Lovie Smith: Packers game wasn’t must-win, but this week is


Bears coach Lovie Smith is feeling a sense of urgency after losing his fifth game in the last six weeks on Sunday against the Packers, and he says the Bears simply must beat the Cardinals this week.

“Yesterday’s game was a must-game for the NFC North championship, but besides that, it wasn’t a must-game with what can happen for our season,” Smith said at his press conference on Monday. “This week it is a must game.”

Smith is right that Sunday’s game wasn’t a must-win in the sense that it didn’t eliminate the Bears from playoff contention. However, losing to the Packers did mean that for the first time all season, the Bears don’t control their own destiny: They now need to get some help to reach the playoffs, even if they win their last two games.

The good news, however, is that the Bears have the easiest remaining schedule of the 8-6 teams in the NFC, with the Cardinals and the Lions coming up. Smith said he knows generally how the NFC stacks up, but he’s focused only on Arizona, not on what other teams are doing.

“There are a lot of 8-6 teams,” Smith said. “We haven’t gone over every scenario, but we just know that there’s a lot of us in it, and for us it’s about getting to 10-6. And getting to 10-6 is about beating Arizona and getting to 9-6.”

Smith sounded like he’s running out of explanations for how his team could play so well over the first half of the season, with a 7-1 start, and then go 1-5 over six straight games.

“When you’ve lost as many as we have, I can’t give you a good reason for it,” Smith said.

If Smith can’t find a way to reverse it, these could be his last two games as the Bears’ head coach.

60 responses to “Lovie Smith: Packers game wasn’t must-win, but this week is

  1. It was a must win if you recall all the fans talking about how the division was theirs’ when they were 4-1 and Gb was 2-3.

    I don’t think the Bears don’t know what urgency is, if they do it was a terrible example of the drive.

    They are in trouble.

  2. So the game for the division, against a good opponent wasn’t a “must win” but the game against a horrible Arizona team, that he knows they will beat is?

  3. Well, you’d normally say that playing at AZ would be a gimme for the Bears. But they’re playing about as well as the Lions, so… anything could happen.

  4. The 7-1 start was an aberration based on an extraordinary amount of ST and defensive scoring. Once their ST and defensive scoring numbers corrected and came back down to earth, so too did their ability to win games. The offense just isn’t that good. Never has been under Lovie Smith and never will be. Their defense is good, and good enough to win but Cutler/Marshall/Forte is not good enough – they need more.

  5. Uh…lemme explain it to you then Lovie. You compiled a 7-1 record with victories against the Colts (Luck’s first game), Rams, Cowboys, Jaguars, Lions, Panthers and Titans.

    Since then you have lost to the Texans, 49ers, Seahawks, Vikings and Packers.

    It is called level of competition. You are good enough to beat bad teams and not good enough to beat good teams.

    You are a mediocre team. There is your explanation.

  6. He’s really dilusional — Sunday’s game was “must win” if your goal is to be division champions and get a home playoff game.

    I guess that was not the Bears’ goal.

    Lovie is a guy walking to the edge of the plank and saying “I’m not there yet.”

  7. Anyone else really sick of Lovie’s lame, hollow optimistic rambling year-in and year-out? The Packers sure treated yesterday’s game like a must-win. That’s probably why they are division champions. 8 years is enough for the Smith regime. Mission failed. Next coaching staff up, please.

  8. that statement along with not making the playoffs 5 out of the last 6 is the reason you will not be coaching the bears next year. you are the guy in charge of hiring coaches to run your offense and none of them have worked. you as a coach have a obligation to tell let your gm know you need help on the offensive line and you did nothing to facilitate improving it and allowing your offense to have a chance in games. you never grasped the concept that offense is part of the game and the bears and their fans are paying for it now.

  9. The packers game wasnt a must win because they couldnt do it. They haven’t beaten a strong team yet outside of the early colts game. I can even caal their gameplan every week. Run ball, pass to marshall…rinse and repeat. Talented gameplan.

  10. Calls for Lovie’s head miss the point. There is simply not that much talent on their roster and to make matters worse, Tice is running the offense. Ya, that’s Lovie’s call to make but Tice is a major part of the problem.

