RB Matt Forte, Free agent
HT: 6-1, WT: 217, Born: 12-10-1985, College: Tulane, Drafted: Round 2
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: L McCoy (2), A Peterson (3), Matt Forte (4), C Johnson (5), E Lacy (6)
Position: L McCoy (2-RB2), A Peterson (3-RB3), Matt Forte (4 - RB4), E Lacy (6-RB5), M Lynch (10-RB6)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: L McCoy (2), A Peterson (3), Matt Forte (4), C Johnson (5), E Lacy (6)
Position: L McCoy (2-RB2), A Peterson (3-RB3), Matt Forte (4 - RB4), E Lacy (6-RB5), D Murray (12-RB6)
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A repeat of last year. It’s really just that simple. Forte set career best totals for all offensive categories, and finished with over 1600 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns. He’s entering his seventh NFL season and almost 1900 touches. He’s not going to beat out Jamaal Charles or LeSean McCoy but a top five finish could still be possible.
Forte falls back to earth with his stats. With Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery catching the ball, the offense shifts even more toward the passing game, and Forte receives closer to 250 touches rather than the 350 that he had last season. He’s been relatively healthy throughout his career, but the yards are starting to catch up with him and he could either miss time with injury this season, or share more than anticipated with rookie Ka’Deem Carey.
Forte exceeded every expectation possible last season, including his own. No matter what the situation, Forte continued to push on, and proved that he’s still one of the most under-rated backs in the league. A repeat of last season seems unlikely, yet the table seems set for Forte to go it again. The threat that Michael Bush would steal goal line carries is now gone, and rookie Ka’Deem Carey certainly won’t steal a ton of carries. The offense is a year older and a year more experienced under Marc Trestman. Everyone seems poised to take a step forward, including Forte. With no real competition behind him, if Forte stays healthy, he’s going to have a great chance for a top five finish.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - 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.
Week 2 - 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.
Week 3 - 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.
Week 4 - 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.
Week 5 - 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.
Week 6 - 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.
Week 7 - 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.
Week 9 - 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.
Week 10 - 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.
Week 11 - 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.
Week 12 - 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.
Week 13 - 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.
Week 14 - 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.
Week 15 - 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.
Week 16 - 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.
Week 17 - 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.