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Lovie Smith hot-seat meter: Cooling

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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Posted Nov. 08, 2010 @ 2:04 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Lovie Smith avoided disaster Sunday, as the Bears, who had two weeks to prepare for the game, held on to keep from becoming the first team to lose to the Bills in 2010.

A win against Buffalo shouldn't be discounted, however. Chicago is officially halfway through the season and, despite some glaring weaknesses, has a 5-3 record and is only half a game behind the division-leading Packers.

The Bears missed opportunities to almost assure themselves of a playoff spot by losing those back-to-back home games to the Seahawks and Redskins, and now that they're into the second half of the season, the schedule looks fraught with tough opponents.

It will start with the Vikings at Soldier Field next week and then the Bears have a short week before traveling to face the Dolphins on Nov. 18, which is a Thursday-night game on NFL Network.

We could learn a lot about the Bears in the next 10 days. Minnesota is desperately trying to salvage its season, and Smith has to make sure his team matches that intensity. A failure to do so could set the tone for a miserable second half of the season.

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