Updated: Jan 9, 2006, 9:23 AM

Vote: Which team will win in Chicago?

The Chicago Bears have been here before, no matter where "here" turns out to be after Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.

In 1985, the Bears rode a dominating defense all the way to the Super Bowl, starting the run at home in the divisional round with a 24-0 win against the Giants. And in 2001, the Bears rode the league's stingiest defense to a home game in the divisional round, only to lose 33-19 to the Eagles.

Only time will tell which path this year's team will follow after an 11-5 regular season in which the Bears allowed just 202 points (one more than the 2001 team allowed and three more than the 1985 team allowed). For their part, the Panthers' offense dominated the clock and the ground in a wild-card win against the Giants, and Steve Smith caught 14 passes for 169 yards in a Week 11 loss against the Bears.

So can Carolina solve Chicago's defense, or will the Panthers get blown out of the Windy City?


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