It's now official: the Indianapolis Colts will host the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday, January 4, 2015, at 1:05 p.m. eastern time in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
The Bengals will be the team heading to Indianapolis due to them losing tonight against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Colts were going to face the loser of the game and that would determine when they played as well, and since the Steelers won and in doing so won the AFC North, the Bengals are a wild card and will travel to Indy to take on the Colts.
The last time the Bengals played the Colts in Indy came just a couple of months ago in October, and the Colts absolutely dominated the Bengals in a shutout, winning 27-0. That Bengals team was without A.J. Green (who was injured again tonight), but the team seemed like perhaps the best of the potential matchup for the Colts in the first round (while the Steelers seemed like the worst). Indy will be looking for a repeat of their earlier performance next week when they host the Bengals with the stakes being much higher. The Bengals haven't won a playoff game since 1990 and are 0-5 in the postseason with Marvin Lewis as head coach.
The other AFC Wild Card game will feature the Steelers hosting the Ravens, and that will be the Saturday night game on NBC. There's a real chance that Baltimore could knock off the Steelers, and if that happens it would guarantee that the Colts, if they win, wouldn't have to travel to New England until at least the AFC Championship game - guaranteeing them a game at Denver should they win next weekend. But that's getting very much into speculation - right now, what we need to know is that the Colts will host the Bengals on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET and the Steelers will host the Ravens at 8:15 p.m. ET on Saturday evening.