Lovie keeping even keel with title

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- When Lovie Smith said the Chicago Bears were going "celebrate" their first NFC North title since 2006, what exactly did he mean?

"Just a smile here and there for me," Smith said.

It's safe to say Smith left the real "celebrating" up to the players, who only had a walk-thru on Wednesday and are scheduled to practice for the first time Thursday in preparation to face the New York Jets (10-4) on Sunday at Soldier Field.

"It was good to see the players with their [championship] caps on the other night," Smith said. "It was good to see Mrs. [Virginia] McCaskey wear her hat the other night. Besides that, we realize what we've done, but there is just too much more work to do."

The Bears are currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC and own the tie-breaker over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Jets can clinch an AFC playoff berth with a win in Chicago, or a loss by either Jacksonville or Indianapolis.