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Forte keys revived Bears offense

M. Forte1

Matt Forte is no Gayle Sayers or Walter Payton, but Forte has accomplished something even those Bears greats never did.  Forte is certainly not Marshall Faulk, but once again a pass-catching running back is the engine to a Mike Martz offense.

When no one was looking, the Bears offense tightened up their offensive line and got dangerous.  They’ve averaged 28 points-per-game over the last five weeksJay Cutler has 16 touchdowns and only seven picks since the team’s bye week.

Martz’s ability to use Forte in a variety of roles has been a key.  Consider: Forte is the only Bears player in its long history to record 1,400 yards from scrimmage in his first three years.  Forte is just 22 yards away from 1,000 rushing and 13 receiving yards away from 500.  If he reaches both those marks Sunday, he’ll join Walter Payton as the only Bears player to pull that off.

Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune notes the Bears are the only team in football to run more than they have thrown in the last eight weeks.  Forte’s versatility gives them an edge.

“Matt right now is just, to me, just outrageous the way he’s playing,” Martz said.

Last year’s Super Bowl teams made it that far with outrageous offenses and good enough defenses.  Teams like the Patriots, Packers, Eagles, and Saints are hoping to take that same approach this year.

The Bears definitely take the opposite tact, led by a great defense.  It’s worth noting, however, the Bears offense has been more than good enough lately.

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35 Responses to “Forte keys revived Bears offense”
  1. dfeltz says: Dec 30, 2010 9:11 AM

    Shh! I want every fan to continue that this is the same Bears team from weeks 4-7. Keep doubting this team.

  2. skoobyfl says: Dec 30, 2010 9:13 AM

    Yeah, there one and out in the playoffs.

  3. sakatak says: Dec 30, 2010 9:16 AM

    bears got hammered by the patsies at home

  4. kingjoe1 says: Dec 30, 2010 9:31 AM

    The preverbial thought currently running through the NFL is that the Eagles are a once and done in the playoffs. However, I think the real smoke and mirror team is the Bears.

    The blitz packages that Cutler which will be thrown at him in PO will be far different than the regular season. He and that coaching staff have shown a slow approach to change. They wont get it done within the game and will get stomped by those one and done Eagles in round 2.

  5. bspurloc says: Dec 30, 2010 10:02 AM

    .
    so he is a betty white?

  6. cosmicduster says: Dec 30, 2010 10:11 AM

    Including the horrible Patriots game they are 7-1 since the bye week.

  7. tecmobowl34 says: Dec 30, 2010 10:25 AM

    #
    sakatak says: Dec 30, 2010 9:16 AM

    bears got hammered by the patsies at home
    __________________________________

    your point? the steelers and the jets both gave up more points at home to the patriots than chicago did. the patriots hammer everyone, it proves nothing about the team, except that they dont measure up to N.E. (which no one does right now)

    just another whiney hater, quit being so stereotypical

  8. tecmobowl34 says: Dec 30, 2010 10:28 AM

    “They wont get it done within the game and will get stomped by those one and done Eagles in round 2.”

    //kingjoe, still stinging a bit from recent philly letdowns

    I’d love to see the Bears play the eagles again. it was one of their best performances of the year, and they still left points on the field

  9. tecmobowl34 says: Dec 30, 2010 10:30 AM

    if joe webb can beat philly IN PHILLY, i think chicago can handle them in the playoffs.

  10. tritan306 says: Dec 30, 2010 10:39 AM

    There are teams built to absolutely decimate the Bears in the playoffs. For example the Steelers and Ravens. Cutler shows his true form versus solid defenses.

  11. sintaxair says: Dec 30, 2010 10:44 AM

    Except the future NFC West champion, you can make a case for and against every playoff team. So the Bears lost to Pats, and beat up the Eagles. The Saints beat the Falcons, but lost to the Cardinals and Browns. The list goes on and on…

    What I do know the Bears have going for them is absolutely no important injuries at all.

  12. rugdaniels says: Dec 30, 2010 10:54 AM

    just win on sunday…I know it’s not likely…but as a Giants fan the slim ray of hope is all that’s left. The Giants don’t deserve the playoffs…but I’ll take backing in this year.

  13. cosmicduster says: Dec 30, 2010 10:56 AM

    “There are teams built to absolutely decimate the Bears in the playoffs. For example the Steelers and Ravens. Cutler shows his true form versus solid defenses.”

