Does Sunday's win save Lovie's job?

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Does Sunday's win save Lovie's job?

GLENDALE, Ariz. The real question lurking underneath the Bears 28-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals may not be whether or not it ultimately gets the Bears into the playoffs. It could have advanced that, if the Bears defeat the Detroit Lions next Sunday and the Green Bay Packers are kind enough to dispose of the Minnesota Vikings.

More important for the longer run is how the performance is weighed and assessed by decision-makers at Halas Hall visavis Lovie Smiths future.

Did the game in Arizona help or hurt Lovie Smiths chances of remaining Bears head coach for 2013?

Right now the answer isyes. More on that in a moment.

Considerations

Understand the full process here, because it has not played out yet and wont until after next Sunday in Detroit. Scenarios have been considered, just like mock drafts, and the what-ifs weighed, but nothing is settled one way or the other.

Various individuals tell CSNChicago.com that Virginia McCaskey has been involved in decisions such as retaining Smith last year and will be a voice in the room again.

Of course she will. Shes on the board of directors and she is ownership. She is a non-meddling owner as well, so she is not going to dictate. Thats not her style.

But she will be among those who will rightly want a full and clear explanation of why Smith should be fired. If it is the conclusion of GM Phil Emery or anyone else that a change is needed, that case will have to be made and made convincingly. This is not one persons call.

In other words, some very important names on the Bears masthead will need to be conclusively sold that the head coach is the major problem and impediment to franchise success.

Smith is held in very high regard by Mrs. McCaskey and the organization overall for that matter. Hes brought credit to the organization, if not enough of it to satisfy some, and has represented Bear football admirably in their eyes.

Of course, some of the same could have been said about Jerry Angelo, too, and he was abruptly escorted from his job and the building after 11 years. Dick and Gail Jauron were thought of very highly by board members.

The Bears wont necessarily owe Smith 6 million if they choose to fire him. NFL coaching contracts typically call for the remaining amount to be mitigated by the salary of a subsequent job. If Smith leaves and is hired as an NFL head coach for, say, 5 million, the Bears owe the difference, the 1 million.

Which way trending?

Money wont be a significant element in the discussion, as it was a year ago when the amount at risk was 11 million. But other on-field aspects will be.

Organizations evaluate in large part based on where they project a situation leading. Smith could be 18 games over .500 for his Chicago career with a 10-6 finish, and firing someone with a 10-6 record is not the norm.

More important, however, is how Phil Emery and the board of directors perceive the Bears trend line. The Bears could not hold the Seattle game because the defense, Smiths forte, was put on roller skates for two touchdown drives totaling near 200 yards at the end of regulation and early overtime.

Emery got Smith the receiving firepower requested, with the trade for Brandon Marshall and drafting of Alshon Jeffery. Will Emery and the organization be satisfied with what Smith and his offensive staff have done with what they were given?

And the tipping point is whether or not the gap has been closed between the Bears and Green Bay Packers.

But the defense rose up against the inferior Arizona Cardinals and you are left to wonder how much weight the evaluation process will place on the defense holding that team to 248 yards.

Or the offense failing to top 300 yards for the fifth time in the last seven.

Or special teams giving up a touchdown and putting the offense in a hole with a botched punt return.

It will all be taken into account. If you dont like Lovie Smith, the sometimes-balky performance is one more reason to fire him.

If you think he should get at least the last year on his deal, the play of Julius Peppers and others says you wait until after the Detroit game to decide.

That has always been the Bears way, in any case.

Cubs make it official: Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod extended

Cubs make it official: Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod extended

It was no secret after Theo Epstein's contract extension on Wednesday, but the Cubs officially announced extensions for general manager Jed Hoyer and senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod on Friday.

The new contracts run through the 2021 season.

Both Hoyer and McLeod joined the Cubs on Nov. 1, 2011. The team is set for its second straight postseason appearance this October.

CSN Chicago's Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney had more on Epstein keeping the band together when Epstein's deal was first announced on Wednesday.

Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Week 4

Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Week 4

Sometimes in fantasy football you have to go out on a limb.

As injuries have decimated most of our rosters in just three short weeks, now is the time to really scour the waiver wire in an attempt to use the plug and play strategy because of a juicy matchup. That is exactly what we're doing this week.

If you have any questions, hit us up on @CSNFantasy and tune in to our weekly Fantasy Fix Facebook Live shows every Thursday.

Let's get right into the Week 4 Start/Sit and as always, Liam Neeson has a message for you:

START

Brian Hoyer, QB, CHI (vs. DET) - I understand that I'm going to get criticism for this one, but I'm confident I'll be the one laughing come Sunday afternoon. In his first start in a Bears uniform, Hoyer tossed two touchdowns and threw for 317 yards. This week he draws the league's worst pass defense in what I believe will be quite the shootout at Solder Field. Hoyer shouldn't have any difficulties finishing in the 15-20-point range against the Lions. (Scott Krinch)

Terrelle Pryor, WR, CLE (@ WSH) - Man do I wish I drafted Pryor in all of my leagues. The 27-year-old converted quarterback put on a show in Week 3, finishing with 144 receiving yards, 21 rushing yards, 35 passing yards and a touchdown. His 14 receiving targets were also led Cleveland. With no Corey Coleman or Josh Gordon, Pryor is entrenched as the Browns No. 1 wide receiver as he gears up for a matchup with a Redskins defense which ranks 28th against opposing fantasy wideouts. (Krinch)

Charles Sims, RB, TB (vs. DEN) - Sims may not do anything to help the Buccaneers pull off an upset victory on Sunday, but he'll definitely give your fantasy team a major boost. Expect Sims to load up on dump off receptions as the Broncos defense gives Jameis Winston fits in Week 4. With no Doug Martin once again, Sims needs to be in all of your fantasy lineups. (Krinch)

[SHOP BEARS: Get your Bears gear here]

SIT

Jerick McKinnon, RB, MIN (vs. NYG) - Benching the No. 1 fantasy quarterback this week is a risk that I believe will pay off. Ryan has feasted on the likes of the Buccaneers, Raiders and Saints (three of the worst defenses in the NFL). This week Ryan draws a Panthers defense which is coming off an embarrassing home loss to the Vikings. It's a stiff test for Ryan which I believe he will fail. (Krinch)

Matt Ryan, QB, ATL (vs. CAR) - In his first start of the season, McKinnon rushed for just 45 yards and 16 carries, and was virtually non existent in the passing game with one catch. I envision more of the same in Week 4 as it will be tough sledding for McKinnon against a Giants defense which is only allowing 3.2 yards per carry. (Krinch)

Tajae Sharpe, WR, TEN (@ HOU) - Sharpe was the flavor of the week after bursting onto the scene in his NFL debut in Week 1, but since then he's compiled just seven total receptions for 81 yards and has yet to find the end zone. Sharpe is merely a boom or bust play this week as the Texans have allowed the fifth-fewest receptions to opposing wide receivers in 2016. (Krinch)