  11. Lovey is correct a mundo. This was not a must win. This was just an ordinary game that no one really cared about and means nothing. Championships are for losers. You don’t need no stinking championships, just being a Bear is all that matters to the fans and players.
    Just ask Urlacher who has more love for those Bear fans than anyone and he will tell you, they love the bears win or lose and will stand by this team thick of thin and this is pretty thick!

  12. As a Bears fan, this year has been disappointing, to say the least. I didn’t expect a juggernaut, and I didn’t expect them to continue their hot start (considering that was the weak part of the schedule).

    If they don’t make the playoffs, I think Lovie is gone. There’s simply too many years of mediocrity, and outside of Andy Reid, coaches are often let go sooner than later if they are too mediocre.

    I’d love to see a good offensive mind come in. The combination that comes to mind is Jon Gruden and Monte Kiffin. Kiffin would continue the same defensive scheme, and I’m curious what Gruden could do with the weapons on offense. I’m tired of either the crazy passing scheme (Shea/Martz) or the bland (Shoop, Turner, Tice a bit).

  13. Um Lovie, every game is a must win this time of year. You have two games left, and you just lost to the Packers. How could that not be a must game. On the Duh? meter of 1 to 10, you register a 15. Take your loss, but don’t say it doesn’t count.

  14. This is the same idiot that went from 7-3 to and 8-8 finish last year and claimed that the season ending win in a meaningless game meant the Bears were “1-0 in 2012”
    Yes Lovie…. that was the meaningless game in which Urlacher tore up his knee and the win dropped you 4 spots in the draft.

    I wanted this mope gone after the 2009 season.
    Him, Tice, Marinelli and few of the players as well.
    Get a real coach, a real NFL offense and go to the 3-4 on defense.
    And put in the damn FieldTurf already!

  15. What is the point about the making play-offs if beating the Cardinals and Lions is a tough job as neither team is play-off bound. Lovie needs to stay home next week and watch the game on a big screen and he’ll be just as mad as we Bears fans are right now.

  16. As much as it pains me to say, with that schedule they have a much better chance of making the playoffs than my team does.

  17. I have a feeling the Bears will be visiting Lambeau Field in the opening round of the playoffs….

  18. Lovie’s situation is similiar to Andy Reid’s and Jeff Fisher’s (when he was in Tennessee). All good coaches, who did alot for their organizations, but just couldn’t get over the hump and win a championship. As a Bears fan, I appreciate the Superbowl appearance and everything else Lovie has done for the Bears organization. But, there comes a time when you wear out your welcome and it’s just time to move on. It’s about that time now for Lovie and the Bears. With the way the NFL is nowadays, it’s time for the Bears to get an offensive minded coach for once. Lovie doesn’t have to worry though, if the Bears fire him, he’ll be snatched up very quickly.

  19. Somewhere…Brandon Marshall is still crying


    Look, as a Packers fan, I wanted so much for the Bears to eat the words they were spouting off most of the week, but at least I can tell that Brandon Marshall cares.

    Honestly, do you Lovie?

  20. From a Packer fan perspective, even I have to admit I was just sad for Bears fans yesterday. That is a proud organization with great fans…our biggest rivals. And that performance yesterday was pitiful.

    I’ve always respected Lovie as a great guy, but it was sickening how they just quit yesterday.

  21. I think the biggest knock against Lovie from this week was how the Bears (or Cutler at least) just gave up on the last drive.

    Yes the chance of going 98 yards in a minute is almost nil, but at least take a shot to get the ball down field. There’s no point to a 10 yard checkdown in the middle of the field that eats 25 seconds. It at least should be a ~10 yard play that gets OB, or something aimed at 25+ yards down the middle.

    Then the last play was just a pure give up, you should have a plan to lateral or keep the play alive. Again you have almost no shot to score, but maybe you get to around mid-field and GB makes a dumb penalty to give you one last play.

