With a tough remaining slate of games—two with the Minnesota Vikings, home games against the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers and road tilts with the Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions—the Bears could easily find themselves on the outside of the cluttered NFC playoff picture should they not find a way to get back on track.
If Chicago is unable to capitalize on its 7-3 start to this season, should head coach Lovie Smith find himself on the hot seat?
While losing never lends itself to a positive vibe within a franchise—especially after such a solid start—it would take a serious collapse and a subsequent player uprising for the Bears to consider relieving Smith of his duties.
Since his first year in 2004—his only horrible season in Chicago—Smith has kept the Bears competitive in the NFC, making the Super Bowl in 2006 and another conference championship in 2010.
Smith has certainly built up enough good will to endure a bad stint. However, the Bears are far from that right now, and Monday's loss should be looked at as more of the exception than the rule.
Cutler is targeting Sunday's game with the Vikings for his return; it is at home, and Minnesota isn't coming off a disappointing outcome—unless you consider they ended Week 10 with a 0-0 tie against their bye week.
Joking aside, the Bears are doing just fine right now. And barring unforeseen circumstances, Smith is in zero jeopardy of losing his job.