Chicago Bears Beat Lovie Smith at His Own Game
Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
One day when he’s retired and sitting in a rocking chair, Lovie Smith will look back on this 21-13 loss to the Chicago Bears with some measure of fondness. Heck, he might even crack a smile. Why, you ask? Because he’ll know that he inspired the Chicago Bears, his former team, to victory. Make no mistake about it, the Bears can talk about Marc Trestman’s raised voice at halftime or Martellus Luther King’s speech, but it was Lovie Smith who motivated the Bears to victory. Or it was the fear of losing to Lovie that rallied the Chicago Bears to victory.
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The Bears defense carried the team to victory on Sunday in a defensive performance that would have made Lovie proud. The Bears were opportunistic, taking the ball away and pressuring the quarterback. It wasn’t any of Lovie’s former guys who really stepped up. Lovie’s stalwarts were Brian Urlacher (retired), Charles Tillman (torn pec) and Lance Briggs, who exited the game late in the first half with a groin injury.
The guys who beat Lovie were waiver wire pickup David Bass, who stripped McCown and Christian Jones, who scooped it up. It was Stephen Paea, who was drafted in Smith’s tenure but hasn’t made an impact until this season. It was Ryan Mundy, a free agent safety acquisition who picked off another errant McCown pass. It was even Chris Conte, who’s been up and down since his rookie season under Lovie.
Lovie knows what goes into wins and losses:
"“One thing we talk about always is, of course, that turnover ratio,” Smith said to open his postgame remarks."
The Bears know that formula all too well. Lovie made takeaways the culture of the Chicago Bears. The Bears just needed their former head coach – and a 10 point halftime deficit – to jostle their memories. This was a signature Lovie Smith type of win. Take the ball away, rush the quarterback, stop the run. It was a fitting tribute the Bears paid to their former coach.