The Bears need Muhammad to catch everything in sight once the postseason begins. With a young group of receivers, he's the only one with playoff experience.
If the offense is going to function, it will have to be because Muhammad is drawing the eye of the secondary and allowing the other wideouts to take advantage of one-on-one coverage.
"I don't think anyone can be a harder critic on me than I am of myself," Muhammad said of his problem holding onto the ball. "When I look at myself on film, when I look at myself playing a game, believe me, there's no one that can criticize me harder than me."
It appears the Bears are being proactive about the situation. Receivers coach Daryl Drake spent extra time during the week with Muhammad working on the jugs machine in an attempt to iron out the problem.
Urlacher has a two-tackle lead heading into the season finale at Minnesota, but Briggs has a vision for overtaking his teammate.
"It wasn't competitive until this week," Briggs said. "Now I'm sure Brian will be the first linebacker pulled and my idea is I want to stay in until I get the lead."
Briggs is trying to pace the team in stops for the second straight year. Prior to 2004, Urlacher led the team in tackles his first four seasons with the Bears.
The Bears schedule for next year may have changed somewhat as a result of the weekend's games.
They have two undecided opponents, and if Tampa Bay hangs on to the NFC South lead by beating New Orleans this coming weekend, then the Bears would play one of their home games against the Bucs in 2006. Their other home games already decided are San Francisco, Seattle, Buffalo, Miami, Green Bay, Minnesota and Detroit at home next season.
Their road games will be against Arizona, St. Louis, New England, the New York Jets, Green Bay, Minnesota, Detroit and the NFC East winner. Currently, the Giants lead, and they'll finish first if they beat the Raiders or if the Redskins lose to the Eagles.
Playoff tickets are scheduled to go on sale Tuesday at 10 a.m. The Bears will host a divisional playoff game on either January 14, or January 15.
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, via phone or internet only. Tickets range from $85.00 to $365.00. There is a limit of four tickets per customer.