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Five things we learned: Lions 20, Bears 14

CHICAGO -- Here are five things we learned in the Chicago Bears' 20-14 loss to the Detroit Lions:

1. Marc Trestman needs to be fired, immediately: Trestman needs to be stripped of his control over the 46-man active game-day roster for the decision to keep Jay Cutler active on Sunday. Under no circumstances can the Bears expose Cutler to unnecessary injury in the final two weeks, even if the eventual offseason plan calls for the organization to keep Cutler in 2015. Cutler’s season is finished. It’s over. He has completely checked out. He’s done with Trestman and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. Accept it, and move on. Let’s say the Bears ultimately decide Cutler gives them the best shot to win next year. The last thing the organization wants is for Cutler to be pressed into relief duty versus Detroit or Minnesota, likely unprepared, and suffer an injury that affects his availability for the (presumably) new head coach's offseason program or, even worse, triggers the injury-protection clause in Cutler’s contract. Most potential head-coaching candidates (save Mike Shanahan) will be leery of working with Cutler, even if he’s healthy. A beat-up Cutler only makes the sales job that much harder for the Bears organization in coming months. Now, let’s say the Bears plan to shop Cutler around to other teams. The very idea of Cutler serving as the No. 2 in two meaningless games, in that scenario, is pure madness. Let me repeat: pure madness. I understand Trestman wants to win another game. His credibility and reputation are under attack. But the future of the franchise is far more important. Whether Bears fans want to admit it or not, Cutler is an extremely important piece of the puzzle moving forward, trade or no trade. Subjecting him to further risk is foolish. Let Joe DeCamillis coach the season finale in Minnesota. Trestman is worried about his own interests, not the organization's. When that happens, it’s time for change, even if one is already scheduled to occur Dec. 29.

2. Jimmy Clausen is a legitimate No. 2: Clausen belongs in the NFL next year in a reserve role. Congratulations. Clausen played OK: 23-of-39 for 181 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Some wondered if Clausen even deserved to be in the league. He does. Clausen clearly took his role seriously and put in the necessary work to learn the offense, without the benefit of practice snaps, over the past five or six months. Clausen might struggle next week versus a scrappy Minnesota Vikings team, but decent No. 2 quarterbacks are difficult to find. Clausen is decent. He should have no trouble finding work in the offseason, either in Chicago or someplace else.

3. Keep Jeremiah Ratliff: Whatever defense the Bears run in 2015 needs to include Ratliff, who is under contract through next year. Ratliff is a leader. He also happens to be the best player on defense. Ratliff is intimidating. The veteran defensive tackle does an excellent job holding teammates accountable. The only issue is durability. The Bears need Ratliff to stay healthy for all 16 games next season, because if he does, Ratliff remains capable of playing at a Pro Bowl level. He might be the most underrated player on the team.

4. Suspend Dominic Raiola: Raiola is a cheap-shot artist. Stomping on the back foot of a prone and unsuspecting Ego Ferguson was a pure amateur-hour move. Raiola has the reputation of a dirty player. He is not a first-time offender but tends to fly under the radar due to the highly publicized behavior of teammate Ndamukong Suh. Two games would be an appropriate punishment for Raiola. Force him to miss the first round of the playoffs. Ferguson said it best: “We all saw the play. You can’t take back what happened with that play. I don’t have to explain that.” The NFL should act swiftly. A 14-year veteran ought to know better.

5. When did Detroit rehire Jim Schwartz? The Lions got lucky Sunday. Detroit self-destructed on several instances and played undisciplined football. Lions fans were accustomed to that style of play under ex-head coach Jim Schwartz, but not Jim Caldwell. Detroit better clean it up. Otherwise their postseason run will be a brief one.