The 2012 NFL Playoffs get underway today with the Houston Texans hosting their first ever playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals at 1:30pm PT. The NFL scheduled the first weekend as expected with the bigger name matchup going down in the afternoon each day. Later this afternoon, the New Orleans Saints host the Detroit Lions in a game that most people view as an expected Saints romp.
Even Coach Harbaugh has admitted the 49ers have spent more of their time preparing for the Saints than anybody else. The 49ers have already faced the Giants, which leaves needed prep time for a possible Falcons matchup. However, with the Saints sitting as heavy favorites against the Lions, that is the expected matchup, even if it rubs Dominic Raiola the wrong way.
For this first game, it will be interesting to see how the two rookie quarterbacks pan out. Andy Dalton has put together a fantastic rookie season, but the playoffs are a different beast altogether. He faces a very strong Houston Texans defense that will provide a stiff test. For the Texans, it will come down to what Arian Foster can do for them and if T.J. Yates can avoid mistakes. If Yates can avoid turnovers and Arian Foster and the defense can handle their business, the Texans can pull out their first playoff victory.