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Durkin: There's Noise Inside The Bears' Bunker

By Dan Durkin-

(CBS) "No Noise" and "Bunker Down." Those are the messages printed on the front and back of the green camouflage T-shirts the Bears have donned around Halas Hall for the past two weeks.

Apparently, the team didn't get the message.

After the Bears' deflating 27-14 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday -- sending them to 0-3 at home for the first time since 2003 and 3-4 overall -- their locker room bunker was filled with noise. Shouting and commotion among the players could be heard down the corridors of Soldier Field.

Inside the locker room, receiver Brandon Marshall said it shouldn't be any other way given how the team has played.

"You should hear frustration," Marshall said. "We're 3-4. This means everything to a lot of guy in this locker room."

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The Bears were built to win with their offense, yet through seven games, they're averaging 21 points a game, which is below the league average. Given all the financial resources that have been devoted to that side of the ball and the concerted effort to maintain continuity this offseason, it's frankly unacceptable.


Marshall agreed with that sentiment, 17 times over to be precise.

"The Chicago Bears should not be 3-4 right now," Marshall said. "Absolutely unacceptable, and it starts with the offensive side of the ball."

They Bears have shown no growth from last season. In fact, they're regressing. Compared to where they were at this point last season, they're scoring fewer points and turning the ball over at a higher rate.

"Same mistakes," Marshall said. "We've got to protect the football. We've got to execute the game plan. We've got to adjust when things don't go as we saw with the film."

What exactly was the Bears' game plan Sunday? In the first half of the game, there was no rhythm whatsoever, with Chicago gaining 54 total yards on 18 plays. Apparently, the Bears thought they should just throw the ball against the Dolphins, despite the fact that Miami was allowing more than 110 rushing yards per game heading into Sunday.

Quarterback Jay Cutler confirmed that the Bears only had four running plays called in the first half, two of which he checked to a pass play. Running back Matt Forte -- who had accounted for 48 percent of the team's offense heading into the game -- had only two carries and five total touches in the first half.

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It was apparent early on that the Bears' offensive line wasn't holding up long enough -- particularly on the right side -- to allow the route combinations to unfold. As such, the Bears kept in tight ends to help chip on Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake, but even with the extra help, Cutler wasn't able to find receivers down the field.

As defenses have done numerous times to Chicago already this season, the Dolphins dropped into zone coverage, kept things in front of them and forced the Bears to string together drives, which they couldn't. Negative plays have ruined the Bears all season long, and Sunday was no exception. The Bears are now 0-4 in games in which they've lost the turnover battle, and seven games into the season, Cutler doesn't seem to be in sync with his receivers.

With their next two games against Tom Brady's Patriots and Aaron Rodgers' Packers on the road, the Bears' season is hanging in the balance. Given the cracks that are showing inside the locker room, we'll know exactly what coach Marc Trestman is made of and if he'll truly be able to tune out the deafening noise that's surrounding his maddeningly inconsistent team.

"It starts with me, because we couldn't get it done," Trestman said. "We didn't execute, particularly offensively, but collectively -- because it is a continuity game -- we didn't get the job done and that starts with me and coaching these guys to be ready to play."

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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