RB Matt Forte - Free Agent
|6-1, 217||Born: 12-10-1985||College: Tulane||Drafted: Round 2, pick 2008|
2017 Week 1 vs BUF (6 / 16 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 20 / 0 rec)
Alike the team's third pre-season game, Matt Forte functioned as the team starter, but is not the team's best running back. Back-field mate, Bilal Powell didn't see his first touch until 4:00 minutes before halftime, leaving many to question the decision making on Morton. The Jets trailed for the entire game, reducing Forte's role to check downs and occasional runs. Forte was able to pick-up what was blocked, but he doesn't possess any big-play explosiveness anymore. Forte asked Morton for a larger role in the passing game, and he got it, but also dropped two easy passes that would resulted in first downs on catches and runs.
2017 Week 2 vs OAK (9 / 53 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 38 / 0 rec)
Bilal Powell started the game, but Forte received the most touches. As a runner, Forte displayed patience and toughness, allowing his blocks to set-up before accelerating into the second level. Forte had a long run of 16 yards in the second half, running off left guard before cutting and exploding into the second level. Forte was New York's second leading receiver, serving as a safety blanket for McCown. Powell and rookie, Elijah McGuire were mixed in throughout the game, but Forte was the effective runner on the day.
2017 Week 3 vs MIA (8 / 25 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte suffered a toe injury in the third quarter and did not return. Prior to the injury, Forte was New York's featured runner, but did not have a lot of success. His injury status is worth watching.
2017 Week 6 vs NE (9 / 22 / 0 rush, 8 / 8 / 59 / 0 rec)
After missing the last two games, Forte returned and split reps with Elijah McGuire. Forte didn't find much running room, but as a receiver, he took advantage of zone looks and designed screen passes. Forte, who missed tie with a turf toe, did not look explosive, but rather used deception and guile to make defenders miss.
2017 Week 7 vs MIA (7 / 41 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 41 / 0 rec)
Bilal Powell started the game, but the two backfield mates virtually split touches. Forte saw more work as a receiver and made one big play on third down. In the first quarter, Forte picked up a first down on a 3rd-and-18 play by weaving through defenders and running through arm tackles. Forte relies more on his vision and footwork rather than speed at this point in his career, but the team replied on him to pick-up key yardage.
2017 Week 8 vs ATL (4 / 7 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 45 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte and Bilal Powell split snaps, but Powell received more touches. Once again, Forte was more effective as a receiver. The elder running back was split out of the formation and was deployed on designed screen passes. Forte had a long catch-and-run of 12 yards in the fourth quarter
2017 Week 9 vs BUF (14 / 77 / 2 rush, 4 / 4 / 19 / 0 rec)
The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Matt Forte, who has publicly criticized the play calling against Atlanta, was fed and cashed in on his opportunities. Forte did some tough running and was rewarded with his first two touchdown plunges of the season. In the third quarter, Forte ran off right tackle for a 10-yard touchdown and in the fourth quarter, cashed in on a 5-yard touchdown. Forte ran through poor arm tackles before lunging into the end zone. New York's rushing attack compiled 194 yards against a punch less Buffalo run defense, so Forte and his backfield counterparts walked away very happy.
2017 Week 12 vs CAR (10 / 26 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After missing a few weeks due to a knee injury, Matt Forte returned, but didn't make an impact. Forte saw a team-high 10 carries, but was bottled up by Carolina's stout run defense. He saw one end zone target, but McCown overshot him.
2017 Week 13 vs KC (15 / 58 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 33 / 1 rec)
Matt Forte turned in a workman-like performance. Working in tandem with Bilal Powell, the elder stateman found some success running between the tackles. Forte had a long run of 14 yards off right tackle. As a receiver, Forte had an 11-yard touchdown reception. On the scoring play, Forte was lined up in the slot, caught the quick pass, and took a big shot from Ron Parker before getting into the end zone.
2017 Week 14 vs DEN (6 / 13 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte was contained on the ground and made two passes on designed screen passes.
2017 Week 15 vs NO (7 / 24 / 0 rush, 5 / 2 / 10 / 0 rec)
Alike McGuire, Forte also made his triumphant return to his home state. However, unlike McGuire, Forte failed to make an impact. He was quickly bottled up for short gains and didn't make an impact as a receiver.
2017 Week 16 vs LAC (8 / 19 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
It was a forgettable final home game for Matt Forte. Forte fumbled early in the second quarter, killing a promising drive. Otherwise, he was largely bottled up as a runner and ceded lead back duties to Bilal Powell.
2016 Week 1 vs CIN (22 / 96 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 59 / 0 rec)
Different team, same workhorse role. New York utilized Matt Forte in the same workhorse role that fans were accustomed to seeing him play in Chicago. During the pre-season, many thought that Forte would share snaps with Bilal Powell, but Powell used sparingly on third downs. Forte was unsuccessful on his lone goal line tote, but his ability to rack up yards as a rusher and receiver between the 20s remains elite. Forte had a long catch and run of 24 yards on a designed screen pass where he set up his blocks and accelerated into the open field. Forte was New York's leading receiver, but that's not a great indicator for Chan Gailey's fast paced offense.
2016 Week 2 vs BUF (30 / 100 / 3 rush, 3 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)
'Workmanlike' is the best way to describe Forte's performance against Buffalo. Forte totted the ball an-NFL high 30 times and saw all of the red zone work. After failing to score on his lone goal line carry against Cincinnati, Forte converted touchdown runs of 1-yard, 3 yards, and 12 yards out. On each of his short yardage touchdown plunges, Forte showed patience and elite vision by spotting small cracks in Buffalo's front before gliding into the end zone. Credit Buffalo's run defense for limiting him to just 100 yards on a voluminous workload, but Forte was more than happy to take 3-to-4 yards on each carry to position the offense in manageable third down situations. On the injury front, Forte lost starting left guard, James Carpenter to a lower leg injury in the first half and his backup, Wesley Johnson struggled early on. Carpenter has played extremely well and was regularly seen mauling opposing defenders down field, so his loss stymied Forte's cutback opportunities until Johnson became acclimated to the calls. Once Johnson became acclaimed into the game flow, cut back lanes re-appeared for Forte. Carpenter's status should be monitored in the coming days.
2016 Week 3 vs KC (15 / 65 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / -1 / 0 rec)
Despite poor play from his quarterback, Matt Forte played well. Forte found open creases in Kansas City's front seven, sliding through holes for first downs, and displayed his overall playmaking prowess throughout this game. Play calling was an issue in the red zone as Chan Gailey called pass plays over giving the ball to Forte. Fitzpatrick threw three back-breaking end zone interceptions, negating any momentum that Forte had generated between the 20s. Overall, the offense struggled, but Forte was able to make plays when giving the opportunity to do so.
2016 Week 4 vs SEA (14 / 27 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte was completely shut down by Seattle's front seven. Seattle's game plan revolved around taking Forte out of the game and forcing Fitzpatrick to beat them. That game plan was executed successfully as Forte failed to rip off any big runs and did not find any running room. Bilal Powell was given more pass catching opportunities on third downs, which was expected after Forte's first few weeks of massive utilization.
2016 Week 5 vs PIT (12 / 53 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)
For the second straight week, Matt Forte was largely contained. Forte ripped a 28-yard gain off of right tackle, but otherwise took short two-to-three yard gains. With New York facing a negative game script, Forte was replaced by Powell on passing downs. Powell was able to make plays underneath. Forte has thrived in positive game situations, but when New York faces a big deficit, Powell plays more snaps. Nick Mangold left the game with a knee injury, so his status is worth watching over the next week.
2016 Week 7 vs BAL (30 / 100 / 1 rush, 4 / 4 / 54 / 1 rec)
After three straight weeks of tough showings, Matt Forte bounced back with a big effort against a tough Baltimore front. Operating in true work horse fashion as a runner and as a receiver, Forte grinded his way to 100 yards on 30 carries and caught four passes for 54 yards. New York's offensive line lost Nick Mangold early in the first quarter, but the unit was still able to open small creases against a tough front. Matt Forte scored two touchdowns, one receiving and one rushing. Late in the second quarter, Forte scored untouched on a 13-yard screen pass in the middle of the field. Late in the third quarter, Forte rushed off right tackle for a 1-yard touchdown. The touchdown run occurred after a bizarre series of plays. Three plays before, Forte lost a fumble due to poor ball security, a Baltimore defender scooped it up, but fumbled it back to the Jets. Overall, Forte had a solid day producing yards against a tough run defense.
2016 Week 8 vs CLE (25 / 82 / 2 rush, 3 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)
Another week, another big workload for the ageless Matt Forte. Playing against a Cleveland defense that has been gashed by opposing rushers, Forte was featured early and often, and cashed in two short, second half touchdown runs, one from 4-yards and one from 2-yards out. Playing without Nick Mangold for the second straight week, New York's offensive line played well, opening small creases that allowed Forte to glide through for three, four yard gains. Forte showed great patience against a vulnerable Cleveland front by allowing his offensive line to secure their blocks and setting up defenders for positive gains. Bilal Powell was mixed in throughout the game and ripped off one long 35-yard touchdown run. As a receiver, Forte had a long catch and run of 15 yards on a middle screen in the red zone. A few plays later, Forte punched it into the end zone.
2016 Week 9 vs MIA (12 / 92 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Thanks to two poorly executed run blitzes, Matt Forte posted a solid afternoon behind an overmatched offensive line. Early in the second quarter, Miami called a run blitz, but New York's offensive line did a nice job of flushing the rushers down inside, opening a massive hole through the C-gap. Forte exploded through and rumbled 31 yards for a touchdown. Later in the second quarter, Miami called the same run blitz and Forte exploded through the same gap for a 32-yard gain. Credit the offensive line for opening holes, but also blame Miami's linebackers for poor gap discipline. Outside of these two long runs, Forte was largely contained. Forte was able to gain yardage when it was there, but more times than not, the offensive line had trouble winning their one-on-one assignments. The offense needs Nick Mangold and Ryan Clady, who both missed the game, to return as soon as possible.
2016 Week 10 vs LA (20 / 98 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
With Petty making his first career start, the onus was on Matt Forte to take pressure off - and he delivered. Each week, Forte has one or two long runs off-tackle that put his elite vision and elusiveness on full display. In the second quarter, Forte ran off left tackle for a 28-yard gain. Credit Ijalana, Carpenter, and Enunwa for great blocks on the left side, but also credit Forte's patience to set-up his blocks before exploding into the second level. Outside of this long run, Los Angeles did a nice job of limiting Forte to three or four yard gains. It was tough sledding in the second half when New York's offense failed to develop any rhythm and Los Angeles opted to stack box to make Petty beat them.
2016 Week 12 vs NE (13 / 27 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 23 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte didn't have any room to run against a resurgent New England front. Forte had a long run of six yards, which he bounced off right tackle. As a receiver, Forte was deployed as a check down option and had a long catch and run of 15 yards on a designed screen. New York's offensive line played without Nick Mangold, again. His presence and leadership is clearly missed.
2016 Week 13 vs IND (9 / 25 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 54 / 0 rec)
A negative game script limited Matt Forte's rushing attempts against Indianapolis' lackluster run defense, but he made plays as a receiver. In the second quarter, Forte ripped off a 40-yard gain on a designed screen pass. Showing good patience, Forte allowed his blockers to engage before using his quickness to burst into the open field. When Petty was on the field, Forte served as the check down, security blanket, and picked up short gains.
2016 Week 14 vs SF (3 / 8 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Forte suffered a knee injury in the first quarter and did not return.
2016 Week 15 vs MIA (4 / 21 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Bilal Powell started the game and played most the snaps. Forte, who is playing through a knee injury, was used sparingly, but made a few nice moves on designed run plays and made one nice blitz pick-up that resulted in a 20-yard passing play. Give Forte credit for playing through the injury during a lost season.
2015 Week 1 vs GB (24 / 141 / 1 rush, 8 / 5 / 25 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte turned in a vintage Matt Forte performance in Sunday's loss to the Packers. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry on 24 rushing attempts in the new-look offense run by first-year coordinator Adam Gase. For the first time in a long time, running the football appeared to be a priority of the coaching staff. Forte actually was utilized in the run game in all four quarters, despite the Bears playing from behind for much of the second half. It wasn't Forte's speed that gained him 141 rushing yards, it was the moves he displayed after breaking through the line of scrimmage. He was juking Packer defenders left and right. Behind a makeshift offensive line that saw right guard Kyle Long move to right tackle before the game, Forte ran better than expected. And you should expect even better things from him as the line syncs up.
2015 Week 2 vs ARI (15 / 61 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 44 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte's usage came down a bit Sunday against the Cardinals. After touching the ball 29 times in the Week 1 loss to Green Bay, the Bears scaled back Forte's workload to 19 touches. The running back gained 61 yards on 15 carries and 44 receiving yards on four catches. The Bears rushed the ball 28 times as a team despite trailing the entire game. John Fox clearly is committed to running the football, and that's not going to change anytime soon -- especially if Jay Cutler misses any time due to the hamstring injury he suffered in the loss. Life for Forte won't be as easy without Cutler, as strange as that sounds. He struggled to find holes at the line of scrimmage when Jimmy Clausen took over under center. Unlike Forte, Clausen is not a threat to burn a defense. This definitely is something to keep an eye on this week as the Bears prepare for the Seahawks.
2015 Week 3 vs SEA (20 / 74 / 0 rush, 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte did about the best he could Sunday against the defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. Running behind an offensive line that was without left tackle Jermon Bushrod for much of the game, the Bears' bell-cow back gained 74 yards on 20 carries in a game that ended in a 26-0 defeat. At one point, Forte limped off the field after taking a hit that wrenched his knee in an awkward direction. While he did return to the game, he was largely ineffective. Jimmy Clausen, who started the game in place of Jay Cutler, threw for only 63 yards on the day. Without a passing game to stretch the defense, Forte really was set up for failure at every turn.