  22. hatesycophants says:
    Dec 17, 2012 1:59 PM
    “Where is the uproar over the horrible officiating that hand GB the win? I hate both teams and Packers fans equally, but Chicago got jobbed.”
    The uproar is right there – next to the uproar over Shields getting face masked by Alshon and Sam being the one penalized …. Uproar? Over what, A WR thinking he can get away with shoving a CB? So you don’t want refs to throw a flag for obvious offensive pass interference? The uproar is right there, next to the bears awful 3rd down percentages compared to the Packers 3rd down percentage….

    But I forgot, you’re totally not biased.

  23. But I thought Lovie said when hired they’d beat the Packers, or was that just his first 3yrs. Don’t fire Lovie, in Green Bay we “love” Lovie. He’s a great DEFENSESIVE head coach, lousy on offense. Don’t change a thing!

  24. beating the packers wasn’t a must win game??? what the hell happened to him standing up when he was first hired talking about his number 1 goal was to beat the packers? and to the brilliant people talking about officiating being bad in that game, really? you only bring that up if you actually think the bears are a better team than the pack. and after the last few weeks i guessing no one thinks the bears are better.

  25. axespray says:
    Dec 17, 2012 5:10 PM
    hatesycophants says:
    Dec 17, 2012 1:59 PM
    “Where is the uproar over the horrible officiating that hand GB the win? I hate both teams and Packers fans equally, but Chicago got jobbed.”
    The uproar is right there – next to the uproar over Shields getting face masked by Alshon and Sam being the one penalized …. Uproar? Over what, A WR thinking he can get away with shoving a CB? So you don’t want refs to throw a flag for obvious offensive pass interference? The uproar is right there, next to the bears awful 3rd down percentages compared to the Packers 3rd down percentage….

    But I forgot, you’re totally not biased.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————— hey not all football fans can have brains… there has to be a few meatheads out there right? complaing about the officiating is an excuse, copout. i mean really are the bears a better team than the packers? if so, why didn’t the bears score a touchdown when they had 1st and goal at the 5yard line? or on the botched punt/pass by cobb? another field goal? yeah your team just isn’t as good as you were lead to believe. on the brighter side you might get a new coach and maybe next time your offense can put some points on the board… tears of joy in chitown

  26. The good news is that Lovie is at the end of his contract…..he does not have to be fired, he is a free agent!!!!

  27. No! Leave Lovie right where he is.

    It’s just injuries that have the team hurting. This is a Super Bowl contender with just a couple tweaks.

    Go! Pack! Go!

  28. Not only does Lovie need to get axed, the person who is giving him the flexibility to say such a stupid thing should be held accountable as well. It’s sad to think that arguably the best coach the Bears have had in decades, is just a mediocre coach in the big picture of the NFL. This family ownership garbage needs to end! Honestly, that’s where the accountablity needs to start.

  29. Lovie hired Tice, which makes him culpable for their horrendous offense. That side of the ball has been the main reason why this team failed to win a title.

  30. themagicman1223 says:

    Dec 17, 2012 1:57 PM
    Is this guy an idiot? Every game is a must win…

    You obviously didn’t understand what Lovie was implying. Yes every game is a must-win, but Chicago media has put this theory into the fans’ minds that the loss to the Packers would mean the end of the season.

    Bears have still have a slim chance of making the playoffs. I believe they play the Cardinals this week – an absolute must win if they want to remain in the race for the playoffs.

  31. Greg Roman offensive coordinator
    in San Francisco would most likely be my first choice. but I would try to take a look at Sean Payton’s contract too. Dont go pay a truck load of money to Cower or Gruden to bring in ANOTHER OLD PLAY BOOK. if thats the case keep Lovie. Pete Carmichael Jr. from the Saints. wouldnt be a waist of time to look at him and talk to his agent.

  32. It wasn’t a must win but one of two of Lovie’s three goals when he became the coach of the Bears was to “beat Green Bay” and “win the division”. So apparently his goals and standards have changed.

  33. Was he drunk when he said this? Not only has he deviated from his initial press conference (which marc127 refers to), but his team, with its slide, went from being able to remain in contention to win the NFC North to needing New York, Washington AND Dallas to lose this week, just to keep hope alive to even make the playoffs. And it wasn’t a “must win”? Who knew?

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