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Durkin: The Bears' Plan Isn't Working

By Dan Durkin-

(CBS) It's hard to fathom that after the Bears' last game against the New England Patriots, there was a lower point in NFL existence.

Yet the Bears found that very place at Lambeau Field Sunday night, in a 55-14 thrashing from the Packers. It was a national embarrassment for all to witness the devolution of the Chicago Bears, who became the first team to allow 50-plus points in consecutive games since the Rochester Jeffersons did so all the way back in 1923.

The Packers swept the season series, and using the final scoreboard from both games as the ultimate judge, they're 62 points better than the Bears. Although, even that measurement doesn't seem like an accurate depiction of just how wide the gap is between these two teams from a talent, coaching and execution perspective.

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Don't forget, the Bears had an extra week to prepare. In reality, you could have given the Bears the rest of this season to prepare for the Packers, and they still would have lost. It's amazing these two teams are considered part of the same league.

From the very top of the organization to the 53rd player on the roster, the Bears are broken. The plan simply isn't working.

General manager Phil Emery was brought in to narrow the talent gap that exists between the Bears and the Packers and Lions. That hasn't happened. If anything, the gap has widened. Coach Marc Trestman was brought in to develop the offense and unlock the potential of quarterback Jay Cutler. That hasn't happened. In many ways, Cutler is regressing.

The Bears have lost five of their last six games, and dating back to last season, they've lost 10 of their last 15 games. Trestman's record against the NFC North has sunk to 2-6.

"We're not a very good football team right now, obviously," Trestman said. "We've descended over the past three weeks, and we didn't make any changes or any positive movements after the bye. That starts with me, and I'll leave it at that."

Saying that the Bears are not a "very good" football team right now is an insult to teams who are merely good at football.

Good football teams offer some defensive resistance to opposing quarterbacks instead of letting them complete 72 percent of their passes for 24 touchdowns and a 121 passer rating, as the Bears have done over their past six games. Last year, teams ran the ball at will against the Bears. This year, teams throw the ball with impunity.

Good football teams get the ball past midfield earlier than the second quarter. Good teams don't commit special teams penalties on the first play of the game and know better than to take the ball out of the end zone when it's kicked nine yards deep.

Bears notes: 'Confusion all night'

Trestman consistently and correctly put the blame square on his shoulders, which is where it belongs for a team that consistently makes the same mistakes yet expects different results.

"We broke down in all three phases," Trestman said. "I'm responsible for the play of this football team, and it's not good enough right now."

I take issue with Trestman's repeated inclusion of the phrase "right now," as this team won't be good tomorrow. Or the day after.

For long stretches of the game, I observed Trestman wandering the sidelines with nobody interacting with him. Not a single player or coach was within five yards of him to either side, which is a sign that he's lost his way, as has his team.

While Trestman was alone on the sidelines, he's not alone in why this team is in the state it's in, as the Bears' problems extend far beyond -- and above -- the coach.

Radical changes are needed in all areas -- football operations, talent procurement, player development and overall accountability. That last phrase is key, as it's frequently used around Halas Hall, but rarely on display.

Dan Durkin covers the Bears for and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @djdurkin.

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