2015 Week 4 vs OAK (25 / 91 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 64 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte got back to doing Matt Forte-like things in Sunday's win over the Raiders. The versatile tailback contributed 155 all-purpose yards (91 rush, 64 receiving) on 29 touches (25 carries, four catches). With Jay Cutler back in the lineup, Forte benefitted from a quarterback who is able to move the ball downfield, as opposed to Jimmy Clausen. There was a flow to Adam Gase's play-calling, and it largely was because of Forte's ability to do so many different things on the field. At one point during the first half, Forte ran a play out of the Wildcat. It was somewhat of a shock to see. While the play didn't fool the Raiders' defense, it's good to see Forte's role expanding beyond what we've seen in recent weeks. One could make the argument that the Bears are simply trying to showcase Forte in as many ways as possible in hopes of increasing his trade value.
2015 Week 5 vs KC (18 / 71 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 38 / 1 rec)
Matt Forte did a little bit of everything in Sunday's 18-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bears' bell-cow back carried the ball 18 times for 71 yards and caught five passes for 38 yards and the game-winning touchdown. While Forte averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, he did so running behind a makeshift offensive line, playing without starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod and starting center Will Montgomery. What makes Forte so valuable is his ability to find space to make a play when the pocket collapses on Jay Cutler, which happened more than a handful of times throughout the game. The Cutler-to-Forte touchdown that won the game is a perfect example. A low snap forced Cutler to get rid of the ball much faster than he wanted, with pressure in his face, only to find Forte in the end zone on a wheel route. It was a thing of beauty. As long as the Bears are shorthanded at the receiver position, Forte will continue to see additional touches.
2015 Week 6 vs DET (24 / 69 / 1 rush, 5 / 3 / 20 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte received 27 total touches against the Lions -- 24 carries for 69 yards and three receptions for 20 yards. It wasn't the most productive outing for the Bears' bellcow back. The Bears gave Forte every opportunity to have a big game, but he consistently struggled to break through the first level of the Lions' defensive line. His longest rush of the game only went for 11 yards. Had the offensive line played better, Forte's day likely would have gone much differently. The Bears still are rolling out a makeshift offensive line, with Charles Leno Jr. in for Jermon Bushrod at left tackle and rookie Hroniss Grasu in for Will Montgomery at center. The lack of continuity on the line has stifled any and all growth in the run game. Forte still is one of the best and most dangerous running backs in the league. He should benefit from a healthier offensive line when the Bears return to action following the bye week.
2015 Week 8 vs MIN (10 / 41 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 28 / 0 rec)
It was a rough day for Matt Forte. Chicago's lead running back exited the game in the third quarter after taking a hit to his knee, according to the Bears. Before departing, Forte gained 41 yards on 10 carries to go along with four receptions for 28 yards. Forte looked good prior to being injured, averaging over four yards a carry. He found the most space when running to the outer edges of the offensive line, just inside the tackles.It appeared as if offensive coordinator Adam Gase was trying to get Forte some different looks out of the backfield -- delayed handoffs and a Wildcat formation. The loss of Forte is huge for the Bears. Head coach John Fox did not know the extent of Forte's injury when asked after the game. If Forte is unable to suit up next week, rookie Jeremy Langford will get the start.
2015 Week 12 vs GB (15 / 44 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
Finally healthy, Matt Forte returned to the field to discover that Jeremy Langford had laid claim to about half of his carries per game. The two basically split touches down the middle with Forte getting a couple more carries and Langford getting a few more targets. Forte ran the ball well, showing no residual aftereffects from his knee injury, showing good speed and power, though he was stopped at the goal line twice in the fourth quarter. With Langford's two big drops in the game, we might see more of Forte in the passing game going forward but it's hard to say how this split will continue, though we imagine the Bears will run both to keep both fresh for the late-season push.
2015 Week 13 vs SF (21 / 84 / 1 rush, 5 / 5 / 39 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte got back to doing Matt Forte-like things Sunday against the 49ers. Unfortunately, though, Forte's strong effort didn't matter in the end. Coming off an injury-free week of practice, Forte rushed for 84 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown and caught five passes for 39 yards. Forte primarily ran up the middle, displaying patience behind his blocks. Why offensive coordinator Adam Gase didn't call for Forte to get to the outside, who knows. When the offensive lineman have time to line up their blocks, Forte usually shows great patience and vision running behind them. Forte is his most-effective self when he runs to the outside; this is why he's so effective on screen passes. Forte lacks the speed he once had, so it makes little sense to run him up the middle into the opposing d-line. When the blocks get set in front of him, he finds the holes and converts first downs. Forte likely is playing his final games as a Chicago Bear. Enjoy him while you can, Bears fans.
2015 Week 14 vs WAS (10 / 45 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
In recent weeks, Matt Forte has been running up the middle more than anywhere else, without much success, to be frank. Well, the game plan changed slightly against the Redskins, with Forte spending more time trying to get to the outside. It worked, too. While Forte only carried the ball 10 times, he was able to gain 45 yards, for an average of 4.5 yards. Forte was very effective in the run game. Why he didn't receive more carries, who knows. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase called 23 total run plays -- 10 for Forte, 11 for Jeremy Langford and one for Jay Cutler. In the Bears' Week 13 loss to San Francisco, Forte nearly doubled Langford in carries. Now that the Bears' playoff hopes have been completed shattered, it looks like management is attempting to put Langford in as many new situations as possible. Forte merely is riding out his time before hitting free agency in the offseason.
2015 Week 15 vs MIN (8 / 47 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 57 / 1 rec)
Matt Forte played better than most Bears in Sunday's 38-17 loss to the Vikings. The versatile running back carried the ball eight times for 47 yards and caught six passes for 57 yards and a touchdown. Despite the lack of carries, Forte turned in a vintage performance. Forte started the day strong, taking the opening handoff for a 35-yard gain, only to be called back by a Hroniss Grasu holding penalty. Talk about a momentum stopper. Forte bounced back later in the game, as he played a large role in the passing game. The running back was targeted seven times by Jay Cutler, the most of any Bear. For the first time since returning from injury a few weeks ago, Forte looks to be 100 percent. As he likely takes his last snaps as a member of the Bears, it'll be nice to see the old Forte back on the field.
2015 Week 16 vs TB (11 / 54 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 23 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte does not plan on being with the Bears next season, as evidenced by his comments last week to reporters. The veteran running back said there "isn't much to hope for" a new contract from the Bears. Clearly motivated by the thought of being a free agent, Forte went out and played himself a good game Sunday against the Buccaneers. Forte carried the ball 11 times for 54 yards and added three catches for 23 yards. Had he not tweaked his back early in the second half, he likely would have (once again) split carries with Jeremy Langford, who finished the game with 19. While he didn't blow up the score sheet, he was very effective when on the field. Forte's main problem at this stage of his career is his first few steps. He's slower to get back to the line of scrimmage than he once was. Unless the offensive line is bullying the defense up front, allowing Forte to get a little extra cushion before seeing defenders, Forte struggles to gain big chunks of yards. Nonetheless, Forte netted 4.9 yards per carry against a familiar-feeling Buccaneers defense. If Forte get 22 carries instead of 11 carries, he likely gains somewhere around 100 yards. There's no doubting Forte still has the potential to be close to an every-down back, he just needs to find a new team to serve in that role.
2015 Week 17 vs DET (17 / 76 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 34 / 1 rec)
Matt Forte's career as a member of the Chicago Bears is likely over. The eight-year veteran finished out the season with a vintage performance, contributing 110 total yards and a touchdown -- 17 carries for 76 yards and three receptions for 34 yards (1TD). Following a few consecutive weeks in which Jeremy Langford saw more playing time, Forte played the role of bell cow in Sunday's loss. Forte carried the ball 17 times while Langford saw only five carries. Forte saw three targets in the passing game while Langford received zero. There's no doubt Forte ran hard for the fans who cheered him for eight great seasons, but there's also no doubt that Forte simply does not run as hard as he used to. Forte's lack of burst at the line of scrimmage was ever-so apparent Sunday. His longest carry of the day went for 13 yards. Take away said carry and Forte only averaged a very pedestrian 3.9 yards per attempt. Let's not allow his lack of burst to take away from the story, though. Sunday was Matt Forte day at Soldier Field (not really, but it felt that way).
2014 Week 1 vs BUF (17 / 82 / 0 rush, 9 / 8 / 87 / 0 rec)
Forte arguably was the best played on the field for the Bears. He carried the ball 17 times for 82 yards and caught eight passes on nine targets for 87 yards -- for a total of 169 yards. Last season, Forte found the most success rushing behind the left side. Against the Bills, though, Forte was finding more light on the right side, so the offense adjusted. And it worked. Forte's role in the passing game worked, too, as he received nine targets on 42 routes ran (1 out of every 4). That mentality will garner you a boatload of points in a PPR league. Head coach Marc Trestman still plans to use Forte in just about any and every situation; we saw that Sunday. Of the Bears' 74 offensive snaps, Forte was on the field for 70 of them, leaving four to Ka'Deem Carey. Trestman is going to put Forte in positions to succeed, so he should be a must-start running back every week as long as he's still motoring. Forte's ability to be productive on all four downs is what makes him one of the best backs in the league. While he wasn't able to find his way into the end zone, don't worry, he'll get there.
2014 Week 2 vs SF (12 / 21 / 0 rush, 8 / 5 / 15 / 0 rec)
One way to describe Forte's performance on Sunday night is "ugly." It was ugly from the start. The Bears' bell cow back couldn't move the ball to save his life, it seemed. Forte accrued eight yards on eight carries in the first half, but the Bears needed more given the health of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. It wasn't that Forte suddenly had lost a step; the lack of production had to do with the 49ers' decision to sit on the run game, because Marshall and Jeffery both were battling lower-half injuries. The Bears eventually scraped the run in the second half, with Forte only carrying the ball four times for 11 yards, which obviously is an improvement, albeit a very, very small one. Despite having a very forgettable night on the ground, Forte still was a formidable target in the passing game, with five receptions for 15 yards on eight targets. You should forget about Forte's lackluster performance against the 49ers, because once the Bears' receivers are back healthy, the rusher won't be seeing eight-man fronts.
2014 Week 3 vs NYJ (13 / 33 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 43 / 0 rec)
Forte has had a rough two weeks, gaining just 54 yards on 25 carries. After a solid opening week against Buffalo, Forte has gone against two very stout defensive lines (SF, NYJ). Coach Marc Trestman's game plan in both games was to pass, pass, pass. In three weeks, the Bears haven't run the ball more than 35.4 percent of the time in any single game (Week 1: 73.1 percent pass; Week 2: 66.6 percent pass; Week 3: 64.6 percent pass). Perhaps the game plan has something to do with the loss of center Roberto Garza and left guard Matt Slauson who are out with injuries. Replacement center Brian De La Puenta has been very solid in Garza's absence. Michael Ola has been filling in for Slauson. While Ola's holding his own in the passing game, he's been a below-average run blocker. Forte would have had at least 30 more yards and a touchdown had Ola made his blocks Monday night against the Jets. Forte will get a few early carries so the Bears can see what the defense is giving them. Trestman appears right now to feel more comfortable with Cutler throwing the ball.
2014 Week 4 vs GB (23 / 122 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 49 / 0 rec)
Forte had his breakout game of the year on Sunday. The Bears' bell-cow back shredded the Packers' defense for 122 yards on 23 carries. He didn't find the end zone, but he regularly was finding holes and he hit them hard. On three occasions, Forte was one man away from being off to the races only to be brought down by a Packers defender. But we all know close doesn't count -- for much, at least. He also added five catches on six targets for 49 yards. Trestman clearly entered Sunday with the mindset of getting Forte involved. The Bears ran the ball 53.9 percent of the total snaps Sunday, a vast different from the 27 percent in Week 1. Forte was running traps, draws and more traps and draws. The Bears found a formula with Forte that worked and Trestman tried to exploit it to the best of his ability. Forte isn't going to cash in for 171 total yards every week, but he should, in theory, be somewhere in the range of 130-150 all-purpose yards on a weekly basis.
2014 Week 5 vs CAR (17 / 61 / 0 rush, 12 / 12 / 105 / 1 rec)
Forte was the best all-around player on the field Sunday, for either team. The Bears' running back gained 61 yards on 17 carries and 105 receiving yards on 12 receptions with a touchdown. Those numbers translate to somewhere in upwards of 20-plus points, closer to 30 points if you're in a PPR league. Forte was all over the field for the Bears, but his fourth-quarter fumble also is the reason Carolina got the ball back in its own territory just before scoring the go-ahead touchdown. Breaking down the numbers, Forte's overall statistics have a very surprising effect on this Bears' team. In the team's two wins: Forte has a combined 36 touches for 112 yards and zero touchdowns; an average of 3.11 yards per play. In the team's three losses: Forte has 85 touches for 506 yards and one touchdown; an average of 5.95 yards per play. If that's not a head-scratching stat, I don't know what is anymore. Running the ball is the best way to set up the pass. The Bears' passing game is, on paper, one of the league's best. So why have every one of Cutler's six interceptions come in games where Forte has touched the ball 25-plus times? The only reason this matters is because someone within the Bears organization surely has noticed this trend. Does this mean the Bears will be a more pass-focused team in the 10 games that remain? Who knows. Anyway, Forte is awesome. Play him always.
2014 Week 6 vs ATL (17 / 80 / 2 rush, 13 / 10 / 77 / 0 rec)
You might not believe this: Forte now is on pace to break Brandon Marshall's all-time Bears single-season reception record of 118. Forte is on pace to finish the season with 123 receptions. The Bears' running back has 22 receptions alone in the past two games; and a whopping season total of 46 through six games, an average of 7.6 per game. Aside from the 10 catch, 77-yard performance Sunday, Forte also ran the ball 17 times for 80 yards with two touchdowns. He's now gone three straight weeks with 25 or more total touches and has found the end zone three times. After a slow start to the season, Forte is back at the forefront of this -- at times -- very potent offense.