    Do you mean the Superbowl? Last I checked the Ravens and Steelers played in the AFC and the Bears in the NFC.

  14. gallopingghost says: Dec 30, 2010 11:05 AM

    Here’s something you saps don’t realize. Jay Cutler’s protection and limited turnovers, the offensive lines newfound mediocrity, the Bears time of possesion, the explosive scoring plays, and Forte’s numbers boost are all a product of Lovie Smith’s coaching.

    Think about the droll “off the bus running” he used to say over and over again. He never takes the wheel on offense, but with Turner here he made sure his run balance was in tact. Because just like turnovers on Defense, Lovie knows what on offense needs to succeed.

    So enter Mad Martz, and Lovie hands over the keys to the car. Martz gets pass happy. Then we get sacked like 11 times, have no offensive balance, and are completely predictable. Sure Martz made great adjustments like in the Dallas game, but the whole offensive philosophy was wack. The Giants exposed us, and even the loser Seahawks and Redskins were able to take advantage of the blueprint. Cutler made some bad decisions in the Skins game, but the allignments and play calls were all for deep threats… after running like 10 or 15 times all game.

    Bye week, Lovie puts his foot down. Surprise surprise, offense comes alive, Jay Cutler isn’t sent to the hospital, safeties play in the box, receivers are opened, Martz can take the matchups he wants, ground & air numbers go up, time of possession is won, defense rests and is able to dominate.

    So for all you haters out there just keep in mind Lovie stuck to his philosophy that people have mocked for years, and it turned the Bears from an offensive nightmare into a explosive, and dare I say disciplined, unit.

    Don’t think I’m overselling them, though, I know they’re still young and need work, but the point is that Lovie is getting 10 times at much out of the same core unit of players and you haters out there should be eating your words.

  15. deweyaxewound says: Dec 30, 2010 11:08 AM

    #
    skoobyfl says: Dec 30, 2010 9:13 AM

    Yeah, there one and out in the playoffs.
    _____________________________

    Yeah, and you’re “one and out” in attempting to construct a simple sentence without a basic spelling mistake.

    People have been predicting the doom and downfall of the Bears all season. “This week–you’ll see!”
    Oh, NEXT week, they’ll be exposed!
    It’s coming….it’s coming….

    Think about it: weren’t the Bears supposed to “finally” be exposed….

    -against Dallas
    -against Green Bay
    -against Miami
    -against the Vikes
    -against the Eagles
    -during the “tough part of their schedule” in the end stretch, etc.?

    At first, they had no shot to win this game or that game. Then it was “no chance” to win the division or make the playoffs.
    And now everyone wants to write them off as the worst playoff team outside of the NFC West.

    Keep on doubting, suckers. Bears have been feasting off that very doubt and derision.

  16. metalhead65 says: Dec 30, 2010 11:16 AM

    you guys can whine and cry all you want but the bears are still nfc north champs,still have a bye week in the playoffs and are like it or not a good team. let’s see they went into the bye week with everyone telling them what they needed to do to get better and they did but it is still not good enough for you people. must be because they beat your team. so they lost to the pats big deal!last time I checked the pats have beaten every good team they have faced and by more than they beat the bears. don’t want to hear your excuses as to why the bears have won,the only thing that matters is that they have and now as theis article points out they have a offense to go along with the d and special teams which makes them a good team so deal with it losers!

  17. sportslingo says: Dec 30, 2010 11:18 AM

    Healthy and 6-1 on the road !
    In the playoffs,I’ll take those odds anytime.

    Bears at Atlanta, game of the year in the palyoffs, that’s assuming the Eagles and the Falcons don’t loss this weekend,

  18. 3rdstringqb says: Dec 30, 2010 11:21 AM

    It’s 2006 all over again when the Bears were doubted all the way to the Super Bowl. Not saying they will make it that far this time around, but there is a reason they play the games folks. If they didn’t, the Bears would be 3-12 right now based on the opinions of some of the know-it-alls that post here.

  19. txbearmeat says: Dec 30, 2010 11:22 AM

    OK. I’ll keep on doubting. Because your team ISN’T VERY GOOD! They’ve gotten unreal lucky breaks ALL YEAR. Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good, but all luck runs out at some point.

    My guess is that the Bears luck runs out against N.O. in round 2. To the tune of 40-10.

