CHICAGO (CBS) — Bears Coach Lovie Smith said Monday morning that the Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford should have been ejected along with D.J. Moore during a rough play, but the real story is the Bears’ strong playing that led to victory.
The Bears beat the Lions 37-16 at home Sunday, but in the fourth quarter, defensive back Moore was ejected for hitting back at Stafford after getting thrown by his helmet. The play led to a bench-clearing brawl.
LISTEN: Coach Lovie Smith talks with WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss
WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss asked Coach Smith if the Lions crossed the line, or if any of the Bears were out of line.
“I don’t know (about) crossed the line,” Smith said. “You have officials out there that need to get control of the game. D.J. – normally when you’re the second guy and you retaliate, they catch you, but when you go and review the play you can easily see that’s not what started it. Both guys should have gotten thrown out of the game in that instance, and they called a couple of others. But you know, when you have two rivals like that competing, sometimes that stuff happens.”
Smith said the Bears would follow up with the NFL about the call to eject only Moore, as the team does each week when they don’t agree with a referee’s call. But, he said, “We’re not going to make too much out of this. We – I mean the story would be how we played well,” he said. “We beat a good football team yesterday.”
Smith said he “liked everything about” the Bears’ effort, given the performance of both the offense and the defense – particularly special teams.
Charles “Peanut” Tillman deserves to be singled out in particular for his performance against the Lions’ Calvin Johnson, Smith said.
“Early in the week, we let Charles know – and Charles knew before he came in for the game plan that he would be on most of the game,” Smith said. “And he did – played a great job, shut down a great player.”
And while Devin Hester missed practice last week after an injury suffered in last week’s win, he ended up taking his 12th career punt return for a touchdown, before getting the second half off.
“Devin spent all of last week nursing his ankle injury and he was sick also, so that’s tough enough when you don’t have all of your energy,” Smith said. “But when you’re the greatest return of all time, things like that happen, even if you don’t practice.”
The Bears will take on the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, Nov. 20.