The Bears 26-24 win against Detroit was not enough to save Lovie Smith’s job as head coach.
General Manager Phil Emery informed Smith on Monday morning that he will not return as the team's head coach for the 2013 season.
Under the present NFL playoff system, of the 53 teams who began their seasons at 7-1, only the 1996 Washington Redskins and now the Bears failed to make the playoffs.
Last year, injuries to quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte affected that season’s outcome. The team gave General Manager Jerry Angelo his walking papers: He was in charge of the roster, and there were significant gaps in the depth of that team.
When Angelo’s replacement, Phil Emery, was hired, he had to retain Smith for the 2012 season. But now after his first year at the helm, Emery can let Smith go.
Smith had one year left on his contract. His overall record with the Bears was 81-63 with three division titles, two NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl appearance during his nine-year tenure.
The 2006 Super Bowl appearance was Smith's biggest achievement, but the Bears lost to Indianapolis 29-17 in Miami.
NFL coaching jobs are measured by wins, losses and playoff berths. Although this year’s 10-6 record is respectable, more was expected.
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