  20. tompapp1 says: Dec 30, 2010 12:06 PM

    What I read in between the lines from the Bear haters is fear. They want to convince themselves that the Bear offense is a mirage. The laugh will be on you folks. Right now Cutler and Forte are as dynamic a QB RB combo as any in the NFL. That with the Devin Hester effect giving their offense great field position the vast majority of the time means the Bears are going to score lots of points. Oh yeah the defense has struggled lately but still know how to close out a game. If the Bears get a pass rush they can and will beat anybody. That includes the Pats because when they played them in the big loss, the combo of a quality oline and poor footing killed them. In that game Brady had enough time to smoke a cig while picking out his receiver.

  21. kennyrogerschicken says: Dec 30, 2010 12:30 PM

    deweyaxewound –

    The Packers did expose them. In fact, the Packers dominated that game, and lost because of 18 penalties committed. The Bears are who we thought they were, overrated and lucky.

  22. txbearmeat says: Dec 30, 2010 12:43 PM

    um.. tom… the bear offense IS a mirage. And yes, the D has struggled, because if you block Peppers and let a good QB sit in the pocket, the result is picking apart a cover 2 D.

    If you gave up 34 to the Jets? HAHAHAHAHA~

  23. enkinan says: Dec 30, 2010 1:01 PM

    Anyone who thinks this team isn’t a force to be reckoned with is out of their mind. They got decimated by the Patriots in the snow due to not compensating for the weather on play calling. Don’t bet on that happening again.

    I’m not a huge Bears fan, but I think a lot of people are sleeping on this team going into the playoffs. 28 points a game with that defense?

  24. sakatak says: Dec 30, 2010 1:10 PM

    techmobowl34 think before you post, good teams don’t get beat at home by 40 points. The bears will lose this weekend in a game that doesn’t matter to them. They will not play the eagles in the second round simply because the eagles are not good enough to beat anyone in the first round. The Bears can not compete against the best teams in the NFC, (Falcons, Saints, Packers).
    By the way, the Packers outplayed the pattsies in Foxboro with their second string qb.

  25. beefbus says: Dec 30, 2010 1:23 PM

    @tritan306-

    “There are teams built to absolutely decimate the Bears in the playoffs. For example the Steelers and Ravens. Cutler shows his true form versus solid defenses.”

    He did very well versus the Packers, Jets, and Cowboys (they were playing well at the time) both have top-5 rated defenses. What’s your point? You actually don’t have a valid point.

  26. beefbus says: Dec 30, 2010 1:33 PM

    @txbearmeat-

    “My guess is that the Bears luck runs out against N.O. in round 2. To the tune of 40-10.”

    You’re forgetting that the Saints haven’t won in Soldiers for a very long time. In fact, they got manhandled in ’06 during the playoffs. Dome, warm-weathered team won’t fare well in January in outdoor conditions.

  27. calloustongue says: Dec 30, 2010 1:35 PM

    Who cares about a team that is bound to lose the next two games?

    Cutler 15-37 172 yards 1 TD 4 INT

    Forte 22-63, 2 fumbles

    Yes the Bears are bad, getting lucky does not equal good.

    Play your starters or don’t. Just don’t cry when a epic beatdown ensues regardless of who is playing.

    Packers 42 Bears 12

    Bears need to play flawless football just to be competitive, the Packers just need to not beat themselves.

  28. beefbus says: Dec 30, 2010 6:55 PM

    The Bears are the best team in the world, and the Packers the worst.

    In a nutshell, that’s how moronic people sound on this crappy site.

    @sakatak-

    Uh, the Bears have beat the Saints the past THREE times they’ve played. They also beat the Packers earlier this year no matter how you slice it. You can talk about the penalties, but they usually happen because the other team is forcing bad decisions. The past two games versus Atlanta were very close, but the Falcons escaped with “lucky” wins of their own. How about that jackwagon?!

  29. deweyaxewound says: Dec 30, 2010 8:23 PM

    Packer fans,
    As someone astutely observed above: your posts REEK of FEAR.

    You couldn’t beat the Lions with their 3rd string QB (and Rodgers’ stat line was horrific before he left the game, so don’t even try that one), and yet you thump your chests because you “almost” beat the Pats with your 2nd stringer…? That and a nickel might get you some bubble gum.

    And so you say you had an “off” game in Detroit–yet it’s not at all possible that the Pats just had an “off” game against you?

    And why aren’t the Bears allowed THEIR (one!) off game–against a very good team in very exceptional (weather) circumstances, I might add.
    Bears are 7-1 since the bye, including their loss to the Pats.
    I’ll take that percentage all year, cheese-chumps.

