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Bengals take NFL's longest streak of playoff futility back to Houston for first round game

  • Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry (95) celebrates after making a sack in the second half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Cincinnati. Cincinnati won 23-17. (AP Photo/Michael Keating)The Associated Press

  • Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap (96) celebrates with fans after scoring a touchdown on an interception against the Baltimore Ravens in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)The Associated Press

  • Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) passes against the Baltimore Ravens in the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)The Associated Press

  • Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis watches from the sidelines in the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Michael Keating)The Associated Press

The Bengals are taking the NFL's longest streak of playoff futility back to the scene of their latest postseason loss, hoping they're ready for another significant breakthrough.

Cincinnati (10-6) opens the postseason on Saturday at Houston (12-4), where the young Bengals imploded for a 31-10 loss in the first round last year. Quarterback Andy Dalton was a rookie then and threw three interceptions.

The lopsided loss kept them without a playoff victory since 1990, the league's longest such streak.

The Bengals figure that experience will help them be more comfortable the second time around. Plus, their defense has greatly improved.

They've got one other thing in their favor. Cincinnati matched the best finish in club history, winning seven of its last eight games.

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