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Steve Smith gives Tim Jennings a back-handed compliment

Carolina Panthers perennial Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith, who averaged 149 yards per game against the Bears, had seven catches for 118 yards on Sunday.

All of those were with Bears cornerback Tim Jennings on him.

But the only one who got in the end zone Sunday was Jennings — and Smith was a bit peeved afterwards.

“I slipped, sir. I slipped,” Smith said to reporters after the game. “The ball was thrown. He picked it. That what-if game, and this and that, that requires energy that I just don’t have right now to go through.

“That was the best play he made all game on me,” Smith said. “But it was a key moment in the game, changed the momentum. I know you want to pump him up. But I’ve been kicking his ass every time I come up here. And today wasn’t no different. Do you disagree?”

Well, certainly Jennings would. He was complimentary of Smith.

“It’s very important when you got a Pro Bowl receiver like that’s been playing the game at a high level like that his whole career,” Jennings said. “He’s going to make some plays. But I had to have the mentality that I got to stay up and stay playing aggressive and minimize his playmaking ability.”

Regarding his pick-six, Jennings matter-of-factly said, “I had an opportunity to make a play on the ball, the quarterback threw it, and I was able to catch it and take it to the house.”