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Bears are mad about Mondays ... and with good reason

October 04, 2012|By Jack M Silverstein | For RedEye

A cynic would describe Sunday's Bears game against Jacksonvile in two words: trap game. The symptoms are there: the Bears get hyped for a "Monday Night Football" road showdown, they drop 34 points on the NFL's top-ranked defense, then they go into Jacksonville and lay an egg. Maybe.

Fortunately for the Bears, they're coached by Lovie Smith, who is 8-2 on Monday nights and 7-2 the game after. Let's look at some of Smith's finest moments on Mondays and the games that followed.

Oct. 16, 2006: Bears 24, Arizona 23

Oct. 29, 2006: Bears 41, San Francisco 10

Smith's first "Monday Night Football" game as Bears coach taught the world an important lesson: The Bears are who we thought they were! The epic comeback win pushed these Super Bowl contenders to 6-0. Two weeks later, after the bye, the Bears squashed the 49ers.

MNF hangover: 3 out of 10

Dec. 11, 2006: Bears 42, St. Louis 27

Dec. 17, 2006: Bears 34, Tampa Bay 31 (OT)

The Bears stormed into St. Louis with the NFC's best record, and they left with a win behind Devin Hester's—count 'em—TWO kickoff return touchdowns. Then they blew a 24-3 second-half lead at home against the 3-10 Buccaneers, eeking out an overtime win.

MNF hangover: 8 out of 10

Dec. 22, 2008: Bears 20, Green Bay 17 (OT)

Dec. 28, 2008: Houston 31, Bears 21

A week after beating New Orleans in overtime on a Robbie Gould field goal to stay alive for the playoffs, the Kyle Orton-led Bears hosted the Packers and … beat them in overtime on a Gould field goal to stay alive for the playoffs. Incredible! The dream is alive! Nope. They went to Houston and lost by 10. Playoffs? Playoffs? Not this year.

MNF hangover: 10 out of 10

Sep. 27, 2010: Bears 20, Green Bay 17

Oct. 3, 2010: N.Y. Giants 17, Bears 3

The Bears win an early battle of the unbeatens, sneaking past the Packers 20-17. Then they go into the Meadowlands and drop a heartbreaker to the Giants. I'm sorry, did I say heartbreaker? I meant spine crusher. As in Jay Cutler's. As in nine sacks in the first half.

MNF hangover: 10 out of 10

Dec. 20, 2010: Bears 40, Minnesota 14

Dec. 26, 2010: Bears 38, N.Y. Jets 34

You might remember this as the game where Bears rookie Corey Wootton ended Brett Favre's career. Six days later the Bears welcomed the 10-4 Jets to Soldier Field and put on a beautiful offensive showcase, beating Gang Green to clinch the NFC North.

MNF hangover: 2 out of 10

Nov. 7, 2011: Bears 30, Philadelphia 24

Nov. 13, 2011: Bears 37, Detroit 13

Huge road win for the Bears, who stuff Mike Vick and the Philly "Dream Team" one week before dismantling the Lions in a key revenge game, thus reinforcing the age-old NFL adage: When in doubt, play the Lions.

MNF hangover: 0 out of 10

Special contributor Jack M Silverstein covers the Bears for RedEye. Say hey @readjack.

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