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Lovie Smith hot-seat meter: Chilling

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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Posted Nov. 15, 2010 @ 1:52 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

With seven games to play, Smith has the Bears tied with the Packers for first place in the NFC North, and his team would win the tiebreaker if the season ended today, since Chicago beat Green Bay in Week Three.

That's a nice position to be in considering all the Bears have had to overcome in the first nine games, including personnel deficiencies on the offensive line.

We said in this space one week ago that the next 10 days would teach us a lot about where the Bears were headed this season, and, in turn, what Smith's future might hold. Sunday's game wasn't a must-win situation for the Bears, but a loss, coupled with a quick turnaround for a tough Thursday-night game in Miami, could have been devastating.

Instead of unraveling, the Bears basically put to rest any thoughts the Vikings were having of getting back in the division race. Chicago won by its second largest margin of the season and is going to catch the Dolphins at a time when they're forced to start their third-string quarterback.

Smith seemed to be smiling more than usual on Sunday, and with good reason.

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