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CHICAGO (CBS) — Bears Coach Lovie Smith said Monday morning that the team’s offense did a “super job” in beating the Carolina Panthers 34-29, but the defense gave up far too many yards.
In total, WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss reports, the Bears’ offense ran for 224 yards, the most by a Bears team since 1988.
“That’s what we’re capable of doing is what it says,” Coach Smith said. “Matt Forte was outstanding. Whenever you can run for 200 yards in a game, it’s saying a lot. And for our offensive line, I mean, we’ve had different combinations, and they did a super job yesterday.”
LISTEN: Coach Lovie Smith talks with WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss
Forte ran for a career-high 205 yards Sunday. Meanwhile, Devin Hester set up a touchdown run by Forte with a 73-yard kickoff return before he ran back a line-drive punt 69 yards in the second quarter to move ahead of Eric Metcalf on the all-time list.
“It was huge, Smith said. “We expect that from Devin, you know, we take him for granted, because every time he goes back, we know that there’s a chance he can go the distance, but yesterday, of course, we had production offensively, but special teams really contributed, and that defensive touchdown also helped a lot.”
But Hester also got himself in a little trouble. After throwing three somersaults in the end zone after the touchdown, he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.
But Smith said overall, Hester’s performance on the field outweighed the minor infraction.
“We don’t want him to have flags. If he continues to return like he did yesterday, we can put up with that every once in a while,” Smith said.
But even though they held the Panthers to only nine points in the second half, the Bears also gave up a total of 543 yards in the game.
“We don’t want to give up that many yards, and we’re not happy with that at all,” Smith said. “But really, they got a late touchdown. We’d given up three points in the second half. They only converted two out of 12 third-down conversions, so there were some good things we did. But we can’t give up that amount of yards, and we’ll just get back on the practice field and work on it.”
Next for the Bears come the Detroit Lions, who are undefeated so far this season.
“Division opponent – you know, we’ve played them quite a bit. They’re having a heck of a year so far,” Smith said. “We’re going to show up, look forward to playing them.”
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)