7:29 PM CST, December 30, 2012
The Chicago Bears' season is over. Same goes for Lovie Smith’s run as Bears coach. Has to be.
Smith has to be fired.
Get on with it. If the Bears are serious about winning the Super Bowl, there’s no other choice.
The Bears missed the playoffs this season after starting 7-1. That’s two straight seasons of sitting out because of late-season chokes. That’s five of the last six seasons the Bears have missed the playoffs. That’s enough.
After nine years of failing to win the Super Bowl, that absolutely, positively has to be enough of Smith.
Not only have Smith’s teams not won the Super Bowl, but one of them lost an NFC Championship game at home.
How much more does Phil Emery need to see?
On Sunday, the Bears general manager saw a miserable Bears offense, a problem that has dogged Smith for one fired offensive coordinator after another. Even in beating the Lions 26-24 to keep alive their playoffs hopes that the Vikings killed with an upset of Green Bay, the Bears' offense was a whole lot of miserable with several slices of brutal.
The Bears' defense and special teams forced four turnovers, and what did the offense do with them? Three stinkin’ field goals and one measly touchdown. Matt Forte was the wise guy who actually got into the end zone.
Arguably, the one good drive the Bears mounted was the one that ran out the clock, and naturally, it didn’t result in a touchdown.
The offense got into the end zone once in four drives that reached the red zone, and of course the Bears wasted timeouts like they had bonuses clauses.
You know what else? Despite forcing three turnovers, Smith’s defense was stung for three 80-yard drives by a Lions team that had to be looking for reasons to quit.
It wasn’t as painful as Seattle rookie Russell Wilson’s consecutive drives that shredded the Bears in an overtime loss at home, but it speaks to the age and faltering ability of the side of the ball that Smith knows something about.
The defense is getting older and worse, and that was the unit that saved everything. Special teams also did its share to deordorize offensive issues that Smith never got right over the years, but even that unit disappointed this season, starting with the soon-to-be-gone Devin Hester.
Blame also needs to be spread to the assistant coaches, but who hired them?
The players should get some blame, as well, and maybe they couldn’t reach the playoffs under any coach, but they didn’t reach the playoffs under Smith.
How could Emery look at this situation and think it will be all better under Smith when it’s only getting worse?