4:44 PM CST, December 9, 2012
Lovie Smith has to go.
If I'm Phil Emery, I wouldn't have let him on the plane home after that 21-14 disaster in Minnesota.
Smith’s team wasn't ready to start a must-win game. Smith's defense wasn’t ready to start a must-win game. Smith's team looked uninspired and unprepared for a divisional opponent in a must-win game.
It was as if Smith's Bears had never seen Adrian Peterson before. It was as if Smith's team hadn't learned a thing about outside contain and plain, old tackling from the previous week's embarrassment.
One Sunday after a kid quarterback for one of the worst road teams in the league pantsed the Bears on late 97- and 80-yard drives because the Bears refused to set the edge and tackle like adults, Peterson ripped off 51 yards on the game's first play.
I'm surprised Smith wasn't fired right then.
Peterson finished with 69 yards and a TD on the first drive. He would finish the game with 154 yards and two scores. Smith’s Bears acted as if they had no idea what to do against a guy they see twice a season.
Smith's defense made zero impact plays all afternoon. Only one takeaway, an interception on a long pass just before halftime. Find a game-turning play by Smith's defense. I dare you.
Nobody's listening. Nobody's making plays. Nothing's working.
Smith has to go.
Smith's Bears have now lost two in a row to bad teams after losing two in a row to good teams. Smith's Bears have lost four of their last five games. Smith's Bears have fallen from the second playoff seed and a first-round bye to the edge of the playoffs, and there's little to indicate this death spiral will level off.
The Vikings don't have a quarterback or a wide receiver, and still, they beat Smith's Bears. The Vikings had only Peterson. The Bears knew it. But Smith's defense couldn’t do a thing about it from the get-go.
Now Smith can go.
How many coaches have won a Super Bowl for the first time after coaching a team for nine or more years?
Smith's teams have made the playoffs once in five years. This season is headed toward one in six. Smith's only playoff win since losing the Super Bowl came against the worst playoff team since forever. Smith's team lost a conference championship game at home.
Make Mike Tice the coach for the rest of the season. Make Jeremy Bates the offensive coordinator. Make a change because this looks hopeless. Lifeless, too. Useless.
There's nothing to recommend Tice for the job, what with an offense that is Jay Cutler-to-Brandon Marshall, period, and now it might not even include Cutler. But dire situations require dire moves.
I don't know if that would save the season. I don't know if this season is worth saving.
But I do know Smith's team shows no signs of listening, learning, improving or having a clue.
Smith's Bears have become a bad team losing to bad teams. I'm sick of watching this garbage. Who wouldn't be? Who would let this continue?
Smith needs to go. Now.
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