NFL: Texans advance with win over Bengal

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Houston Texans’ Arian Foster (23) celebrates with his teammates following a 13-yard touchdown run during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

HOUSTON, Texas – Arian Foster rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown on Saturday as the Houston Texans beat the Cincinnati Bengals 19-13 in the first round of the NFL playoffs.

The victory marked the second time in as many seasons that the Texans ousted the Bengals in the first round. Houston booked a second-round meeting next weekend with perennial American Conference contenders the New England Patriots.

Foster added eight catches for 34 yards and became the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 100 yards in the first three post-season games of his career.

Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, who missed last season’s 31-10 playoff win over Cincinnati with a foot injury, completed 29-of-38 passes for 261 yards with one interception in the first post-season start of his career.

Houston’s defense played a key role, holding Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to just 127 passing yards with one interception.

The first day of playoff action included the Minnesota Vikings at the Green Bay Packers in a National Conference contest.

The Vikings announced before the game that quarterback Christian Ponder would be inactive because of an elbow injury.

Ponder was hurt last Sunday in the Vikings’ 37-34 win over the Packers in the teams’ regular-season finale.

Ponder tested his arm in pre-game warm-ups, but was declared inactive shortly thereafter.

Backup Joe Webb, who didn’t attempt a pass all season for the Vikings, got the start in place of Ponder.

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