    You say Bears are “lucky”–and that that luck will run out.

    Okay, we’ve been hearing it all year from you curd-suckers. Our “luck” was supposed to run out in after week 1, then 2, then 3…and so on.

    It’ll be funny when you guys are sitting around harrumphing and calling us “lucky” when we’re representing the NFC in the Super Bowl.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Bears were the LAST team from the North to represent in the Super Bowl, and we’ll be the next ones back.
    Maybe not even this year, but bet yer britches, it’ll be us.

    So call us what you want–we’ll just keep taking the wins (and the division with it, thanks).

  30. tjg25 says: Dec 30, 2010 11:32 PM

    I absolutely love this myth held by all “experts” about the Bears great defense. Has anyone noticed how many times they’ve been picked apart? How about Urlacher reading the wrong direction on multiple goal line plays in last week’s game alon? Overrated comes to the front of my mind. Gone in the 1st round of the playoffs is not a distant second.

  31. calloustongue says: Dec 31, 2010 2:44 AM

    Plain and simple da Bears aren’t going to come into Lambeau and beat the Pack with the playoffs on the line.

    Cutler will get eaten up by the GB secondary. He’s no better than Manning. In fact, he’s probably worse. He’ll be lucky if he only throws 4 INTs

    Rodgers has the Bears number. How many big plays in the first meeting this year were lost to stupid o-line penalties? Oh yeah, you Bears fans like to forget you got lit up and caught many, many breaks.

    Face it chumps, you had an early season game that meant little at the time HANDED to you, but no worries the revenge will be all that much sweeter when we blow you out on Sunday and send you riddled with fear into your bye week, pissing your pants for your one and done, joke of a playoff run.

    Cutler will find a way to blow a playoff game before he wins one.

  32. tompapp1 says: Dec 31, 2010 6:05 PM

    The desperation of Packer fans is amusing to me. The shrillness of their posts is revealing. They have become spoiled by the pundits who picked them to win in an NFC that lacks a team that is head and shoulders better than the rest of the conference. Their team has under achieved based on pundits who over rated them and this is like torture for them. Yes their team has injuries so do other teams. IMHO they are an over rated team because when they get ahead they pour it on and look unbeatable much like Pats at their best. However, when the Pack get behind McCarthy always plays it too conservative and thats why they do not have a history of pulling out games they look to have lost. On the other hand the Bears have earned whatever little respect these fans have given them. They have earned an 11-4 record and 5-0 in their division and have beat the Jets and Eagles so to say its a mirage is purely delusional. Now the Bears oline has come around so be afraid be very afraid.

  33. sakatak says: Dec 31, 2010 8:40 PM

    @beefbus
    going back to my original post, good teams do not get blown out at home. this is a pure and simple fact, sure it hurts to admit it but the truth is good teams protect their home turf. the bears have won some games but going back to the beginning of the season how many bear fans gave their own team a chance to win the division? how many bear fans were happy to have cutler as their qb? do you feel that comfortable with cutler as your qb in the playoffs? i understand you all jumping on the bandwagon, but my point is if this were a quality team they would have shown up against the pattsies.

  34. beefbus says: Jan 1, 2011 10:39 PM

    @sakatak

    Every team has a stinker of a game within a full season. The Pats lost to the Browns- don’t you think that loss was a bit deceiving? I’m not saying the Bears are going to the SB, but they definitely have a good chance to win a game or two in the playoffs. Good defense with the ability to be great, #1 STS in the league, and an up in coming offense still in their first year running Martz’s scheme. Do I trust Cutler to play within his abilities? No, but he can make up for bad plays with good, big plays. The Jets were a perfect example of that fact. Also, I went to my first Bears game as a 2-year old, and have been on their “bandwagon” for 35 years.

  35. sakatak says: Jan 2, 2011 9:42 PM

    @beefbus

    I was impressed by the bears today, they played hard and gave the pack all they could handle. Typically when a team is in the situation the bears were in the results are much different. Lovie impressed me the way he kept the pressure on the whole game, this should bode well for the bears in their first playoff game. I sincerely hope the bears win their first game, this is actually good for the bear/packer rivalry which has taken back seat to the packer/viking rivalry in recent years. By the way I was seven when I went to my first packer game in 1960, packers beat the browns in a low scoring hard fought game, much like todays game. Would love to see a rematch of todays game in 3 weeks.

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