USA TODAY Sports
It took over a week but the Cincinnati Bengals have now learned their opponent for the first round of the 2012 NFL playoffs.
The Cincinnati Bengals are heading to Houston next week to take on the Texans in the first-round of the 2012 NFL playoffs, in a game nicknamed "The Rematch", or the "The Vengeance".
Entering Week 17, Cincinnati's opponent remained undetermined with the four division winners needing to work things out to lock their respective position for the postseason. Houston, only needing a win to lock the No. 1 seed, lost their early afternoon game 28-16 to the Indianapolis Colts while the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos soundly beat the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs respectively.
This gave the Broncos a 13-3 record and sole position of the No. 1 seed (no tiebreakers applied). New England's win over the Miami Dolphins gave the Patriots the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye, locking Houston into the No. 3 seed as the late afternoon games unfolded.
The early storyline for next week’s game will feature Cincinnati looking to avenge their 20-point loss to the Texans last year, knocking the Bengals out of last season's playoffs. Yet this time around, both teams are going in opposition directions. Whereas the Bengals have won seven of their last eight games, the Texans have lost three of their last four.
Dates and times for the game will be determined later, following Sunday Night Football.
AFC FIRST-ROUND MATCHES
|Cincinnati Bengals||Houston Texans||TBD||TBD|
|Indianapolis Colts||Baltimore Ravens||TBD||TBD|
|2.||New England Patriots||12-4|