Packers, Texans Win to Advance to Second Round of NFL Playoffs

The Green Bay Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings 24-10, and the Houston Texans defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 19-13 to advance to the second round of the National Football League playoffs.

The fourth-seeded Baltimore Ravens meet the No. 5 seed Indianapolis Colts today in the second American Football Conference first-round game. In the National Football Conference, it’s fifth-seeded Seattle against No. 4 seed Washington.

The Packers reached the NFC’s second round against the San Francisco 49ers on Jan. 12. The Texans moved to the next level against the New England Patriots on Jan. 13.

“The defense played at a championship level,” said Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in a televised interview at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. “It will be a tough test next week in San Francisco.”

Dujuan Harris and John Kuhn ran for touchdowns in the first half, and Mason Crosby had a 20-yard field goal to give the third-seeded Packers a 17-3 lead over the Vikings (10-6), whose quarterback Christian Ponder was sidelined with an elbow injury.

Kuhn caught a nine-yard scoring pass from Rodgers in the third quarter as the Packers (11-5) went ahead 24-3. Rodgers connected with an NFL playoff-record 10 receivers as he threw for 274 yards.

Packer Defense Strong

The Packers defense held Adrian Peterson to 99 yards rushing and sacked quarterback Joe Webb three times.

“The main thing was to just get out and get a big win here,” said Charles Woodson, who was playing his first game since he broke his collarbone against St. Louis on Oct. 21. “I felt good. I thought I moved around well.”

Blair Walsh kicked a 33-yard field goal for the sixth- seeded Vikings in the first quarter, and Webb threw a 50-yard scoring pass to Michael Jenkins in the fourth quarter.

Webb connected on 11 of 30 passing attempts for 180 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

At Reliant Stadium in Houston, Arian Foster scored one touchdown and ran 140 yards to lead the Texans to their win. Foster, who became the first NFL player to gain 100 rushing yards in each of his first three playoff games, dashed one yard in the third quarter to give the Texans a 16-7 lead.

“We like to run the ball, we played good defense,” Foster said in a televised interview.

The Texans tallied 158 rushing yards to 80 yards for the Bengals. Houston accumulated 419 total yards compared with 207 yards for Cincinnati.

Shayne Graham kicked field goals of 48, 27 and 22 yards in the first half to give the Texans a 9-7 advantage, and added a 24-yard score in the fourth quarter.

Houston quarterback Matt Schaub completed 29 of 38 passing attempts for 261 yards and one interception.

“It’s a great feeling to come away with a win,” he said.

The Bengals’ Leon Hall returned a 21-yard interception for a touchdown in the second quarter, while Josh Brown kicked field goals of 34 and 47 yards in the second half for the Bengals (10-7).

Andy Dalton passed for 147 yards and one interception.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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