2014 Week 7 vs MIA (12 / 49 / 1 rush, 7 / 6 / 60 / 1 rec)
Despite the Bears' struggles Sunday, Forte found a way to have a solid game in the loss. He carried the ball 12 times for 49 yards and a touchdown, along with six catches on seven targets for 60 yards and a touchdown. Forte is arguably the most versatile running back in the NFL right now. The Bears' bell-cow back is averaging 4.0 yards per carry with three touchdowns; and his 52 receptions are 21 and 19 more, respectively, than Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Forte is catching 84 percent of his targets, too. No player is more important to the Bears' offense than Forte. Head coach Marc Trestman hasn't committed to the run as much as some would like (consider me part of the sum), but Forte is still getting his touches elsewhere. He's been the MVP of the team through seven games.
2014 Week 8 vs NE (19 / 114 / 0 rush, 8 / 6 / 54 / 1 rec)
Forte continues to do great things for the Bears. Sunday against New England, Forte gained 114 yards on 19 carries while adding another 54 yards on six catches and a touchdown--a total of 168 total yards. The Bears' running back has figured out how to have big games even when the Bears are getting blown out by 28 points. He's been able to use the middle of the field to catch the football, even when the opposition knows it's coming. The Bears' opponents have been so focused on limiting the vertical attack that Forte has been given the green light to beat them, if the Bears can string together enough plays of five and six yards to reach the end zone. In the first eight games of the season, Forte has 188 combined touches for 1,052 total yards with six touchdowns. If you think about what the Bears offense would look like without him, you'll quickly realize why Forte will be a part of Marc Trestman's offense as long as he's the head coach. Trestman needs the running back to make his offense go (in theory).
2014 Week 10 vs GB (17 / 54 / 0 rush, 7 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)
The Bears' use of Forte against the Packers is puzzling. The Packers entered the week with the NFL's worst rushing defense, and by a double-digit margin over the next team on the list. Despite the fact that all three of Green Bay's losses came when the opponent rushed the ball at least 31 times, Forte only carried the ball 17 times for 54 yards on the Bears' 23 called run plays. As a result, Forte was held under 100 combined yards for the first time since the Week 3 win over the Jets. With Marc Trestman as head coach and Jay Cutler under center, the Bears offense will continue to struggle, as the unit has for the majority of the season. But Forte will be one of the few who continue to put up big games, even if the team's struggles continue over the remaining seven games.
2014 Week 11 vs MIN (26 / 117 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 58 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte was fantastic Sunday for the Bears. The running back registered 175 total yards on 32 total touches. While the offense still lacked a numerical balance (43 passes, 31 runs), you could tell that head coach Marc Trestman wanted to get as much as he could out of his running back. Forte's 32 total touches marked a season high for the Pro Bowl tailback. Despite the high level of involvement, Forte didn't appear to get bogged down by the workload. On the final play of the third quarter, Forte barrelled through a handful of Minnesota defenders for a 32-yard gain. The run was Forte's best of the season. Expect to see similar box scores from Forte as the season winds down. The Bears will be in must-win territory each week for the next six weeks. The offense will not move efficiently if Forte isn't playing a predominant role.
2014 Week 12 vs TB (23 / 89 / 2 rush, 6 / 5 / 23 / 0 rec)
As ugly as the Bears offense looked Sunday against Tampa Bay, Matt Forte found a way to make an impact. The Bears' running back scored two touchdowns on 23 carries for 89 yards. The majority of his carries went to the right side of the Bears' offensive line, behind Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long. Forte also contributed five catches on six targets for 23 yards. Forte now has gone back-to-back weeks with 26 and 23 carries, respectively. Those are the two biggest carry totals of the season, both games won by the Bears. Whether or not head coach Marc Trestman pays attention to trends, who knows. More often than not it seems like he does the opposite of what he should do. Either way, Forte will find a way to get on the scoreboard, because he's too good to let Trestman stand in his way.
2014 Week 13 vs DET (5 / 6 / 0 rush, 9 / 6 / 52 / 0 rec)
Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman views a short, high-percentage pass play in the same vein as he does a run play. As a result, the Bears' game plan, against the NFL's best rushing defense, was rather troublesome. Obviously when you face a team who has a run defense of the Lions' caliber, you game plan to beat them in other ways. Trestman's idea of a winning game plan was 48 Jay Cutler pass attempts. You know how many rushing attempts Forte had? Five attempts for Forte, eight for the team. Forte gained just six yards on those five carries. While he did add six catches for 52 yards on nine targets, a grand total of five runs plays doesn't seem like enough for the running back who has gained over 10,000 yards in his six-plus year career with the Bears. This trend isn't likely to continue, because Trestman can't justify keeping his job when he's not feeding the best offensive player on his team. When the Bears had that quick two-game win streak before taking the field against Detroit, Forte had a combined 49 carries and 11 receptions. That's how the Bears should be playing football.
2014 Week 14 vs DAL (13 / 26 / 1 rush, 9 / 8 / 74 / 0 rec)
If you were expecting big numbers from Matt Forte against a Dallas run defense that came in allowing an average of 113.1 yards per game, you're probably pretty disappointed. Forte, once again, was stifled by his head coach, Marc Trestman. The Bears' bell-cow back carried the ball only 13 times for 26 yards. Once the Bears got behind in the game, Forte and the run disappeared. Now even though he struggled to rack up yards on the ground, he did catch eight passes for 74 yards. So it wasn't a total failure for Forte lovers. Despite the lack of carries, Forte still will rack up yards one way or the other.
2014 Week 15 vs NO (16 / 78 / 0 rush, 5 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte has been the one constant in the Bears offense. For the first time in three weeks, the Bears offense actually featured a running game. Against the Saints, Forte carried it 16 times for 78 yards for an average of 4.9 yards per carry. Sixteen carries for a running back of Forte's caliber still is not enough, but it's a step in the right direction. Too bad there's only two games left on the schedule. Forte will continue to hover around 100 total yards from here on out, even if the Bears don't commit to the run game.
2014 Week 16 vs DET (19 / 55 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 40 / 1 rec)
The Bears offense featured more balance against the Lions than it had in games past. When these two teams met Thanksgiving Day, the Bears only ran the ball a total of eight times, five of which came via Matt Forte. So, to see Forte carry the ball 19 times is a definite improvement, even though he only gained 55 yards on those 19 carries, a 2.9-yard average. But Forte once again was a player in the passing game, hauling in six balls for 40 yards with a touchdown. Forte is one of the few guys who still appears to be playing hard at a time when the Bears have nothing to play for but pride. As long as he takes the field, Forte still is one of the best running backs in the NFL.
2014 Week 17 vs MIN (17 / 51 / 0 rush, 12 / 8 / 23 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte ended the 2014 season with a bang. Forte broke the single-season record for most receptions by a running back, finishing with 102 in 16 games. The offensive game plan run by Jay Cutler clearly went out of its way to get Forte the record, as evidenced by his eight catches for 23 yards on 12 targets. Cutler was throwing Forte's way even when he wasn't open. Not that there's anything wrong with that! On the ground, Forte ran hard, but didn't find much success in the cold temps of University of Minnesota stadium. He finished the game with 17 rushes for 51 yards. Despite how poorly the offensive performed as a whole, Forte had a fantastic individual season. He went over 1,000 rushing yards for the third straight season while catching 102 passes for 808 yards to go along with 10 total touchdowns. As long as Forte is healthy, he's one of the most versatile and dependable running backs in the league.
2013 Week 1 vs CIN (19 / 50 / 1 rush, 6 / 4 / 41 / 0 rec)
Forte had a rough time running the ball against a stingy Bengal defense. He was more effective running to the left side of the line (in general) and his between the tackle dives made more progress than when he tried to bounce it outside.The one notible exception to this was the big 4th and 1 play in the 4th quarter. When the Bears were down by four, Forte was stopped on a 3rd and 2. The Bears needed a foot and decide to go for it. Forte took the ball in the I formation and followed he blocker toward the pile. However, he saw daylight to the right and decided to bounce it outside. The Bengals reacted quickly, but Forte had just enough burst to get to the edge and grab the corner for a big eight yard gain and the first down. It eventually led to the Brandon Marshall touchdown that gave Chicago the Win. Forte's other rushing highlight came mid-way though the 3rd quarter. With the Bears on the six yard line, Forte took the inside handoff and powered straight ahead. He was met at the line of scrimmage, but kept churning and churning. The line surged forward and the Bears literally pushed the Bengals five yards backward to the one yard line. Rather than pull him for Michael Bush like the did in pre-season, the Bears gave the ball to Forte again on the next play and he powered into the end zone for the touchdown. The bulk of his receiving yards came on two catches - 1 was a 10 yard check down on 3rd and 14 that led to a punt and the other was a nice play early in the 4th quarter. From Shotgun formation, Jay Cutler faked to Forte who broke into the left flat as Cutler rolled to the right. Unable to find anyone downfield, Cutler rolled back to the other side of the field and hit Forte in stride for a nice 24 yard catch and run. It was a great play but Forte came out of the game for a rest and Michael Bush ran the wrong route in his absence, leading to Cutler's interception.
2013 Week 2 vs MIN (19 / 90 / 0 rush, 11 / 11 / 71 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte was the go-to guy for the Bears in this game. With field conditions being poor due to the pre and in-game rain, it makes sense that Forte was the workhorse for the Bears offense, setting up deeper passes to the rest of the receiving corps. On the opening drive, Forte opened the game with three consecutive runs and a short check down to give Chicago 3rd and goal from the Minnesota 1. One of those runs was a big 24 yard gain, where Forte took the handoff up the middle, got to the second level and the blew up outside for a big run. It turned out to be his longest run of the day. However, the Bears continued to use him, both running up the middle and on power sweeps to the outside. On several plays from Shotgun formation, Forte would stay into block and either pick up a blitzing end or linebacker, or release into the flat or up the middle where Cutler could check down to him for a short five yard gain rather than hold the ball and take a sack. It's a big reason why the Bears are moving the ball more effectively and keeping Cutler out of trouble despite having four new players, including two rookies on the line of scrimmage. Forte finished the game with 30 touches and over 160 yards from scrimmage. He wasn't pulled at the goal line for the second week in a row and despite a tough run defense and strong pass rush, he was still able to contribute a lot of the time. His fumble in the fourth quarter was just a great play by the defensive lineman. As Forte was breaking to the outside, the defender came from behind him and as he wrapped up Forte for the tackle, the defender was taken to the ground with his hand on the ball. The twisting action actually ripped the ball out of Forte's hand and caused the fumble. It was a great play by the defender more than a mistake on Forte's part.
2013 Week 3 vs PIT (16 / 87 / 1 rush, 4 / 4 / 24 / 0 rec)
After a huge first quarter, the Steelers really clamped down and Forte was unable to get anything going. He had 11 carries in the final 45 minutes of the game for a grand total of 20 yards. Even in the 1st quarter, his success was limited to only a couple plays. Forte set up his own touchdown run, taking a short dump from Jay Cutler on 3rd and 9 deep into Pittsburgh territory for the first down. He showed good patience on the TD run, running to the right side and then exploding through the hole. On the first play of the next series, Forte powered up the middle and took advantage of some terrible tackling technique by the Steelers and nearly broke the 55 yard run into the end zone. He was narrowly pushed out of bounds at the end of the run, and Michael Bush came in to vulture the score. Forte was used to help slow down the relentless Pittsburgh pass rush, staying in to block and releasing into the flat and over the middle to catch the short check-down when Cutler was in trouble. He was a little banged up in the second half, and the Bears were all too happy to rest him once the game was well in hand. Michael Bush was ineffective at running the ball as well though, and the Bears finished with only 107 rushing yards as a team.
2013 Week 4 vs DET (14 / 95 / 1 rush, 6 / 5 / 22 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte had a pretty solid game from a fantasy prospective, but the bulk of it came on his 53 yard touchdown run in the second quarter. On that play, the Bears ran a miss-direction, where it looked like they were going to pound the ball up the middle from an I-Formation, but Forte broke right into the flat and Cutler flipped him the ball. Thanks to some great downfield blocking by Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery taking out both the corner and the safety, Forte rumbled 53 yards and was untouched to put Chicago up 10-6. Forte had some success running the ball up the middle, especially with a blocker in front of him but Chicago was down by 17 to start the third quarter and they did not run the ball very much in the second half. Forte caught a few check down passes which he turned into short gains but the defense was aggressive and they made several good open-field tackles to limit Forte's progress.
2013 Week 5 vs NO (12 / 55 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 40 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte opened the game by fumbling a toss sweep and causing the Bears to lose 10 yards on the play. He followed it up with a seven yard run up the gut on 2nd and 20, but had just three carries for three yards after that for the first half. He chipped in with a few catch-and run plays, but the majority of them were on 3rd and long, where he would run for 12 yards while needing 17 as he did in the second quarter. In the second half, his rushing totals improved, but the Saints had relaxed their defense a bit due to the big lead that they had accumulated. Forte was most effective running sweeps around the end, where he speed allowed him to get to the edge, and he was able to knife through the defense like he did early in the third quarter. The Bears began experimenting with a pistol formation where Jay Cutler would line up slightly back from center but not in a full shotgun formation. Forte would line up behind him or off to one side and the sweeps seemed to work a little better from this formation because Forte was able to see the field a little better. In the end though, it was too little, too late and Forte finished with some of his lowest rushing and receiving totals of the season. He added little two point conversion on the final touchdown, where the Bears spread the offense out and then ran Forte straight up the gut. Aside from that though, he did not make it into the end zone the entire day.
