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Bears can't end this swiftly enough

CHICAGO -- As the second half began Monday night, the Soldier Field video boards implored the crowd to "Get Loud," as a voice bellowed, "Are you ready?"

There was no response from the fans, of which there weren't many.

Everyone is ready for this season to be over.

Two more games.

The Chicago Bears finished their three-week run of stinging, national embarrassments with a 31-15 loss to New Orleans.

The Bears (5-9) don't just lose games like typical losing teams. They get blown out and destroyed. Although they have five wins on paper, on grass this looks more like a 2-14 team, the Raiders of the Midway.

"I'm at a loss for words, to be completely honest with you," defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff said. "I'm not going to sit up here and B.S. you and give you some crazy speech. I don't got it for you."

This loss stands out as incontrovertible evidence of a collective, organizational failure.

Embattled head coach Marc Trestman summed it up by saying, "We are all working together and not getting it done."

Combined with the odd Aaron Kromer apology story and ensuing sad-sack press conference, it's been a dreadful week for the franchise. If team chairman George McCaskey wasn't convinced before Thanksgiving that his organization needed a complete overhaul, he should be now.

Two more weeks. Two more weeks.

Although the Bears are likely stuck with quarterback Jay Cutler for another two seasons -- who would trade for this guy? -- I can't see any way Trestman could come back for a third season. Not after the past three games.

To recap: After famously losing back-to-back games to New England and Green Bay by a combined score of 106-37, the Bears beat two last-place teams in Minnesota and Tampa Bay by identical 21-13 scores.

Since then, the Bears have lost three nationally televised games by a combined score of 106-60. Entering the fourth quarter of their past two games, they trailed by a combined 59-7.

On Thanksgiving, they had a good first quarter. We were thankful for that quarter.

If you're McCaskey, why would you bring anyone back? The list of firings should start with general manager Phil Emery, who put this team together. But I bet it won't. He'll keep his job with a last-ditch effort to hire another coach. But it's obvious Trestman and his staff have lost this team, if they ever had them.

Have the players quit on Trestman and themselves?

"I haven't questioned anyone's effort to this point," Bears safety Ryan Mundy said. "Effort is a given, should be a given in this league because we're paid professionals."

Effort sounds like the bare minimum. There needed to be more than effort. There's a level of intensity that separates NFL players from normal human beings. There's another level that distinguishes good teams and bad teams.

Your eyes don't deceive you: The Bears don't have what it takes to compete with good teams. They're not even close. To paraphrase Trestman, they're working together to be this awful.

Some players can see what's missing.

"There's some positions on the team that need to step up with leadership on the club," tight end Martellus Bennett said. "We need passion to come from certain places. So I don't think the passion is there all the time."

When asked who doesn't have passion, Bennett said, "Several people. But I don't really get into the name thing. They know who they are."

ESPN "Monday Night Football" analyst Jon Gruden excoriated the Bears from beginning to end but saved most of his venom for Cutler. It takes a lot for Gruden to really rip into a quarterback, so consider Cutler his hideous muse.

Cutler, who has regressed seemingly every week, had a game for the ages. He threw three interceptions and took seven sacks, several of which were the result of his holding onto the ball too long.

Although he finished with 194 yards, thanks to some garbage-time production, he had 56 passing yards in the first half and 87 through three quarters.

"We really had no kind of passing game early in the game," Trestman said.

The Bears got blanked for the first half and compiled fewer than 100 yards against a brutal defense that came in giving up 398.7 yards per game -- the second-worst average in the league.

But the lowlight came on special teams, when the Bears sent out 10 men for a fake punt that was -- surprise -- unsuccessful.

"Certainly, on the fake punt, having 10 guys, that's on me," Trestman said. "I'll take responsibility for that."

Asked to elaborate, Trestman said, "It's really simple: We should've had 11. We had 10."

By the third quarter, I was done with this game.