Chicago Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith is beaming with confidence right now. Though, Smith is simply being the arrogant head coach that he has always been in times of crisis for the Bears. Make no mistake about it, this is a time of crisis for the Bears. In the past two weeks, the Bears have lost two significant players to potentially season ending injuries. Kicker Robbie Gould has been placed on injured reserve and will miss the remainder of the season for the Bears. Meanwhile, middle linebacker Brian Urlacher potentially could miss the remainder of the season for the Bears though the expectation is that Urlacher will play in the Bears’ final game of the regular season against the Detroit Lions. On top of the injury woes for the Bears’, the team has gone from 7-1 and the second seed in the NFC conference to 8-5 and the 6th seed in the NFC conference. The Bears’ playoff chances have taken a hit in recent weeks and the Packers could provide the knockout punch for the Bears’ playoffs chances and Smith’s tenure as head coach of the Bears on Sunday.
Though, Smith was in no mood to talk about his contract status on Wednesday.
“Let’s stop you right there. Why in the world would we be talking about a contract with Green Bay week here?” Smith said. “What I can talk about is I’m excited about playing the Packers again. We need to (be); they’ve had our number for awhile and it’s your division opponent, your rival and you need to beat them.
“All we are talking about is that. For me, and anybody else to talk about anything that’s just related to that person, we don’t do it that way.” ESPN Chicago
Smith can do his best and avoid the questions related to his contract, but those questions will only grow louder–especially if the Bears lose to the Packers on Sunday. Smith wants the focus to be on the Packers, so lets focus on the Packers for a moment. There is no question that this Sunday’s game against the Packers is a must-win for the Bears. The Bears currently are the second wild card team, the sixth seed, in the NFC conference. The Washington Redskins sit one game behind the Bears. If the Bears lose to the Packers and the Redskins defeat the Cleveland Browns, the Redskins would flip-flop with the Bears. While the two teams would have an identical record at 8-6, the Redskins would have the better conference record. Meaning the Bears have to win against a team in the Packers that they have not beaten since the 2010 season. Considering how the Bears have fared in their previous two games against the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings, one would think that the team’s losing streak against the Packers will be extended on Sunday. However, Smith thinks that everything will be okay.
“It’s not like we are playing terrible football. We’re going to tighten up a few things, which we are doing, that’s our routine, and we’re going to win a few football games and everything is going to be OK.” ESPN Chicago
The problem with that statement is that Bears have played “terrible” in their past two games. The miscues that were on display for the Bears against the Seahawks and Vikings are ones that the Packers will likely look to take advantage of on Sunday. If that happens, everything will not be okay. As for the second straight season, the Bears would be in a position where they would not make the playoffs. By that time, Smith likely will be looking towards talking about a contract, though it likely would not be with the Bears.