2013 Week 6 vs NYG (19 / 67 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 44 / 0 rec)
Despite not making it into the end zone, Matt Forte had another solid game for the Bears this week. He started off slow running the ball, finishing the first quarter with just three carries for five yards. However, he did have a nice 13 yard catch and run near the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter he had more success including back to back six and seven yard carries to open Chicago's third offensive series. Near the end of the second quarter, the Bears ran a miss-direction toss play, where the line shift and blocking indicated a run off tackle to the right, but Forte broke left into the flat as Jay Cutler pitched him the ball. Forte got to the edge and powered up field for a big 13 yard gain. It was his longest run of the day. He caught a check down later in the drive and took it eight yards to set up Chicago taking a shot into the end zone before the end of the half. On their opening drive of the third quarter, Cutler lined up in a Pistol formation with Forte behind him. After a short delay, Forte took the ball and broke to the right side of the line, running behind his rookie linemen. He broke to the edge and powered up field for a big 19 yard gain, but it was called back for a holding penalty on Roberto Garza. To open the 4th quarter, Forte took an inside handoff up the middle for a big nine yard gain. The Bears ran a couple more tosses to Forte in the 4th quarter before bringing in Michael Bush to grind out the clock and end the game.
2013 Week 7 vs WAS (16 / 91 / 3 rush, 3 / 2 / 18 / 0 rec)
Given the fact that Matt Forte had a 50 yard touchdown run midway through the 3rd quarter, and scored three rushing touchdowns on the day, you'd have expected him to have a bigger day from a yardage prospective. However, that wasn't the case and he actually had only four carries for nine yard and the touchdown in the first half of the game. The touchdown run was all Forte though - where he took a handoff and ran off tackle, hurdling a defender and running untouched into the end zone for his first TD of the day. In the second half, the Bears leaned on him heavily on their opening drive, and he responded with six carries for 26 yards and two first downs. But the drive stalled and the Bears missed the field goal opportunity. On the next series, Forte took an inside handoff from Josh McCown and broke it straight up the field. After about 12 yards, he jump-cut to the left and went untouched into the end zone for a big 50 yard score. On the next series, Forte had just three carries for seven yards, but the last was a six yard TD run up the guy where he ran through trash at the line of scrimmage and then drug two defenders into the end zone with him for the score. He ended the game with two check downs that landed him 18 receiving yards for the day but the clock was winding down and Washington was all too happy to see him catch the ball given they were leading by four with a minute to go.
2013 Week 9 vs GB (24 / 125 / 1 rush, 8 / 5 / 54 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte followed up his big three touchdown performance against Washington with 179 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown against a tough division opponent. Forte struggled early against the Packers, posting just seven yards on four carries in the first quarter. But in the second, he really began to do some damage. On second and 8 from their own 42, Forte took a check down from Josh McCown and broke it to the left side of the field for a big 33 yard catch and run. He scored on a one yard end zone plunge just a few plays later after Michael Bush was stuffed at the goal line. In the final four minutes of the first half, Forte had two big runs, including an eight yard plunge up the middle and a 17 yard rumble over the right side of the line on the next play. In the third and fourth quarter though, Forte really gashed the Packers with five plays of 11 or more yards, including five first down runs on the final long drive of the game for Chicago. The biggest play of the night though came mid-way through the quarter. Martellus Bennett turned a short catch into a great gain, but was stopped just short of the first down marker. On 4th and Inches, the Bears turned to Forte with a pitch out to the right side. The Packers penetrated and it looked as if Forte would be stuffed for a loss. However, he showed good patience, waited for his blockers, avoided the blitz and then dove ahead for a three yard gain and the first down. It was an excellent run by the veteran back. A few plays later, McCown faked an end around to Alshon Jeffery and flipped the ball to Forte who took it over the left side of the defense. He followed his blockers and rumbled ahead for a big 15 yard gain. It put the Bears in Field Goal range and basically set up the final few plays where Forte had another 11 yards rushing, including a solid eight yard run on 3rd and 5 with just under two minutes to play. It basically ended the game for Chicago, giving them a critical win against a tough division opponent.
2013 Week 10 vs DET (17 / 33 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 16 / 0 rec)
The Lions were committed to stopping Forte in this game, and the seemed to stuff him every time he touched the ball. The sweeps that had been so effective in weeks past looked great as they began to develop, but then suddenly a defender would shoot through one of the gaps and make a great open-field tackle for minimal gain or in many cases, a yard or two loss. When Jay Cutler would dump the ball to Forte out of the backfield, he would be immediately tackled for a minimal gain, and his longest play of the day was a short seven yard reception in the third quarter. Forte had just five rushing attempts in the second half, for a total of -2 yards. His worst carry though came on the final play of the game - where the Bears were hoping to line up for a two point conversion to send the game into overtime. In weeks past, when the Bears have lined up on the goal line - they have set up in Shotgun formation with their wide-outs spread out and Forte lined up as a single back. On several of these, Forte was able to take the ball straight up the gut, a couple times untouched, and into the end zone for a TD. After the Bears were given a second attempt at making the two point conversion, the lined up in the same formation, but as Forte took the handoff, the Lions penetrated straight up the gut and he was tackled immediately for a loss of two and ending the game.
2013 Week 11 vs BAL (18 / 83 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 42 / 1 rec)
Given the sloppy field conditions, it was no surprise that the Bears turned to Matt Forte a lot. He finished the day with more than 20 touches, and had Chicago's only offensive touchdown of the game. Forte's first carry from scrimmage was a big 15 yard gain. He ran a counter to the left side, but bounced outside when he saw the defense crashing down and was able to break it to the edge and rumble for a big gain. However, the offense sputtered and even with the 2 hour rain delay, he finished the first quarter with just three carries for 22 yards. On his first carry of the second quarter though, he took a handoff up the gut, broke to the outside and took advantage of some great down-field blocking by Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett to rumble for a big 20 yard gain. As field conditions got worse, Forte became the focus of the short passing game, and he added three catches for 27 yards to his totals before the half ended. In the third quarter, the Bears didn't attempt a pass, and between Forte and Alshon Jeffery, they were the entire Chicago offense. The sloppy field allowed him to make some progress but slowed him down from any big break-aways, and he had 7 carries for just 21 yards. In the 4th quarter though, Forte really came through. On 3rd and 2 from the Baltimore 23 yard line, the Bears flipped the ball to Forte on a power sweep left. Forte got to the edge and with more excellent blocking from Brandon Marshall, Forte was able to find a hole and bust through for a big 10 yard gain. The Bears tried to throw the ball on the next play, but Forte missed a blitzing lineman and McCown was sacked for a short loss. On 2nd and 11 though, McCown checked the ball down to Forte and he was not going to be stopped as he powered his way to the end zone. He ran through two arm tackles, lowered his pads and powered through two other defenders, dragging a guy with him as went in for the score. It was the most exciting play on offense that the Bears had to that point in the game. Forte added a nice seven yard run in overtime after the big catch from Martellus Bennett, but gave 5 of them back two plays later before the Bears kicked the field goal to win the game.
2013 Week 12 vs STL (16 / 77 / 0 rush, 9 / 7 / 40 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte started out the game poorly, taking his first hand-off down the right side of the line, where it was stripped by the defender and the Rams recovered the fumble. On Chicago's next position, he caught a short screen pass behind the line of scrimmage and was immediately dropped for a four yard loss. However, on the next play, the Rams Blitzed, and Forte took the inside handoff, ran left and then knifed through the defense before bouncing outside for a big 26 yard run. Forte had another 19 yard run off tackle later in the drive, where he received some great down-field blocking and broke it for a big gain. That drive ended in a TD pass to Martellus Bennett but Forte has five carries for 56 yards on that drive. In the second quarter though, the Bears went away from the run, and Forte finished that quarter with three receptions compared with four carries. The receptions were more effective, the longest of which was a 13 yard one to start the quarter on 3rd and 2. Forte made the defender miss and broke it up field for a big gain and a 1st down. He nearly had a TD run late on the quarter, but it was called back on a holding penalty by Earl Bennett. Forte took a handoff on 1st and goal from the seven and was immediately pressured by the defense, Forte hesitated, Cut back and broke to the left pylon, running away from the defense but Bennett blocked a defender from behind and was flagged. Brandon Marshall eventually scored on a short pass from Josh McCown. Forte's last two carries were as the half was ending, and he fell down on the first one, losing 2 yards. The defense penetrated on the second; dropping him for another five yard loss, giving him -2 rushing yards for the quarter. In the third quarter on Chicago's opening drive, Forte broke an inside handoff to the outside for a big 10 yard gain and it looked like he would have another good quarter. But Chicago continued to focus on the short pass, and Forte finished the quarter with just five carries for 18 yards. In the fourth quarter, three of Forte's four touches were short passes. His longest was a short 12 yard check-down that he nearly took into the end zone, but was tackled at the one and Michael Bush finished off the drive. Forte was shaken up later in the quarter, but finished the game and looks to be fine for next week.
2013 Week 13 vs MIN (23 / 120 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 31 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte posted another solid performance, yet still managed to be kept out of the end zone. The problem that the Bears face is that they are not committing to the run. Forte carried the ball just five times on first three possessions of the game, and had only one run worth mentioning: a 16 yard delay where he swept off tackle found a ton of room with great downfield blocking and busted it up field for a big gain. On the run, he passed Neal Anderson to become Chicago's #2 player in total yards from scrimmage (behind Walter Payton of course). In the second quarter, Forte was more effective at moving the ball, and he opened the quarter with a nice 11 yard run as he knifed his way through the line. He followed it up on the next play with a 7 yard run up the middle and a third consecutive run for four more and a second first down. But the Bears went away from him again, and he had just two carries for no yards the rest of the half. On Chicago's second series of the third quarter though, Forte broke loose. After a quick pump fake to the right, Josh McCown turned and handed to Forte who took off to the left, beat the defender and then cut back over the middle. He tore into the open field and eventually was run down by the safeties after a huge 41 yard gain. It was his biggest run of the day and a dagger into the hearts of the Vikings after the 80 yard TD bomb to Alshon Jeffery on the previous series. On the next offensive series, Forte lined up as a wide receiver on the right side. Working one-on-one, Forte was able to get open and McCown dropped a beautiful pass right into his breadbasket that Forte was able to catch before running out of bounds for another 26 yard gain. In the 4th quarter, Forte was bottled up again though, and only two of his five carries went for positive yards. In the overtime period, he chipped in five more carries for 24 yards, setting up the Bears to win on a late field goal. Unfortunately Robbie Gould missed the kick and the Bears lost the game despite an excellent effort from Forte.
2013 Week 14 vs DAL (20 / 102 / 0 rush, 9 / 7 / 73 / 1 rec)
Matt Forte had a big day against a cold, overmatched and injured Dallas defense. On Chicago's first drive of the game, Forte showed text-book blocking skills, picking up the blitz and allowing Josh McCown to make the throws that he needed. Forte was stuffed on a couple carries for minimal yards, but ripped off seven yards on a draw play for a first down, and 12 yards on a pitch to the outside on the next play. Two plays later, Forte ran off tackle for another big 13 yard gain and the Bears were off to a big day. Forte had a quiet second quarter, finishing with more receiving than rushing yards on a couple short check-down passes. Forte opened the third quarter though with three straight receptions, including a swing pass to the right where he was wide open and just took off down the right side of the field for a big 34 yard gain. That drive led to a field goal and on Chicago's next possession, Forte really put the game away. About half way through the third quarter, he took a sweep around the right side for a seven yard gain, and the next play, he ran straight up the gut for another 10. He was tackled hard and had to sit out for a couple plays, but came back after two plays, and ran three straight carries up the gut for 20 total yards, bring Chicago down to the four yard line. On the next play, Josh McCown faked an end around to Alshon Jeffery, then rolled out and flipped the ball to Forte who was in front of him in the flat. Forte powered his way into the end zone for a four yard TD reception and basically put the game away for the Bears. In the fourth quarter with time winding down, the Bears turned to Forte to put the game away. He had a nice 18 yard run where he started off the left tackle, then cut back right and got to the edge for a big gain. A few plays later on 3rd and 13, he took a check down pass and was able to find an open spot, ran to the first down marker and then slid down in bounds, keeping the clock running and giving Chicago another first down. He finished the day with 175 total yards from scrimmage and the touchdown reception.
2013 Week 15 vs CLE (24 / 127 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte had a solid game for the Bears, even if he didn't make it into the end zone. He completed his third consecutive game with more than 100 yards rushing, and seemed to get stronger as the game wore on. Forte started the game slow, with just 27 yards on his first six carries of the game. His first carry went for 12 yards, on a play where he bounced the run outside and pushed into the second level of the defense for a nice gain. In the second quarter, is five carries only yielded 17 total yards, 15 of which came on a pitch to Forte where he was able to hit the outside edge and get up field. It would set the tone for the second half. The third quarter set the table with all positive yards, and is four carries resulted in 20 yards rushing. He carried the ball three consecutive times on their opening drive of the third quarter, resulting in 18 yards with Forte running out of the I formation. However, in the fourth quarter, Forte took advantage of Cleveland's fear of Alshon Jeffery on the end around. On multiple carries, the Bears would motion Jeffery across the back of the line of scrimmage, and then fake to him after the snap, and pitch it to Forte who would run toward the spot that Jeffery left open. The first time Chicago ran this, it sprung Forte for 19 yard and eventually led to the TD pass to Earl Bennett. He had a 24 yard run on the next series that was essentially the same play. Forte took a break on the next play and Michael Bush took the next carry 40 yards to the house.
2013 Week 16 vs PHI (9 / 29 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 25 / 0 rec)
When your quarterback has more rushing yards than your running back in the first half, you know it's going to be a long game. Forte finished the first half with five touches for just 11 total yards. On his first carry of the third quarter, he was tackled for a one yard loss in the end zone for a safety. He padded his stats with two check down receptions at the end of the third quarter when the Bears were facing 3rd and 18. Those 19 yards gave him 33 total yards to that point. He had a couple nice carries when the Bears were down 40-11, but was eventually pulled with eight minutes to go since the game was out of reach.
