Morning Box Score: Bears Close Out Season Win 37-23 Win
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jan 4, 2010 4:00PM
When this season began, we figured we'd be spending this evening looking forward to the Bears' playoff opponent. Instead, the Bears prevailed over the Detroit Lions 37-23 in a meaningless game to wrap up a disappointing 7-9 campaign before heading home for the winter.
For the second straight week, Jay Cutler tied a career best with four touchdown passes, frustrating fans who finally saw what we'd hoped to see all season. Cutler completed 22 of 36 passes for 276 yards and four TDs while avoiding any interceptions. Greg Olsen -- his favorite target all season -- caught 5 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. His new BFF Devin Aromashodu caught five for 46 yards and two TDs. Lovie, where was this guy all season? Even running back Matt Forte had a good game, with 101 yards on 16 carries. That was just his second 100-yard game of the year. The defense allowed the lowly Lions to hang around, with Detroit even tying the game at 20-20 early in the fourth quarter before the offense outscored the Lions' 17-3 to close out the game.
Perhaps the back-to-back wins have clouded the players' judgment, because most expressed votes of confidence for Bears' head coach Lovie Smith in spite of three straight years without making the playoffs since their Super Bowl appearance. Said Tommie Harris, "They better keep Lovie. It's a must because the next coach, he's not going to have the respect that we have for Lovie. We don't get in trouble. We come to work. Our record might not be the best, but we will get better." How long do we have to wait for them to get better? And we seem to remember a few troublemakers during Lovie's tenure. Management just chose to part ways with the likes of Tank Johnson and Cedric Benson.
We're not likely to learn the fate of Lovie and his coaching staff until Tuesday, after they meet with management today. While we're in the "Fire Lovie" camp, he might remain as head coach. We're fairly certain Ron Turner will get the axe, even if he thinks he's staying. When you turn a Pro Bowl QB into Rex Grossman, you don't get to keep your job. We also think his defensive counterpart, Bruce Babich, who had most of his responsibilities taken over by Lovie after last season, will depart as well. But will management decide that Lovie Smith isn't the coach to return the Bears to the Super Bowl? Let's hope they don't use the two-game winning streak as "progress" to justify retaining his services. But given the $11 million outstanding on his contract, they just may.