Vikings in playoffs, Bears not; Lovie Smith out of job

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Apparently not being able to control his team's playoff destiny was the final nail in Lovie Smith's coaching coffin in Chicago.

The Bears' fired Smith Monday after nine years as head coach, the Chicago Tribune reports. The paper opined that it was Smith's inability to fix the Bears' offensive woes that led to the departure.

Smith's team, which finished 10-6 this season, lost out on a NFC wild card bid Sunday when the Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers 37-34 to secure the 6th seed in the NFC playoffs.

The firing comes after the Vikings' NFC North rivals started the season 7-1, but sputtered in the final half to end the season at 10-6.

The Bears dominated the Vikings in their first meeting this season 28-10 on Nov. 25.

It was a different ballgame the next time around, though, as the Vikings nipped the Bears 21-14 at the Metrodome on Dec. 10 -- the first in the Vikings four-game winning streak that put them in the playoffs.

Smith took the Bears to the Super Bowl after the 2006 season, but the team lost to then-coach Tony Dungy's Indianapolis Colts.

Smith wasn't the only coach to get the boot Monday. According to's Black Monday tracker, also fired were Andy Reid from the Philadelphia Eagles; Norv Turner from the San Diego Chargers; Ken Whisenhunt from the Arizona Cardinals; Romeo Crennel from the Kansas City Chiefs; Pat Shurmur from the Cleveland Browns and Chan Gailey from the Buffalo Bills.

Rex Ryan kept his job as head coach of the New York Jets, but general manager Mike Tannenbaum was fired by the team.

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