2013 Week 17 vs GB (22 / 110 / 2 rush, 4 / 4 / 47 / 1 rec)
Matt Forte finished the season with one of his best games. Too bad it was in a losing effort. After a terrible outing against Philadelphia, Forte opened the game strong against the Packers. On his second carry of the game, Alshon Jeffery came in motion, but instead of handing the ball to him, Jay Cutler handed it to Forte who took it off tackle toward the spot that Jeffery started from. Forte cut to the outside and there was no one in front of him, and he rumbled 20 yards for a big 1st down. A few plays later, from 3rd and goal at the 5, Forte released into the flat, cut toward the center of the end zone, then spun and ran for the pylon. Cutler put the ball on him perfectly and Forte took the ball into the end zone for Chicago's first score. In the second quarter, the Bears took to the air and Forte had just three carries for 10 yards. He opened the third quarter with a cutback run that was good for 15 yards. He carried the ball four more times on the drive, taking the last one into the end zone for his second touchdown and giving Chicago the lead again. On the next series, he carried the ball three times out of four plays, the only other play being the 67 yard bomb to Alshon Jeffery that ended at the one yard line. Forte took the first and goal handoff into the end zone for his third score of the day. On the final drive of the third quarter (which actually ended in the 4th), Forte took a carry up the middle and was stuffed. However, he bounced back and cut to the outside. The defense strung him out, but he had a step and kept going toward the sideline until he got to the edge and cut up field. He danced along the sideline and ran ahead for a big 16 yard gain. On the next play, Forte released into the middle of the field, then broke to the left sideline. Forte was wide open and the defense lost track of him. Cutler put the ball on him and he took of up the field, making people miss and rumbling 33 yards for a big first down. Three plays later Brandon Marshall scored to put the Bears up by 8. Forte had one long run in the 4th quarter, a pitch to the outside on 3rd and 2. On the play, Alshon Jeffery motioned toward the middle of the field, and Cutler pitched it to Forte going the other way.
2012 Week 1 vs IND (16 / 80 / 1 rush, 6 / 3 / 40 / 0 rec)
Forte has a 'quiet' game. Quiet for a guy who churned out 120 yards from scrimmage. Forte showed veteran patience, taking what the defense was giving him, and gashing them for medium and long gains while keeping the chains moving and proving he is exactly the back that he was last season. On one particular play, Cutler checked down to him, but the ball was thrown a little long. Forte made a great one-handed grab, and broke to the open field for a bit 31 yard gain. The only 'drawback' to Forte was that he was definitely pulled near the goal-line, and Michael Bush is definitely the red zone back for the Bears. He'll probably get a few TDS this season, but he will definitely lose a few to Bush as well. In the 4th quarter with the game well in hand, the Bears pulled Forte and ground out the clock with Bush.
2012 Week 2 vs GB (7 / 31 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 49 / 0 rec)
Forte struggled against and aggressive Green Bay Defense this week, and he had very limited success against them before he was hurt. Forte missed a block on DJ. Smith on the first play from scrimmage, allowing Cutler to be sacked for a big 13 yard loss. He gained 12 yards on next two plays, but they were both runs up the middle because the Bears had been backed up to their own goal line. On the next series, Forte showed good patience on a sweep, waiting for the opening before diving forward for a six yard gain. Cutler tried to check down to him two plays later on third and nine, but Forte was well defended and couldn't come up with the catch. It looked like the Packers should have been flagged for pass interference on the play, but it was not called. Near the end of the first quarter on second and 20, Forte took a screen pass from Cutler, but the Packers picked it up and he was dropped for a two yard loss. Out of the shotgun on 3rd and 22, he took the inside hand-off up the gut for seven and the Bears had to punt. Before the half, Forte released over the middle from a shotgun formation and Cutler dumped the ball to him for a nice 22 yard catch and run. It looked like the Bears would be able to move the ball a bit, but Cutler was picked off two plays later. Forte opened the second half with five touches on the first six plays. The last was a nice 14 yard catch and run from the flat, but when he was tackled, his ankle was rolled-up underneath him and he had to leave the game. He was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain and he will be out for the next few games, possibly until after the bye week during week six.
2012 Week 4 vs DAL (13 / 52 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / -3 / 0 rec)
Forte came into this game nursing an ankle injury, and after an eight yard run up the gut on the first play of the game, he walked off the field in frustration and needed to have his ankle re-taped. However, returned later in the same series and took a short screen pass but was stuffed behind the line for a loss of 3. On Chicago's first series of the second quarter, Forte looked to be fully recovered. He gashed the Cowboys for runs of nine and 14 yards both to the outside and straight up the guy. He ran hard through arm tackles, and didn't seem to be bothered by the fact that Dallas was getting good penetration. He finished the drive with five carries for 36 yards and it led to a Robbie Gould field goal. Dallas controlled the ball for the rest of the quarter, but Forte again took the field to start the third quarter. He had just three carries though as the Bears were moving the ball through the air and their defense was creating turnovers and scoring TDS. Forte opened the 4th quarter with three carries for just four yards before leaving the game with Chicago well out in front. He looked solid in the second quarter and should be ready to go next week against Jacksonvill
2012 Week 5 vs JAX (22 / 107 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 20 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte had his first 100 yard rushing game since week nine against Philadelphia last season. He ran strong against an overmatched Jacksonville defense, and finished the day with over 125 yards from scrimmage. He could have had even more if the Bears would have continued to run the ball. Forte looked like he could gash the Jaguars for three to five yards every time he touched the ball. He had six carries in the first quarter and only one of them was for less than five yards. On one run, Cutler audibled to a run after seeing the defense spread out to cover the four WR on third and five. Forte took an inside hand-off up the gut, cut back and rumbled for a big 10 yard gain and a 1st down. Three plays later, Forte went off tackle, hesitated a step and then exploded through the line for another 14 yards. Forte's two catches came with under two minutes to play in the first half. Jacksonville had just fumbled the ball deep in Chicago territory, and the Bears were looking to get out of trouble first, and possibly score before the half. Forte initially stayed in to block, then released into the flat, where Cutler hit him for a short eight yard gain. On the next play, Cutler checked-down to Forte who had a nice 12 yard catch and run to put the Bears near mid-field. He might have had another pass come his way on the next play, but he was tripped up running through the line as he released, and Cutler was forced to scramble and go to Kellen Davis instead. Cutler went to him once more just before the half, but the ball was thrown too low and it fell incomplete. In the second half, Forte was slowed down a bit, and he finished the third quarter with only four carries for five yards. In the fourth however, he continued to dominate the Jaguars, and he had six carries of four or more yards, before giving way to Armando Allen when the game was well out of Jacksonville's reach.
2012 Week 7 vs DET (22 / 96 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 4 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte was the workhorse for the Bears in this game, despite being held in check on almost every play. The Lions were ready for any check downs or screens to Forte and he finished the game with just three receptions for four yards. 12 of his 22 carries were for two yards or less, and his biggest play came in the first three minutes of the game. After opening the game with two runs up the gut that were stuffed, Forte took a handoff and ran off-tackle, splitting the defense on the left side and raced untouched into the defensive secondary. By the time the Lions were able to recover, Forte was 39 yards down the field, setting up Chicago's only TD pass to Brandon Marshall on the next play. He had a nice eight yard run up the gut on a shotgun delay, where he cut back across the middle, juked and powered forward for solid gain on 2nd and 10. Three plays later, Forte showed good patience on a sweep, following his blockers and picking his way forward for five yards on 1st and 10. Unfortunately he was stuffed on the next run, a sweep to the right and after a sack and a blocked field goal, the Bears came up empty handed. With Jay Cutler in the locker room for X-Rays on his ribs and Jason Campbell at QB, the Bears turned to Forte to close out the half - and they called his number four times in a row to end the second quarter, the longest play being a nine yard run up the right side of the field. In the second half, it was more of the same - with Forte's longest run coming in the third quarter. He carried the ball four times in five plays, starting with a solid five yard run on 1st and 12 after a false start penalty. On the next play he cut to the outside after clearing the line, and burst up field for an 11 yard gain from his own eight yard line. The Lions clamped down though and Forte's next carry was just for one yard, and the quick pass to him hit the ground well before he could come up with it. Late in the game, with under three minutes to play, the Bears ran Forte three times up the gut to grind the clock. He was stuffed twice and had a nice six yard run in the middle. He finished just short of 100 yards rushing, but worked for every yard.
2012 Week 8 vs CAR (15 / 70 / 1 rush, 5 / 5 / 24 / 0 rec)
If you were still worried Matt Forte would split carries with Mike Bush, this game wiped those fears away. Forte got almost all the carries and had a very effective game. So much so that it's hard to fathom not running him more when the offense was struggling for three quarters. Forte ran with authority, made defenders miss and sometimes bowled them over. On his touchdown run late in the first, he took a delayed handoff from Jay Cutler and blew through the hole the offensive line had opened for him. Then he turned on the speed and ran almost untouched for the score. A few plays earlier, he took a handoff from Cutler and went right, speeding around the corner and getting to the second level before Carolina could even react. Forte actually had a lot of success getting to the corner and turning it for positive yards. Forte was very effective all day, alternately showing tremendous speed and a willingness to run hard through trash. He also looked very effective receiving the ball. Again, though, it is a mystery why Forte wasn't used more by the Bears when the passing offense was so clearly struggling for much of the game. Forte had a good game--he could have had a huge game though.
2012 Week 9 vs TEN (12 / 103 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 45 / 0 rec)
Forte played great today as well, as he rewarded his owners with some strong play. Forte started his day by bouncing off of three defenders and then dragging the entire pile into the endzone for an 8 yard TD. Later in the half, Forte took a screen pass, and made two beautiful cuts at full speed, streaking from the right side, to the left side and getting 47 yards downfield. Then in the 3rd quarter, he made one cut and then exploded through a big hole, as the Titans only had 6 defenders in the box, and he burst downfield for 46 yards. Forte looks so smooth and effortless when he runs. Those two big runs helped Forte 148 yards despite only getting 14 touches. Forte obviously would have been used more if the game had been closer, but he barely played in the 4th quarter and the defensive TD's kept the offense off of the field.
2012 Week 10 vs HOU (16 / 39 / 0 rush, 5 / 2 / -3 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte was completely shut down in this game. Between the poor weather conditions and the relentless Houston defense, Forte was never able to get anything going. Of his 18 touches, only one of them went for a first down. It came on back to back carries to start the second half which turned out to be his longest carries of the day - seven and eight yard plunges up the gut to start the second half. Aside from those two carries, Forte had just 21 total yards from scrimmage. Even when the Bears tried to swing it to him on a pass out of the backfield, Forte was stopped for no gain on one and dropped for a three yard loss late in the game. On a day when the Chicago offense struggled to throw the ball, Forte's lack of production only magnified their total lack of offense.
2012 Week 11 vs SF (21 / 63 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 4 / 0 rec)
No matter how far behind Chicago got they didn't abandon the run, even calling five run plays on their final drive while behind 32-7. Unfortunately for Forte, the amount of touches didn't result in a productive day, as the running back met contact at the line of scrimmage on almost every run. There were times when the Chicago offensive line was able to open a hole, and though Forte was able to hit these holes hard, the San Francisco defense was always able to cap the run at the second level. Without any blockers creating gaps in the second level, Forte was only able to pick up four or five yard gains at best. As the game wore on, Forte looked slower to the hole as the defense filled gaps. Chicago tried to get Forte in space with screens, but Patrick Willis made numerous plays to beat the blocker and stop screens before any yards could be gained. With success in the passing game, perhaps some holes could have opened up as the game wore on, but the passing game was even more disastrous than the running game, and Forte was left running in to walls of defenders on every touch.
2012 Week 12 vs MIN (14 / 42 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte was only marginally effective running the ball during the first 2 ½ quarters of the game before leaving with an ankle injury mid-way through the third quarter. Until that point, Forte's longest run from scrimmage was just six yards, and he was averaging just three yards per carry. The four yards that he had receiving were on a play where Jay Cutler was under pressure and nearly sacked. Cutler lofted a lame duck pass in Forte's direction on 3rd and 13, but Forte was able to come down with it for just a four yard gain. It killed the second series of the game for the Bears. Forte also had his first fumble of the season on the opening carry -where his arm hit Evan Rodriguez as he ran by him and the ball popped out and Minnesota recovered. The injury play was late in the third quarter, and was also nearly a fumble that Minnesota returned for a TD. But the replay showed that Forte's knees were down before he was bent backwards and the ball was stripped out. He was considered down and he had to be helped off the field. Forte was visibly limping on the sideline and limped back into the locker room. His status for next week and beyond is currently unknown.
2012 Week 13 vs SEA (21 / 66 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 30 / 1 rec)
Forte started the game slow, with his first four carries being stuffed for a total of negative two rushing yards. He had marginal success as the game wore on, but overall his running was contained pretty well by the Seattle defense. While nothing specific contributed to Forte's poor day rushing the ball, the poor blocking on the offensive line certainly contributed. Forte frequently was met at the line of scrimmage or even in the backfield, and he struggled to make any progress between the tackles or when he tried to bounce it outside. His first positive yards came on a nice designed screen late in the first quarter, and Forte was able to break it for 11 yards and a first down on 3rd and 10. He had four more carries on the drive for 17 yards total, but was stopped short of the first down early in the second quarter and Michael Bush wasn't able to pick it up either. The Bears leaned on him heavily in the third quarter, but his longest run was just a 10 yard off tackle that he was able to break to the outside and power up field. He ended the drive though being split out wide to the left and cutting across the middle on a slant, making a diving catch and sliding into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. His last two carries were a delayed handoff, good for seven yards on 3rd and 21 and the 2 yard run to center the ball for Robbie Gould's game-tying field goal as time expired.
