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Bears vs. Lions 2012: Uncertainty surrounds Lovie Smith

The Chicago Bears beat Detroit on Sunday but fell short of the playoffs for the second straight year, leaving some questions about Lovie Smith's future.

USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears defeated the Detroit Lions on Sunday, which kept their playoff hopes alive for a while, but they were eventually eliminated from postseason consideration when the Vikings defeated the Packers. The Bears have fallen short of the postseason in each of the last two years, and as SB Nation's Windy City Gridiron discussed Sunday, head coach Lovie Smith's future with the franchise is up in the air.

The Bears improved from 8-8 a year ago to 10-6 in 2012, but they finished the season just 3-5 after a 7-1 start. They lost three straight games in one stretch during December, including a loss to the Vikings, which led to their being left out of this postseason.

Since Smith took over the team prior to the 2004 season, Chicago has made three playoff appearances, including a trip to Super Bowl XLI in Feb. 2007. Since that Super Bowl, though, the Bears have endured a pair of losing seasons and fallen short of double-digit wins four times.