelers went 2-1 to reach Super Bowl XLV, the division is 1-4 in the playoffs (two Bengals losses, and one loss each by Baltimore and Pittsburgh, with the lone win coming by way of the Ravens' win over Houston last year in the division. Baltimore lost the AFC Championship game against New England).

The Ravens look to win a playoff game for the fourth consecutive year as they host Indianapolis at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.

Playoff games, Jan. 6

AFC Wild Card: Colts vs. Ravens

SB Nation blog: Stampede Blue | Baltimore Beatdown

Game Date/Time: Sunday, Jan. 6, 1 p.m. ET
Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Md.
TV Schedule: CBS
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
NFL odds: Ravens -7
NFL picks: Colts, 27-24

NFC Wild Card: Seahawks vs. Redskins

SB Nation blog: Field Gulls | Hogs Haven

Game Date/Time: Sunday, Jan. 6, 4:30 p.m. ET
Location: FedEx Field, Landover, MD.
TV Schedule: FOX
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
NFL odds: Seahawks -3
NFL picks: Seahawks, 23-16

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