2012 Week 14 vs MIN (13 / 85 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 34 / 0 rec)
The Stat sheet might show that Forte did OK in this game, but the truth of the matter is that Chicago abandoned the run in the second half of this game, and over half of his receiving yards came on the final drive of the game. While Adrian Peterson opened the game with a huge first quarter, Forte struggled with just four carries for 11 yards and one reception for a one yard loss. Forte was most effective when going off tackle and bouncing to the outside, depending on how the Vikings were rushing the QB. In the second quarter he had a nice 15 yard run on a delay, where he showed good patience, and picked his way forward for a nice run. It turned out to be his best play of the half though, and the only other play of note was an eight yard screen with under a minute to play in the first half. Forte opened the third quarter for the Bears with five touches on Chicago's first drive, but it only resulted in 25 yards from scrimmage. At the end of the third quarter, Forte had his longest run of the day, a 36 yard off tackle sprint where he bounced it to the outside and was able to get around the defenders for a huge gain. In the 4th quarter though, the Bears only used him as a receiver on the final drive, and he did have a nice catch on a deep crossing route where he lined up on the outside, then cut across the middle for an 18 yard gain. It set up the TD pass to Brandon Marshall two plays later.
2012 Week 15 vs GB (20 / 69 / 0 rush, 8 / 5 / 64 / 0 rec)
The Bears started things off by leaning on Forte for four straight Forte runs to start the game, and the running back delivered for 37 yards on that opening gambit. Then Packer nose tackle B.J. Raji started getting into the backfield and it pretty much fell apart. Forte was hit often behind the line, either by Raji or Clay Matthews. Even when they didn't take him down, they slowed him enough for someone else to do it. Forte did have a very nice run called back on a Gabe Carimi penalty where the running back saw the hole closing and made a pretty cutback so he could get to the edge. On the other hand, without that hold, Forte doesn't get away. One of his best runs came in the middle of the 2nd quarter. Forte took the ball deep in the backfield on a play which looks like it was designed for an off tackle/up the middle run. However, Forte instantly saw he wasn't going to get any yards going that way, and switched directions to head outside. He shows some tremendous speed as he heads to the corner, leaving one defender grasping for air as he turns upfield and gains a first down. He finishes by lowering his shoulder and delivering a great hit on the tacklers. The Bears fell behind and got away from the run game, but still threw the ball to Forte quite a bit on checkdowns and screens, both of which were effective. They haven't been doing that as much this season, so hopefully this is something they'll do more of in the last two games because it works.
2012 Week 16 vs ARI (12 / 88 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Forte left the game with an ankle injury and while he seemed to be begging the staff to let him back in, there was no point given the beating the team was giving the Cardinals without him. When Forte was in the game he had great success behind a line which was opening some huge holes for him, particularly on his touchdown where he got into the end zone virtually untouched. Most of the time the offensive line did a good job of getting him off the line before first contact and when they couldn't Forte continues to break tackles and make defenders miss regularly. Forte's injury is reportedly not serious and he wants to play next week. Given how vital it is (Chicago has to win if they even want a chance to make the playoffs) he likely will. On the downside, he was seen leaving the stadium in a walking boot and the ankle he injured is the same one which has bothered him for some time. The Bears face a tough decisions in that they need him to win, but they do not want to cost themselves his services if they make the playoffs because they abused him. As for this game, Forte showed his power and vision once again in his one half of play pre-injury and if healthy, will continue to be a force for the Bears.
2012 Week 17 vs DET (24 / 103 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)
Forte was extremely effective at running the ball, and he showed no signs that his ankle injury was slowing him down. He ran with authority up the gut, made solid cut backs and showed good power and speed when trying to get to the outside. His longest run was just 13 yards, but on the play he was running left, then stopped on a dime and cut back to the middle. The defense was caught off guard and when they tried to adjust, Forte quickly changed direction and ran back the other way for another four yards. On the final drive of the game, Forte had another nice 13 yard run where he powered up the middle, was hit and dragged his tackler another three yards to get the first down and put the game away. Forte also had a nice 18 yard catch and run screen in the 1st quarter. The Lions had the play well defended, but Forte showed good patience and used his blocker well, cutting back when the defense tried to close down on him and running for another 10 yards.
2011 Week 1 vs ATL (16 / 68 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 90 / 1 rec)
Forte has a huge day on Sunday against the Falcons and most of it came on one play. Forte was able to turn a simple screen pass into a huge catch and run for a touchdown. Forte eluded defenders and a very poor bounce-off tackle by ATL LB Weatherspoon led to an easy score and a big blow to the Falcons. Forte was the engine of this offense as he caught most of the passes and got most of the runs early in the game. Forte is a consistent threat out of the backfield and between the tackles, he is the true workhorse back for Chicago. Forte ran well on outside run plays, turned check downs into first downs and even managed to chew up clock nicely towards the end of the game to seal the game for Chicago.
2011 Week 2 vs NO (10 / 49 / 0 rush, 14 / 10 / 117 / 0 rec)
How he only comes out of the game with 10 carries is beyond belief. The Bears actually had the lead early on and then they were in the game most of the way but just abandoned the run. Forte had a 42 yard run on the Bears opening drive which set the tone and ended up being the Bears only TD drive of the day. Martz called Forte's number to run the ball at the 6:00 mark of the 3rd Q and would never call a running play the rest of the game. In fact Mike Martz only called 2 running plays the entire 2nd half. Luckily for PPR leagues, Forte had a lot in the passing game. Mostly because Roy Williams was OUT and Bennett was OUT on the 1st drive. Forte has continued to look good although when you factor in most of his rushing yards came on one play, he certainly didn't do much with the rest of the carries but you have to keep calling his number so he can get a rhythm going on the ground.
2011 Week 3 vs GB (9 / 2 / 0 rush, 8 / 7 / 80 / 0 rec)
Forte had a terrible day rushing the ball for the Bears. At the end of the first half, Forte had just two rushing yards on six carries. He opened the third quarter with two runs for -3 yards as well. The Bears all but abandoned the running game after that, and Forte had just one short carry for 3 yards after that. His contributions in the passing game were solid as ever, including a great catch and run near the end of the first half for 28 yards. The Packers gambled on a corner blitz and Forte released into the gap that was created with the blitzing DBS. Cutler hung tough and dumped the ball to Forte who had tons of daylight in front of him after making the catch and rumbled for a big 28 yard gain that set up a Robbie Gould FG just before half time. In the second half, Forte was basically the short check-down guy, catching passes over the middle and in the flat when Cutler couldn't find anything downfield. He had five receptions for 43 yards in the 4th quarter alone, including two for 16 yards with under a minute to play.
2011 Week 4 vs CAR (25 / 205 / 1 rush, 5 / 4 / 23 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte had a career day rushing against the Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field, following up a performance of similar quality against the Panthers last season. Forte assumed the role of the de facto bell cow for this offense from the first offensive snap. There were no passes on the first drive, a drive which included a beautiful run by Forte as he broke a 40+ yard run off right tackle and followed his blocks at the second level. The Bears offensive line worked cohesively on off tackle runs, inside zone runs, traps and counters. Forte, as a result, was able to see the hole quickly and attack it with speed and without hesitation. On Forte's rushing touchdown in the first half, the Bears pulled two linemen and made a convoy for Forte to follow; he strode untouched to pay dirt. Forte was utilised less as a receiver against the Panthers, mainly because the Bears were having such success pounding it play after play. Forte deserves his status as one of the premiere backs in the league. He consistently runs with good body lean, demonstrates good power in contact with defenders, has more than enough wiggle to make defenders miss and has tremendous vision to spot the cutback lane and hit it.
2011 Week 5 vs DET (22 / 116 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 35 / 0 rec)
Early in the game on the 2nd drive for the Bears, Forte took a hand off and NDamukong Suh the all world DT for the Lions was already in the backfield. That might not be a surprise but what was interesting is that Forte broke Suh's one arm tackle and turned what should have been a negative play into a positive gain so instead of 2nd and 12 it was 2nd and 7. That is a huge 5 yard swing and it does so many positive things for the Bears offense. Also there are not a lot of RBs in the NFL that will make Suh miss or break his tackles once he gets his arms on you. Forte had a lot of terrific runs throughout the night but that little run right there won't show up on the stat sheets the way you are reading it now. Those are the type of runs that keep RBs in ball games all the time and force more plays to go thru them. Matt Forte has contract running out soon and whether he is with the Bears or elsewhere it seems apparent that he will be an NFL starting RB for years to come. In the 2nd quarter he had a real nice run with Johnny Knox in motion on a 2 WR set and then once Knox went from right to left, Forte took the hand off and went streaking up the right sideline for a big 1st down after the Lions had just put a quick 7 on the board. It definitely settled the Bears down and allowed them to move down the field and put points on the board. Later in the 2nd quarter he ran behind an unbalanced line where the Bears had shifted an extra OLineman to the right and Forte plowed behind them into open space for a big 23 yard gain. Later on he was following his blocks well on some zone blocking calls by Martz. He had one bad drop on a pass where Cutler hit him between the 2 and the 2 on his jersey but from a running standpoint he was terrific all night.
2011 Week 6 vs MIN (17 / 87 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 36 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte again was the heart and soul of the Chicago offense, and he was a big part of why the Bears were able to get out early and slowly choke the life out of the Vikings as the game wore on. He had a good day statistically that could have been a great day if Marion Barber hadn't stolen a few key carries from him, including the three yard TD run near the end of the 1st quarter. On the play before, Forte ran into the pile, bounced outside and was able to get to the edge for a big 21 yard gain. It set up first and goal, and the Bears brought in Barber to punch the ball into the end zone. Ultimately, the offensive line opened up a hole that was so big that anyone could have scored, but Forte was ultimately the guy who lost out. He continued to be effective, both running and catching the ball out of the backfield. The Bears even worked in a designed screen which Forte was able to break for a short catch and run. When the game was well out of reach, Hanie turned to Barber and handed the ball off to him several times to wind down the clock. It ultimately cost Forte another 25 yards or so in rushing, but the welcome rest was probably worth it by that point. Going forward, Forte will continue to be the every down back for the Bears, but a small concern may be that the Bears may pull him at the goal line to give Barber the chance to pound it in.
2011 Week 7 vs TB (25 / 145 / 1 rush, 4 / 2 / 38 / 0 rec)
Forte had yet another game that just demands that he gets paid like the elite RB he is right now. He showed terrific patience and burst once he saw the hole line up. Forte won collisions and got yards after contact. He flashed moves at speed in the open field on his 32-yard TD run. Forte also used his superior vision to find lanes outside when nothing was open between the tackles. He was tackled in the end zone for a safety, but he had no chance after being met in the backfield. He wasn't featured as a receiver because he was such an effective runner, although Forte did have a long catch and run inside the five and an end zone target to show he can still generate tons of fantasy value in the passing game. Forte did let Cutler down on a whiffed pass block that resulted in pressure that forced an interception, and he seemed unaware that he was the hot read on one target, but these were minor flaws in a terrific day for Forte.
2011 Week 9 vs PHI (24 / 133 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 17 / 0 rec)
Forte had about the worst day a running back with 150 yards could have. He was absolutely deadly on runs around the edge, running through huge holes and then making defenders miss downfield. The Eagles simply had no answer for him early on and he drove the Bears down the field on their first drive almost completely on his own. Almost, because once he got to the red zone he had 4 carries for 7 yards and the Bears finished the drive in the air. In fact, Forte had 7 carries inside the red zone and totaled just 15 yards. The other major negative for Forte was an uncharacteristic lack of ball control. His first fumble was almost forgivable as he made a difficult catch in the flats and was spinning around, while trying to move the ball from one arm to another, when it was stripped. The second fumble came when he tried to hurdle a defender and was hit in mid-air. Both fumbles came in Bears territory and both led to Eagles TDs so when the Bears got the ball back after the second Forte was on the sideline and Marion Barber was doing the heavy lifting. Forte got just one carry on the drive but returned to prominence with 9:25 left in the game. He had 6 carries for 25 yards on the drive that took 5:27 off the clock and stretched the Bears lead to 6. Forte looked every bit as elusive as his yardage totals suggest but the fumbles and lack of red zone success dampened what could have been an amazing night.
2011 Week 10 vs DET (18 / 64 / 1 rush, 5 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
The Lions came into the game knowing that the Chicago offense flowed through Matt Forte and they were determined to stop him. For the most part, it worked. Aside from his big 40 yard run in the third quarter, Forte had just 24 yards on 17 carries. His TD run was a nice six yard blast up the gut where he followed his blocker to the hole, but cut back to the left when he saw more daylight and barreled into the end zone. It was Chicago's only offensive TD of the game. His big run in the third quarter came on a delayed handoff; Forte showed good patience as he hit the line, found the seam and blew through the hole. As he ran through arm tackles, he turned on the after burners and ran away from the Detroit front seven, being chased down by the secondary after a huge 40 yard gain. It was Chicago's biggest offensive play of the day and saved fantasy owners from a 'so-so' performance.
2011 Week 11 vs SD (20 / 57 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 26 / 0 rec)
Forte entered the game as one of the busiest backs in the league so far this season. After the first few series, however, it was very apparent that the San Diego gameplan was to eliminate Forte from the equation and force the Chicago passing game to beat them. They did. And they did. Forte was bottled up right from the outset, as there was very little room to run whatsoever. When the Bears did get a goal line opportunity, it was Marion Barber who got the carries inside the five yard line (the second one resulting in a 1-yard touchdown plunge) or Jay Cutler taking it in from a yard out (diving over the pile for a score of his own). In the second half, both teams pretty much went away from the running game. Forte did get an opportunity to salvage a decent fantasy game with a goal line carry after a long Johnny Knox catch, but he was stood up at the goal line after no gain. Forte had a late carry up the middle on which the ball was stripped away. However, replays confirmed that the ball had been stripped away after Forte's knee was already down.
