|Why To Watch|
The Bears are 9-2 in their last 11 games and have allowed only five touchdowns at home the entire season. Carolina is 7-2 on the road after dismantling the Giants in New York last week. John Fox leads a playoff-experienced Panthers team that will handle the crowd noise and elements without much issue, and Carolina clearly has the big-game experience advantage at quarterback, with its coaching staff and the kicking game. Carolina is also a very disciplined team, having committed the fewest penalties in the NFL this season.
Both of these teams are feature exceptional defenses that generate a lot of turnovers and wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks. Protecting the football is a must by both quarterbacks. Carolina is one of the best teams in the league when it has the lead, so the first quarter will be of the utmost importance. If the Panthers can make Chicago one-dimensional, as they did last week to the Giants, the Panthers' defense will make life very difficult for Bears QB Rex Grossman. Both teams are well-coached and have two of the best defenses in the league, but Carolina has much more playoff experience and a far more balanced offense.