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updated: 10/28/2012 11:58 PM

Tillman praises Jennings' work on Smith

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The Bears still haven't figured out a way to stop Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith, who caught 7 passes for 118 yards.

Cornerback Tim Jennings, who was primarily responsible for covering Smith, did have 2 interceptions, including a pick-6.

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"When you're playing a guy like Steve, you're going to win some, lose some, but in the end you have to keep playing," Bears cornerback Charles Tillman said. "You saw what 2-6 (Jennings) did, he kept playing. He played through adversity. Big-time players make big plays, and he came through when he needed to."

In four games vs. the Bears since 2005, Smith has 41 catches for 686 yards. But he has been kept out of the end zone in three of those games.

High-scoring defense:

For the sixth time in the last five games, the defense returned an interception for a touchdown.

They have allowed just 4 touchdowns over the same period.

"It happens a lot around here," quarterback Jay Cutler said of the pick-6. "I think we're getting a little bit used to it.

"We knew something was going to happen and those guys were going to make some plays for us, and they did. It always comes at big times in games. Their ability to create turnovers is fun to watch."

The 6 interception-return touchdowns through seven games are an NFL record and already are the most in a single season in franchise history.

No excuses:

Jay Cutler said he wasn't bothered by the bruised ribs he suffered last week, even when the offense struggled early.

"I didn't really feel them," he said. "No one played well. I didn't play well. It starts with me. Defense was fighting their butts off, but (offense) just couldn't get it going."

The fourth-quarter comeback was the 13th of Cutler's career and his sixth as a Bear.

Hard-luck losers:

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen the Bears' first-round pick in 2007, doesn't know if his current team is snakebit after a 1-6 start, including 5 losses by 6 points or fewer.

"You make your own fortunes in this league," Olsen said. "You make your own bed. Could things not go your way? Yeah, but it all evens out. We got a couple of breaks today, and we still didn't capitalize on it.

"It's our responsibility to figure out what's going on, and we obviously haven't."

Sitting it out:

Inactive for the Bears were wide receivers Alshon Jeffery (hand) and Dane Sanzenbacher, guard Edwin Williams, defensive tackles Matt Toeaina and Amobi Okoye, defensive end Cheta Ozougwu and tight end Brody Eldridge.

Defensive tackle Nate Collins was active for the first time this season and had 3 tackles.

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