In the Wild Card Round of the 2011/2012 playoffs, the AFC South Division winning Houston Texans will host the wild card Cincinnati Bengals. Here at GuysNation some of our NFL contributors discussed our various views on this game.

Rob: The Bengals have a few good pieces on both sides of the ball, but Andy Dalton and AJ Green aren’t going to be enough to beat the Texans, with Arian Foster running all over them.

JMB: I have to disagree with Rob here.  In the narrow 20-19 loss Arian Foster hardly ran all over the Bengals.  Cincy is also no slouch on defense ranking in the top 10 in both passing and rushing defense.  Couple that with Houston limping in the playoffs with three straight losses, including a horrific showing against the Colts, and I simply can’t hand this game to the Texans, especially if Jake “Turnover” Delhomme has to take over for TJ Yates if his shoulder doesn’t hold up.  I see Cincy winning this one in a close contest.  If this was Matt Schaub with a healthy, playmaking Andre Johnson, it’d be the Texans hands down, but Dalton to AJ Green for a big TD to win it in a close one.

XIV:  Houston has home field.  Houston has solid defense, a good running game, and one of the game’s best recievers.  Cincinnati has a solid defense, a good running game, and an elite reciever in training.  The difference for me?  Cincinnati has a better quarter back.  Who has played in big games.  Who has played the whole season.  I think Cincy’s front 7 is good enough to neutralize the tandem of Foster and Tate.  If Houston has Schaub, and Johnson is 100%?  My pick is vastly different. Cincinnati 24 – Houston 19

Rob: Three weeks ago, Arian Foster didn’t run all over the Bengals. Ben Tate did, at a clip of 8 yards per carry. Even with Tate combining rushing and receiving yards for nearly 100 all-purpose gains (he hit 97), Foster still combined for 74 yards, and that’s the only time in the past four weeks where Foster has played and not combined for more than 150 all-purpose yards. Foster got to rest in Week 17, is practicing in full this week, and the Bengals are coming off of a game where they allowed over 200 yards rushing – nearly all of that to one guy! What are they going to do with Ben Tate coming off of a 100 yard performance and a rested Arian Foster?

Furthermore, Dalton and A.J. Green weren’t necessarily effective three weeks ago against the Titans, mind you. Dalton only threw for 189 yards with one touchdown, and Green didn’t reach 60 receiving yards. The Bengals are probably going to have to get it done through the air, since Cedric Benson has been limited in practice and the Texans haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in over a month (and I’m giving Maurice Jones-Drew some credit for 99 yards).

Jeff S: I’m not sure how much I trust the Tiger Cubs here but I think this could be the upset special. If I’m Cinci, I stack 8 on the line and dare the Texans to throw. Johnson’s hammy hasn’t fully healed and the Houston line can’t keep their QB off the turf. Cinci takes it in a close one.

Rob: You should go back to that “Tiger Cubs” notion, because I think that about says it. I think Cincinnati could be building a decent team with some nice young pieces, but I don’t think they’re there yet. I realize Houston has a rookie QB and that Foster and Tate aren’t exactly seasoned veterans, but the components in Houston have been together for a years and they’ve been building up to this.  In a couple years, I could see the Bengals as serious contenders, but not right now.