"It's all about turnovers, especially in key situations," Smith said.
The Bears' defense yielded 404 yards of offense, 128 rushing yards to Ahman Green and 252 passing yards to Brett Favre. But one big second-quarter play at the goal line made it seem like the Bears' magical 2001 season all over again while underscoring Smith's philosophy.
Brian Urlacher stripped the football from Green on first-and-goal from the Bears' 2 with Green Bay poised to go ahead 10-7. Safety Mike Brown scooped it up and raced 95 yards for his team record fifth defensive touchdown and a 14-3 lead with 1:44 left in the second quarter. After that, the Bears' running attack pounded away to preserve the win.
The difference this time from the 2001 victories that were triggered by defensive scores is Brown will probably not make more returns due to a likely torn Achilles tendon suffered with four minutes to play.
"It's bittersweet," Urlacher said of the win.
Nevertheless, the enjoyment from ending the Packers' dominance was evident even from Urlacher, who pumped his fists into the air after blitzing Favre into a fourth-down grounding penalty on the Packers' last gasp possession.
"Nobody expected us to win," Urlacher said. "No one really gave us a shot. What's new? But it was fun. We flew around. And we got the win."
The 95-yard return by Brown was second longest in Bears history to George Halas' 98-yard return in 1923. It totally changed the game's complexion after Ryan Longwell had kicked a 25-yard field goal on the Packers' first possession and Bears fullback Bryan Johnson had caught an 11-yard TD pass from quarterback Rex Grossman with 7:40 left in the second quarter.
"We've been talking to our coaches, (coordinator) Ron Rivera and the rest of defensive coaches about stripping the football, strip the ball," Smith said. "When you're backed up against the wall like that, you need to strip the ball. Something good has to happen down there for you.
"That's what happens when you have that mindset you get lucky on plays like that."
Urlacher said more than luck was involved -- he had the advantage of knowing where the football would be.
"I just came through, no one blocked me on the run through there," he said. "I just kind of swatted down and tried to tackle him and the ball came out.
"He always carries the ball in the left hand. I just got lucky right there. Then Mike made a great play."
The Bears then dealt a huge blow to Packer comeback hopes to start the second half by driving 79 yards in six plays for a 21-3 lead. Running back Thomas Jones accounted for 54 of his 72 rushing yards during the drive with a third-and-one breakaway run off right tackle. He ended the drive with a 1-yard TD plunge.
"That was huge," said Grossman, who was 10-of-18 for 132 yards with an interception. "We got the ball in the second half and just pounded it right down their throat for a touchdown."
Jones gained 108 of his game-high 152 yards in the second half to help kill clock.
"Our defense is based on stopping the run and we didn't do that today," Packers safety Darren Sharper said. "We definitely get an F as far as grading out."
The Packers' own offense did a pretty good job of killing clock themselves by taking 19 plays and 9:45 off the third-quarter clock before finally getting around to an 18-yard Favre-to-Robert Ferguson TD pass.
In the fourth quarter, the Packers (1-1) had the ball four times and the first three drives managed only one first down.
Besides Brown's injury, the Bears' failure to deliver one last knockout blow until Urlacher's fourth-down blitz of Favre with 1:18 to play was the only negative in the win.
David Terrell fumbled a reverse from the Packers' 25 with the Bears in the middle of a drive that had killed five minutes off the fourth-quarter clock. However, Bobby Gray then got it back by picking off Favre, who completed 24-of-42.
"One thing we did was to continue to try to create turnovers -- that's something that we stressed from Day 1 when we first started in our first mini-camp," Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera said. "We didn't do a very good job of it last week, so this week we stressed it in practice, we worked on it and it paid dividends."
The second best dividend paid was a 1-1 record, a game behind the Detroit Lions in the NFC North heading into Sunday's game at Minnesota.
The best dividend was the silence in Lambeau after they had lost 20 of the previous 23 games to their rivals.
"It was getting quieter and quieter as it (the game) went along," Bears linebacker Lance Briggs said.