Every time quarterback Donovan McNabb leads his team into Chicago to play the Bears a lot of focus is placed on the game being a homecoming for McNabb, who grew up in the Windy City. But McNabb is extra motivated for this game not because it's his fifth trip back home, but because of how important the game is to the Eagles' season.
"This game is a little bit more special because we definitely need this game," McNabb said. "It's not for me just going back home. I think that's something early on in your career that you look forward to going home and playing in front of family and friends. I've been in the league for a while now, 11 years, and at this particular point in my career, as well as this point in the season, this is a must win for us and that's the way that we have to approach it.
"This is a game that we need to win. That's the way I'm approaching it and that's the way the other guys are approaching it as well."
McNabb is generally guarded when it comes to proclaiming a game a "must-win," but he said there's no denying the importance of this Sunday night's tilt between the 5-4 Eagles and the 4-5 Bears.
"It's the way the last two weeks have gone, also the position that we're in," he said. "Just kind of our position in the NFC ... It's important that we go out with that attitude that this is a game that we have to win to put ourselves at 6-4 with a better opportunity, a better chance going into the following week."
McNabb and the Eagles will go into Chicago without their star running back Brian Westbrook, who suffered his second concussion of the season last week against the Chargers. Westbrook is not only essential to the offense, but he's one of McNabb's best friends.
"Just as a friend and just kind of as a teammate, I think the best thing we can do is pray for (Westbrook) right now and also to have in our minds whatever decision Brian makes will be the best decision for him," McNabb said. "In this situation you have to take a step back. You have to take a step back and look at your future and look at the possibilities of what it could be. You want everybody to walk away from this game on their own terms and be able to hold their kids and play with their kids in the future, travel and take trips with their families and not have to worry about anything."
Still, McNabb is hopeful when it comes to Westbrook's future on the football field.
"I look for him to be back," McNabb said. "I think in this situation, really it's out of Brian's hands. It's in God's hands and He'll put (Westbrook) in the best position possible. I look forward to Brian being back."
In the meantime, McNabb has full confidence in his teammates, notably LeSean McCoy, to capably fill the void left by Westbrook's absence.
"I think (McCoy)'s ready to go," said McNabb. "I think, again, it goes back to just providing that confidence for him. That he understands that we're all behind him, we're supporting him and that we know he's going to do a great job.
"I think every young guy and guy who is in their first year here with the Eagles has been faced with a lot of different adversities. I think they have understood exactly the things that we have to do and what we ask of those guys to do."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 5:25 p.m., November 18