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No end in sight for Bears' struggles on D

Here are five Chicago Bears links to get you going this morning:

-- Here’s our preview for Sunday’s game with an assist from ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter Ben Goessling.

-- ESPNChicago.com’s Jon Greenberg says the good old days on defense are gone. Sadly, he’s correct. Greenberg writes:

Fundamentals, alignments, properly read keys, playing downhill -- uh oh, the Bears aren't good at any of those things. That doesn't bode well for them ending a current three-game losing streak, not to mention a three-game home losing streak.

For all the grief that Jay Cutler takes -- much of it deserved -- the second year of the Mel Tucker defense has been as bad as the first. But there have been no changes, no real demotions. Just meetings, film study and those great practices we hear so much about.

The Bears (3-6) are actually favored this week, but of course, it wouldn't surprise anyone to see them lose to visiting Minnesota. This is a team headed nowhere, from the front office to the ever-churning bottom of the roster.

The offense is a myth, and the defense a dysfunctional mess. There are no strengths to this team right now, no bright spots.

-- Adam L. Jahns at the Chicago Sun-Times backs up his assertion that Jay Cutler is regressing with some strong statistics. Jahns writes:

Cutler’s statistics have been enhanced by garbage-time production. If you omit his second-half numbers against the Packers and Patriots (considering the Bears trailed 42-0 and 38-7 at halftime in those game), his rating drops to 89.8, which is just barely better than his career-best 89.2 mark in 2013.

That may not be decisively different from his 92.8 passer rating this season. But consider this: Cutler had 14 first-half possessions against the Packers and Patriots and came through with just one touchdown. The Packers’ and Patriots’ offenses combined for 73 points.

-- Here’s a strong story from Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune about all that ails the defense, and how defensive coordinator Tucker is trying to weather the storm.

-- Bears defensive end Jared Allen is pretty familiar with what’s transpired in Chicago from his past playing on a few lousy defenses. Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune explains.