It's not exactly an offensive explosion, but the tensions are high and Cincinnati and Houston are slugging it out for the right to advance in the NFL playoffs 2012. It's the first NFL playoff game, and former President George Bush and his wife, Barbara, are on hand in Houston for the big event -- and the hometown Texans aren't disappointing.
Bengals-Texas halftime scoring update: Houston 17, Cincinnati 10.
Offense wasn't expected to rule with two rookie quarterbacks starting for the Bengals and the home-standing Texans, and that's been generally the case so far, though Texas' T.J. Yates and Cincinnati's Andy Dalton have had their moments. Defense has mostly ruled, however, with the Texans getting a defensive touchdown late in the first half.
Houston's rookie J.J. Watt had a 29-yard interception from the defensive line and return for a touchdown with 52 seconds left in the first half giving the Texans the lead.
Neither team had more than 160 yards in total offense in the first half. Despite the interception, Dalton was 13 of 18 passing for 120 yards.
First Half Scoring Summary
The Bengals scored first in the first quarter, with 7:38 remaining, moving 74 yards in five plays. Cedric Benson took it in from one-yard out for the score.
The Texans tied it up at 7-7 a couple of plays later moving 80 yards in six plays. Arian Foster scored the touchdown, running it in from eight-yards out with 5:04 remaining in the first quarter.
In the second quarter the Bengals went 61 yards in eight plays before getting a 37-yard field goal from Mike Nugent to take a 10-7 lead with 7:14 left in the half.
With 1:48 left before halftime, Houston went 59 yards in 13 plays, chewing up 5:21 on the clock, before Neil Rackers kicked a 39-yard field goal to tie it up.
Moments later the Texans added more points, however, as Dalton's pass was intercepted along the line of scrimmage by J.J. Watt and returned 29 yards for a touchdown -- putting the Texans up 17-10.