The Bears Waiting Game is Over

The Bears now know whom they will host in the NFC Divisional round. Philadelphia defeated Tampa Bay 31-9 in the Wild Card round. Meaning the Eagles will head west to Chicago.

It will be a battle of the top two scoring defenses in football. The Eagles allowed 208 points, while the Bears gave up a league low 203 points.

The Eagles dominated the Bucs in a loss that will likely cost Tampa coach Tony Dungy his job.

The Bucs ran 24 times for just 63 yards, while Brad Johnson was picked off four times. Eagles safety Damon Moore capped the scoring with a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown.

In giving up nine points Philadelphia has now allowed 24 of fewer points in 30 straight games.

McNabb used his feet early to jumpstart Philadelphia's offense. He scrambled around in the pocket long enough to find tight end Chad Lewis for a 16 yard touchdown putting the Eagles up 10-3 a lead that Philadelphia never relinquished.

McNabb rushed four times for 57 yards. His 23-yard touchdown pass to Duce Staley put the Eagles up 17-9 at the half. Philadelphia pulled away midway through the third quarter. Correll Buckhalter's 25-yard touchdown run gave the Eagles a commanding 24-9 lead.

Donovan McNabb, who is a native of Chicago, said he looked forward to his homecoming.

"It's going to be a challenge for us, but I'm just looking forward to having the opportunity to go back home," McNabb said following his two touchdown performance.

Despite meeting during the regular season the two teams should somewhat familiar with each other.

The Eagles beat the Bears 13-9 last season. Cade McNown went down hard on the infamous Veteran's Stadium turf separating his shoulder. Jim Miller came off the bench, but the offense was ineffective in the first half punting on six of their seven possessions.

The Bears dented the 13-0 Eagle lead in the fourth quarter with three Paul Edinger field goals, but that was all the offense could produce.

The loss dropped the Bears record to 1-7, but the team went onto finish the season strong going 4-4.

Greg Blache's unit jelled over the second half of the season. Chicago's defense improved in a number of categories in the final eight weekends as seven new starters grew more comfortable in the system. The Bears were ranked 27th in total defense (28th vs. run 19th vs. pass) after eight games, but ended the year rated 16th overall (19th vs. run 17th vs. pass).

The Packers will face the Rams on Jan. 20. If the Rams win then the victor of the Bears and Eagles match up will travel to St. Louis. However, if the Packers win then the Bears have an opportunity to host the NFC Championship game on Jan. 27, if they can beat the Eagles.

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