2011 Week 12 vs OAK (12 / 59 / 0 rush, 10 / 6 / 25 / 0 rec)
Forte did not have the monster game most thought he would. This was due to the Bears playing from behind for most of the game and also the re-emergence of an old fantasy star RB Marion Barber. Finally it didn't help that the Bears couldn't really move the ball in the first 3 quarters of the game. Forte looked good on his carries but the Raiders did a great job of covering his pass routes. This hampered Forte from breaking off any long pass receptions. He had a nice 33 yard run in the first half on a delayed hand off. Forte showed some great moves in the open field and was able to break free for that long run. This was a floor game for Forte but it will be important to monitor the carries that he & Barber receive going forward. Barber looked more than just a change-of-pace back, and this could turn into more of committee situation.
2011 Week 13 vs KC (5 / 12 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Forte started this game, and was making limited progress against the Chiefs in the first quarter. He had five carries for just 12 yards, and with about six minutes left in the first quarter, he was tackled hard no gain and went down hard. He left the game and did not return. X-Ray and MRI show that he has a Grade 2 MCL sprain and will probably miss the rest of the season. Preliminary reports officially list him as lost for 2-6 weeks but given the severity of the injury, you can expect that Forte is done for the year.
2010 Week 1 vs DET (17 / 50 / 0 rush, 7 / 7 / 151 / 2 rec)
Matt Forte proved that he's not ready to hand over the starting jot to Chester Taylor just yet. Forte finished the game with twice as many touches as Taylor did (24 compared with 12 for Taylor), and led the Bears in receptions and total yards. He also scored the only two TDS of the game for Chicago. On the first, Forte took a designed screen pass deep in their own territory and broke it open for a huge 89 yard gain. On the second, he lined-up offset in the backfield, and broke down the left sideline after the snap. Cutler put the ball in perfect position, and Forte came down with the catch for a TD. His rushing stats were nothing to be excited about, and he was stuffed for no gain as often as he was able to make a few nice medium runs. Ultimately he finished with less than three yards per carry, but was still the primary focus of the rushing and passing attack.
2010 Week 2 vs DAL (10 / 29 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 37 / 1 rec)
Forte had another solid game in week 2. Mike Martz chose to attack the Cowboys through the air rather then on the ground so Forte had fewer carries then expected again this week. That said, Forte was placed all over the field in the passing game from the slot spot to split end to in-moition out of the backfield. Forte's best catch came on a 3 yard touchdown haul. On the play, Forte lined up as split end to the left side of the line of scrimmage. On the snap, Forte headed to the back left corner of the end zone, hauling in a perfectly thrown fade pass, looking more like a wide receiver then a running back. Forte's runs were fairly pedestrian outside of a 13 yard gain that came off tackle to the right in the third quarter. Otherwise, most of his rushes were for between -2 and 2 yards as the Bears sought to run only as a way to keep the Cowboys' front seven honest.
2010 Week 3 vs GB (11 / 29 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)
When they did hand the ball off there wasn't a lot of room for Forte and the offensive line was not opening up many holes. Mike Martz didn't call a lot of running plays in the 1st half especially. He was more concerned with trying to stretch the defense out perhaps to create more running lanes in the 2nd half. On the opening drive of the game Forte did have his number called several times but the Bears went away from the running game especially after they fell behind 10-0. Unlike other weeks where Forte has feasted on receptions and receiving touchdowns it was not to be last night. Forte had a good chance to score towards the end of the football game and it would have been in Green Bay's best interest to allow him to score but he was stuffed a couple times near the goal line and Chicago ended up kicking a FG with almost no time remaining. Forte has not run the ball that well in any game so far this season. Probably due to an offensive line that is very suspect and more concerned about keeping Cutler upright for now.
2010 Week 4 vs NYG (12 / 26 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)
Forte touched the ball a good number of times but was not able to do anything with it. Chicago's offensive line did not do any better blocking for the run than they did for the pass. Forte was met at or behind several times on runs up the middle. His highlights were an 11 yard pickup on a one man screen pass and an 8 yard run to the outside where he showed some speed.
2010 Week 5 vs CAR (22 / 166 / 2 rush, 2 / 2 / 22 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte ran with tremendous purpose on Sunday, displaying all of the characteristics that we saw from him in his great 2008 rookie year. When the blocks didn't develop for him between the tackles, he would patiently scan the field with his eyes and identify a running lane, finding it with increased regularity as the game wore on. Forte's first touchdown of the day - and incidentally the Bears first rushing touchdown as a team - came on a nice toss to the left side. LB Jon Beason lost his contain and allowed Forte to get outside with no defenders in his vicinity for a go-ahead score. Forte scored a 68 yard touchdown later in the first quarter to put the Bears in control when he spotted S Charles Godfrey out of position and cut back to the open side of the formation where he was supposed to be. Forte turned on the jets and showed surprising acceleration as he hit pay dirt. Forte had a complete performance at the running back position today and reminded us what a talent he truly is.
2010 Week 6 vs SEA (8 / 11 / 1 rush, 7 / 3 / 40 / 0 rec)
Forte had a quiet day on the ground, as the Bears quickly abandoned the running game in favour of the passing game. He had a strong inside run for a touchdown early in the game, pushing defenders back into the endzone for an important Chicago score. Forte had some looks in the passing game after play action or in screens, but he had too few touches to work with and not many red zone opportunities.
2010 Week 7 vs WAS (10 / 41 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 32 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte is getting the lion's share of the work for the Bears out of the backfield and is finding ways to be productive even when his carries are few and far between. He had 5 receptions on Sunday against the Redskins and even though he did not find the endzone in an effort to add to his 6 total touchdowns, he did have 73 total yards on 15 touches in the loss. Unfortunately, Forte contributed to the Bears' possession woes as he fumbled deep in Washington territory with the Bears trailing by four points. Forte is running with good vision and gaining yards after contact, which was one of his biggest problems in 2009. While Mike Martz still seems to have reservations about utilizing the running back to wear down the defensive front seven, Forte is at least creating positive yardage between the tackles when called upon.
2010 Week 9 vs BUF (14 / 49 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 12 / 0 rec)
While 49 yards on 14 touches and three receptions for 12 yards might be a decent day for some, many expected Forte to go to town on Buffalo's atrocious (32nd in the league heading into the game) rush defense. Forte also managed to convert a successful two-point conversion on a caught shovel pass. The Bears followed through on their claims about Chester Taylor being the teams goal-line back, with Forte being taken out after a 22-yard scamper (his longest on the day, coincidentally) where he was pushed out at the Buffalo 4-yard line. With touchdowns seemingly now only an option on long, broken runs, it would appear that Forte's value only remains high in PPR leagues thanks to his receiving skills out of the backfield. Hey, the proof was in the pudding heading into the season with past running back performances in Mike Martz offenses.
2010 Week 10 vs MIN (21 / 69 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
The Bears are a passing team that struggles to run the ball even when they have the lead in games. Forte received a heavy workload on the ground, but was unable to do much with it. The Vikings front 4 never allowed Forte to get momentum and routinely took him down near the line of scrimmage early in running plays. The Vikings maintained solid gap discipline in their defense and Forte could never find much running room, inside our outside. The Bears offensive line seems more suited to pass protection and could never seem to push the Vikings defensive line back far enough.
2010 Week 11 vs MIA (25 / 97 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)
Did the dirty work on the ground. Forte did not show tremendous speed but he had burst in short space. His best work of the night came in the mid 3rd quarter on a 13 play 7:00 plus drive that featured Forte going 7 for 38 yards and a drive capping touchdown that put the game well out of reach for the night. He even took the last 3 plays in a row and walked into the end zone. Miami knew what was coming and they couldn't stop him. This looked like a complete effort for Forte and one of the best he has had on the season.
2010 Week 12 vs PHI (14 / 117 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 22 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte rushed for 117 yards against Philadelphia, over half of which came on a first quarter 61-yard run inside the Eagles' 10-yard line after breaking through the middle of the defensive line and turning up the left sideline. Forte looked good as the feature tailback for the Bears, rushing hard and breaking past the first would-be tackler most of the game. Forte did yield a few carries to Chester Taylor, but Taylor did very little in that role - making Forte's usage in goal line situations more likely going forward. His matchup is excellent next week with Detroit up next in Week 13.
2010 Week 13 vs DET (13 / 64 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 36 / 0 rec)
The Lions didn't give Forte a lot of running room, but he ran hard and was able to get positive yardage most of the time. Forte also had a very nice run to the left side for a 14 yard TD, showing surprising speed, hitting the corner and outrunning the defenders. Then in the 2nd half, Forte showed off his hands as he caught a pass down the field for a 20 yard gain. Although Taylor ate into his carries a bit, Forte continued to do what he's done all year, and put solid fantasy points on the scoreboard. Forte will never blow you away with impressive speed or athletic ability, but he has very solid natural skills as a running back, seeming to get the most out of each play and showcasing very good vision.
2010 Week 14 vs NE (9 / 25 / 0 rush, 6 / 2 / 36 / 0 rec)
As you would imagine, Forte didn't have much of a day with the Bears trailing by such a wide margin. The Pats did a nice job of stuffing Forte in the first quarter though, which kept the Bears from getting early points and got them off the field. In the 2nd half, Forte had one nice gain as he caught a swing pass, and took it 30 yards down the left sideline, which setup the Bears only TD of the game.
2010 Week 15 vs MIN (17 / 92 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
Ran hard All night. He found some yards that weren't really there. Forte is tough to bring down and by far he showcased that on a play towards the end of the game where it looked initially like a 4 yard gain and his legs kept moving and eventually the pile moved another ten yards all the way down to the 4 yard line. But the drive stalled there after Forte was given a couple cracks at it and could not punch the ball in on three straight handoffs. It wasn't a great night for fantasy owners but he managed to get the job done in NFL terms.
2010 Week 16 vs NYJ (19 / 113 / 1 rush, 7 / 4 / 56 / 0 rec)
Forte was the first running back this year to top 100 yards against the Jets and he looked very good doing it. He ran with power and the Jets had a tremendous problem bringing him down. Some of that was just poor tackling but it was also because Forte just keeps churning his legs after contact. The offensive line was blocking well on Sunday and that makes a huge difference for the young running back as he has struggled at times when his line has struggled. But this week he was able to take advantage of solid blocking up front to get a head of speed on and at that point it was very hard to stop him. That power, as well as a fair amount of speed, was on display during his 22 yard touchdown run. Forte took the ball and ran off the right tackle, slipping through a hole the line opened up. The Jets had plenty of defenders in the area, but Forte turned on the afterburners and blew right past them before they could close on him. Once Forte was behind the initial group of defenders, he still had to contend with a pair of Jets players. Forte brushed off one player and then shoved his way past the second. While some of the success of that run was the poor tackling of the Jets, Forte's power and ability to keep fighting past first contact paid dividends on that play as well as many others.
2010 Week 17 vs GB (15 / 91 / 0 rush, 8 / 8 / 60 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte was very successful in this game both as a receiver and as a runner. Forte was fed the ball early and often on power running plays where he followed his backside guard as a lead blocker for good yardage. He was very patient as usual and explosive when he needed to be. Forte was an outlet for Cutler when he was under pressure from the Packers various blitz schemes, dumping it off to Forte who made some nice yards after the catch. Forte was quite simply the entire Bears offense in this game.
2010 Week 19 vs SEA (25 / 80 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 54 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte had a typical Matt Forte performance against Seattle. He showed good lower body strength as he broke a lot of arm tackles early on in the game to get the Bears rushing attack off to a good start. Forte did not break off any long gains but fought for the tough yards inside the tackles. He turned a screen pass into a 26 yard gain even though he had to reach back awkwardly to secure the football. Overall, Forte had a solid game for the Bears offense, which even after the first quarter turned to him to chew the clock and pound the rock.
2010 Week 20 vs GB (17 / 70 / 0 rush, 15 / 10 / 90 / 0 rec)
Forte was the one Bears offensive play who brought championship-level intensity from start to finish. He broke tackles and got yards after contact on a lot of touches, and he was the Bears leading receiver. His was such the focus of the game plan that he touched the ball on the Bears first four offensive plays, and he accounted for more yards than any other Bear. Forte even recovered a Jay Cutler fumble on a sack, and his three solid gains on Caleb Hanie's first three plays helped settle the young QB and give the Bears a chance to win. He has returned to the ranks of the league's elite RBs.
2009 Week 1 vs GB (25 / 55 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Forte struggled in Week 1, often getting first contact behind the line of scrimmage and not being able to get rolling. Yes, he did have 25 carries but he never seemed to get into the flow of the game. He was also kept from catching any passes - not that the Bears did not try. Green Bay DE Johnny Jolly made a terrific interception on an intended middle screen that was wide open for a Forte touchdown, a testament to how tough the Packer defense was in Week 1. Forte should continue to be the featured tailback going forward but it will not get any easier come next week against the Steelers.
2009 Week 2 vs PIT (13 / 29 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 33 / 0 rec)
Like the Steelers, the Bears showed little interest in establishing the run. Forte's best run of the day was modest run on third and long. His best reception of the day, on the Bears game-winning drive, ended in a fumble forced by James Harrison that Greg Olsen recovered. This was expected to be a bad matchup for Forte, and it lived down to expectations. The Bears also spelled Forte for a bit in the first half during the 97-yard drive, and he surrendered a few goal-to-go carries to Adrian Peterson. His owners have to heartened by Cutler's improved play as the silver lining from this game.
2009 Week 3 vs SEA (21 / 66 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 40 / 0 rec)
Forte did not explode as expected against a thin Seattle linebacker group, but he did combine for over 100 yards with 27 total touches. The offensive line of Chicago never got Forte the space to hit that second level and test those backup linebackers. Forte also had Red Zone opportunities but could not convert against a solid front four from Seattle. Forte should bounce back next week against Detroit.
