"Green Bay is our rival," the coach told the team's official website this week, "but lately we havenât been holding up our end of the deal."
After previous coaches Dave Wannstedt and Dick Jauron combined to go 3-19 against the Packers, Smith's 7-3 mark from 2004 to 2008 was a revelation. He's 1-5 since, however, including last season's NFC Championship Game loss.
On Christmas night, reserve quarterback Josh McCown will be hoisted into the fire (and ice) at Lambeau Field to face the 13-1 Packers, a team fully awake after last Sunday's loss to the Chiefs. The Bears, meanwhile, are missing key players on offense and -- wait, did we mention Josh McCown is starting?
Smith couldn't care less about who's dressing.
"They've dominated the rivalry here lately," he said, "and we have to take a stand."
Of late, a tall order, indeed, for Chicago. During Jay Cutler's four-week absence with a broken thumb, Bears quarterbacks have tossed 10 interceptions, the most they've had in a four-game span since 1999.
Flickering hope remains for Chicago (7-7) to turn this wild fade into a playoff appearance, but it's hard to imagine a tougher test on a cold, Christmas night than Super Bowl champion Green Bay.