2009 Week 4 vs DET (12 / 121 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 19 / 0 rec)
So what is the prescription for an ailing yards per carry average? A game against the Detroit Lions is one acceptable answer. Forte broke off two simple run plays that were designed to go off-tackle and broke them for huge gains, including a 61-yard sprint to the Red Zone in the first quarter. Forte later added a 37-yard gain that accounted for most of his 121 yards rushing on the day. Forte looks strong and with little threat to his production, so get him right back in your lineup after the Week 5 bye.
2009 Week 6 vs ATL (15 / 23 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 37 / 0 rec)
While Forte is showing more patience with his running this season and making good decision at the line, he is having trouble finding the space to make much happen. In week 6 he was completely shut down by a very stout Falcons run defense. Forte was limited to just 23 yards on the ground. In one key series in the 3rd quarter he fumbled on consecutive plays at the goal line, the 2nd of which he lost to the Falcons. He did have a little more success through the air catching 5 passes for 37 yards. A disappointing game for the 2nd year RB.
2009 Week 7 vs CIN (6 / 24 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 25 / 0 rec)
Forte had little chance to get involved in this game, as it got away from the Bears very early on. He got little work on the ground, but he did look dangerous as a receiver out of the backfield, flashing speed after the catch and great tackle-breaking ability.
2009 Week 8 vs CLE (26 / 90 / 2 rush, 3 / 2 / 31 / 0 rec)
The interior offensive line had trouble with Shaun Rogers and Forte didn't have many holes between the tackles. When he did, he was usually decisive and gained good yardage. Despite the two scores, Forte had trouble gaining ground inside the ten yard line, needing multiple carries to punch the ball over the goal line. He also failed to convert on another drive in which the Bears turned the ball over on downs on the one yard line. Forte also looked good catching the ball out of the backfield, turning a screen into a long gainer on one play.
2009 Week 9 vs ARI (5 / 33 / 0 rush, 8 / 6 / 74 / 0 rec)
Forte only had 3 rushes in the first half, and finished with only five. He was generally utilized as a checkdown and screen option in the passing game, but it's a viable play with Forte since he is so explosive when given room to run. Forte actually would have eclipsed 100 receiving yards, but had a 35-yard gain brought back on a holding penalty.
2009 Week 10 vs SF (20 / 41 / 0 rush, 9 / 8 / 120 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte struggled to gain much ground as a runner in Week 10, barely averaging over two yards a carry against a formidable San Francisco run defense. He was able to make a big offensive difference as a receiver, however, gaining 120 yards on eight receptions out of the backfield. His offensive line could not get anything going for him, but on screens and short passes Forte had the space he needed to create separation and make the first man miss and get to the second level. His pass-catching day was highlighted by a 37-yard catch and run in the second quarter for Forte's longest reception of his career. Forte will likely fare similarly next week against Philadelphia, but has much higher fantasy value in PPR leagues.
2009 Week 11 vs PHI (14 / 34 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 20 / 0 rec)
Forte was held in check in week 11 and was really not able to find much space to work with. The Bears fed him the ball consistently from the get go, but he was not able to break throw to the 2nd level of the defense. He was also not much of a factor in the Bears passing attack either, catching just 4 passes for 20 yards total. Forte did come through with a nice 2 pt conversion catch that gave the Bears a 3 point lead late in the 3rd quarter. Forte has a 3.3 ypc avg as we head down the stretch, looking very little like the threat we saw last season.
2009 Week 12 vs MIN (8 / 27 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 34 / 0 rec)
Forte had a terrible day against the Vikings. When he was given the chance to run, he was frequently stuffed for little or no gain. He was more effective catching the ball out of the backfield, but only had a few opportunities to do so in the first half. In the second half, he had only one short check-down reception for two yards and a few minor carries for minimal gains. He was totally dominated by the Viking defense the entire game.
2009 Week 13 vs STL (24 / 91 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Forte didn't wow you, but he got the job done. It took three shots for him to score after the Bears got first and goal at the one, but he did score. Forte was often met when or even before crossing the line of scrimmage, but he kept grinding to set up longer runs later against a tired Rams defense. He fumbled early on an OJ Atogwe strip while Forte was struggling for extra yards, but otherwise he played well. Forte's stiff arm forced a horse collar penalty that set up the Bears second TD, although he found no room to run on his goal to go carries later in that drive. Forte's best runs came in the fourth quarter, showing his superior stamina and conditioning. He's a decent RB2 play down the stretch, especially in PPR leagues.
2009 Week 14 vs GB (12 / 51 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 17 / 0 rec)
Forte actually ran strong in this one, bouncing off of hits and using a spin move to get a first down when he was hit behind the line in one short yardage situation. He was extremely determined to gain yards even though openings were not always there, and his rugged running helped the Bears get back in this one. His best gain of the day on a catch and run was nullified by a penalty. He's still a decent flex/adequate RB2 play against the Ravens, but a lot of the teams that took him in the first round probably didn't make it this far.
2009 Week 15 vs BAL (20 / 69 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 0 / 0 rec)
Forte actually started warm in this game, with the offensive line getting a good push and the playcalling mixing up the run and the pass. Forte was getting yards after contact by falling forward after hits, and he also made a nice cutback run in the red zone to get the Bears inside the Ravens 10, but he fumbled at the end of the run, one of two on the day. The second was deep in the Bears own end and effectively ended their chances of winning. Forte looked more like his 2008 self in this one against a tough defense, but he made 2009 mistake, and was playing with the 2009 QB, Jay Cutler.
2009 Week 16 vs MIN (21 / 74 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / -7 / 0 rec)
Forte got a chance to get in a rhythm because the Bears got a lead, and he had modest success against the Vikings tough defensive line (although it was missing Pat Williams). He always ground out an extra yard or two after contact, and Forte even managed some good gain by breaking runs outside when the opportunity arose. He had multiple goal-to-go carries but couldn't convert any into scores. Forte did set up a field goal with an inspired third down run, reversing field to cross up the aggressive Vikings defense. It wasn't a big stat game, but Forte's physical high-effort running helped establish the Bears willingness to go toe-to-toe with the Vikings on Monday night.
2009 Week 17 vs DET (16 / 101 / 0 rush, 7 / 3 / 23 / 0 rec)
Forte was held in check for most of the game, but was finally able to break loose in the fourth quarter, racking up 63 yards on three consecutive plays late in the fourth quarter. His final run was a big 53 yard burst up the middle where Forte beat the Detroit LBS and broke off down the sidelines for a big 35 yard gain. Suddenly he stopped short and the Detroit secondary blew by him as Forte cut back toward the middle of the field. This landed him another 15-18 yards and broke the back of the Lions. The Bears scored three plays later and went up by 11 with under three minutes to play. The Bears turned to Kahlil Bell for the remainder of the game, and Forte watched the rest of the game from the sidelines.
2008 Week 1 vs IND (23 / 123 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 18 / 0 rec)
Forte got off to a quick start when on his fourth rush of the game, he took a third down hand off 50 yards for a touchdown that gave the Bears a 7-3 lead. On the play Forte hit the hole hard, made one cut, and outraced the Indianapolis defense to the end zone. Despite Forte's big game, it could have been even better. The rookie running back received a rush in the fourth quarter with the ball on the one yard line but was stopped for no gain. On the very next play, RB Jason McKie punched the ball into the end zone.
2008 Week 2 vs CAR (23 / 92 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 21 / 0 rec)
Forte averaged four yards a carry in this contest, with a long run of 18 yards. He struggled to find room to run for most of the game, but had a few carries go for ten yards or more, showing impressive elusiveness when given room, cutting one of his runs back for a 15 yard gain. Forte also made the most of his three targets, catching all of them for an additional 21 yards. Forte did get a carry in the Panthers' red zone, but was stopped for no gain.
2008 Week 3 vs TB (27 / 89 / 0 rush, 10 / 7 / 66 / 1 rec)
The Bears blocking was absent for most of the game. Despite that Matt Forte did very well. The defense was all over him and he pushed them backwards to make yards when nothing was there. Forte found holes with his patience and vision. His targets were high because Orton didn't have time or anyone else to throw to during the first half. Forte made something out of nothing on many check down receptions. He had one long reception that would have been a TD if Barrett Ruud would not have made a great steal. He was also targeted again and scored. This guy was a workhorse and didn't wear down even in overtime. He has gained over 300 yards in his first three games.
2008 Week 4 vs PHI (19 / 43 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 42 / 0 rec)
Forte's day (from a rushing perspective) may have been a tad disappointing (19 carries for 43 yards) but his contributions elsewhere had a lot to say about where his future is likely headed. The talented rookie out of Tulane University caught five balls for 42 yards and proved to be in the rare class of rookie RB's who are both intelligent and effective when it comes to blocking and quick and talented to succeed in blitz pickups.
2008 Week 5 vs DET (15 / 36 / 1 rush, 4 / 4 / 25 / 1 rec)
Forte was often stuffed at the line against the Lions, and received the bulk of his work in the first half of the game. Forte caught a nine yard pass for a touchdown in the second quarter, doing a good job of stretching the ball across the goal line to get the score. Later in the third he got his second touchdown of the game on a one yard run up the middle.
2008 Week 6 vs ATL (20 / 76 / 1 rush, 5 / 5 / 34 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte had 20 carries for 76 yards, while catching all five of his targets for another 34 yards. His only touchdown of the game came on a three yard carry up the middle. He had a chance for a second touchdown late in the game on fourth and one from the one, but he was stacked up at the line and the Bears turned it over on downs. Forte runs with great patience, waiting for blocks, but is also capable of hitting a hole hard and decisively when it's presented. The Bears run their offense around Forte, and Kevin Jones only had two carries in the game, so that figures to continue.
2008 Week 7 vs MIN (20 / 56 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)
Forte struggled against the Vikings' run defense like most running backs have this year, running for 56 yards on 20 carries, a dismal 2.8 average. However, Forte scored a touchdown a few seconds into the fourth quarter as he took a goal line handoff, bounced it outside, and was practically able to walk it in for the score. He also added two receptions for 17 yards.
2008 Week 9 vs DET (22 / 126 / 0 rush, 4 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Forte's longest run of the game came in the third quarter, when he got behind a blocker on a run to the right and burst through for a 20 yard gain. In the fourth quarter, Forte broke off a nice run in the red zone, barely getting tripped up at the one and coming just short of the touchdown. Forte finished the game with 126 yards on 22 carries, a major cause for the Bears' success.
2008 Week 10 vs TEN (20 / 72 / 0 rush, 7 / 7 / 54 / 1 rec)
Forte never really got going against the Tennessee defense, taking 20 carries and only getting 72 yards off of them. However, he did add a valuable aspect to the passing game as he brought in all seven of his targets for 54 yards and a touchdown. Forte capped off the Bears' first drive by catching a five yard touchdown as he was slanting inside the cut back outside to get open.
2008 Week 11 vs GB (16 / 64 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 40 / 0 rec)
Early in the second quarter, Forte made a clutch catch for the Bears on a key third down for a gain of 18 yards, racking up some nice yards after the catch. Aside from that, he had a solid but not spectacular day, gaining a total of 104 yards on 22 touches. Like the rest of the Chicago team, Forte had no scores.
2008 Week 12 vs STL (20 / 132 / 2 rush, 3 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)
On the Bears' first possession, Forte burst through a hole in the middle, breaking a tackle and falling into the end zone for a 13 yard score. It was a sign of things to come as Forte absolutely dominated the entire game. Early in the second quarter he lost a fumble, but redeemed himself the next drive as he took a handoff up the middle for a 47 yard touchdown. Forte finished the afternoon with 146 total yards and two touchdowns.
2008 Week 13 vs MIN (22 / 96 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 29 / 1 rec)
RB Matt Forte put in an incredible effort in the loss. The Vikings defensive front line dominated the game but Forte ran hard and nearly managed 100 yards on the ground. On his touchdown reception, he initially lined up as the only running back but shifted over to become the only receiver on the left side and Orton hit him with a nice pass for the touchdown. Forte also took one snap from the wildcat formation and ran it for a small gain.
2008 Week 14 vs JAX (21 / 69 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 37 / 0 rec)
Matt Forte set the rookie yards from scrimmage record for the Bears in this game. He passed Gale Sayers to accomplish this task. The defense was pretty tight on Forte all day and he made the most of it. He showed his power pushing defenders for more yards. Forte didn't just hit the hole, he burst through the hole. But, he didn't get into the end zone or break 100 total yards. He did work hard and moved the piles at least.
2008 Week 15 vs NO (11 / 34 / 1 rush, 6 / 5 / 29 / 0 rec)
Forte got injured on his first carry of the game and had to go to the sidelines to get looked at by the Bears training staff. It looked like DE Will Smith fell on his right foot on the play. It was reported later that he had a toe injury. He did return to the game midway through the second quarter, and was able to score on a one yard touchdown run shorter there after. It was only his third carry of the game to that point. He had only four carries for eight yards in the first half. Forte did not seem hindered by his injury but, he did not do much in the second half. He only had 26 yards rushing in the half and was more effective as a pass catcher, making five receptions for 29 yards.
2008 Week 16 vs GB (23 / 73 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 28 / 0 rec)
Like the passing game, Forte and the run game struggled mightily in the first half as he only had 14 yards on eight carries in the first half. Forte had two opportunities inside the five yard early in the second after a Green Bay turnover but, he was stuffed on both carries. Forte was spelled at times to backup RB Adrian Peterson in the second half, and his injured toe may or may not have been the reason Forte gave up some playing time. Forte, who is the Bears leading receiver this season, didn't catch a pass or have a pass thrown to him until there was ten minutes left in the game. He did break a long 28 yard run late in the game and followed that up with a two yard score. Forte was much more effective late in the game and gained most of his yards with about ten minutes left in the game.
2008 Week 17 vs HOU (13 / 50 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 25 / 0 rec)
Forte played well in the chances he had, running with determination and grinding out yards against a defense that was focused on him. However, he played sparingly in the second half, and just had two carries and no targets in the second half. He did not appear to be injured, and came in the game late in the fourth quarter for a red zone play, but was not featured nearly as much in the second half.