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Matt Forte: Even better than his stats look

Chicago Bears v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

Bears running back Matt Forte is feeling unappreciated by the Bears, but every NFL fan should appreciate what Forte is doing this season. Forte leads the league in yards from scrimmage, but his season has been even more impressive than that sounds.

With 527 rushing yards and 381 receiving yards, Forte is on pace for 1,405 rushing yards and 1,016 receiving yards. Roger Craig (1985) and Marshall Faulk (1999) are the only other players in NFL history to top 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving in the same season.

But Craig and Faulk were playing in two of the best offenses the game of football has ever seen. Forte is having an amazing season in a mediocre offense: The Bears are right in the middle of the league, ranked No. 16 in total offense with 1,967 yards this season.

Below we have the list of the Top 10 players in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage, but we’ve added another number — the percent of the team’s offense that each player in the Top 10 has accounted for this season.

1. Matt Forte: 908 yards, 46.2 percent of the Bears’ offense
2. Fred Jackson: 880 yards, 38.7 percent of the Bills’ offense
3. Wes Welker: 804 yards, 28.2 percent of the Patriots’ offense
4. Darren McFadden: 761 yards, 34.0 percent of the Raiders’ offense
5. Ray Rice: 700 yards, 38.1 percent of the Ravens’ offense
6. LeSean McCoy: 692 yards, 26.1 percent of the Eagles’ offense
7. Jahvid Best: 677 yards, 30.7 percent of the Lions’ offense
8. Steve Smith: 675 yards, 26.9 percent of the Panthers’ offense
9. Ryan Mathews: 674 yards, 32.4 percent of the Chargers’ offense
10. Maurice Jones-Drew: 647 yards, 41.4 percent of the Jaguars’ offense

As you can see, Forte is responsible for a far larger share of his team’s offense than any of the league’s other leaders in yards from scrimmage. He’s right to believe he deserves to be paid like an elite running back.

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37 Responses to “Matt Forte: Even better than his stats look”
  1. staffordsyear says: Oct 21, 2011 4:29 PM

    Chicago NEEDS to pay this guy.

  2. kernelreefer says: Oct 21, 2011 4:30 PM

    I was one of many people making fun of his self-regarded “elite” status as an RB. He makes up almost half of their offense. “Elite” or not, pay the man.

  3. scudbot says: Oct 21, 2011 4:33 PM

    Points count. His red zone stats are bad.

  4. 808raiderinparadise says: Oct 21, 2011 4:35 PM

    Just imagine if he had an O-line

  5. 303bengalguy says: Oct 21, 2011 4:36 PM

    Forte is keeping my Vick-led shibacle of a squad afloat. Could we please find a way to find paydirt on the field a little more though too please??? (That’s directed at Martz, not Forte).

    Pay and paydirt… both much needed.

  6. clsdarknight says: Oct 21, 2011 4:37 PM

    he is as “elite” as running backs get anymore. this is no longer a time when guys score 30+ times a year. the great running backs in todays game are threats both on the ground and in the air. if his offensive line keeps progressing he will continue to be a absolute stud.

  7. paulsdamnblog says: Oct 21, 2011 4:38 PM

    Makes you wonder how many players in the past played as large or larger a role as Forte in their respective offenses. Aside from QBs I mean.

  8. nebster21 says: Oct 21, 2011 4:40 PM

    I know my team will take him if he is not franchised.

  9. londonfletcher says: Oct 21, 2011 4:42 PM

    …and for some reason I got crap when I drafted him in fantasy. Oh well, haters.

  10. bills9951 says: Oct 21, 2011 4:56 PM

    Good post. Would like to see this weekly and at least the top 25.

    Here’s to Fred Jackson for league MVP!

  11. blackandtealforeal says: Oct 21, 2011 5:01 PM

    The problem with paying RB’s is they have a short shelf life. You don’t know when the wheels are going to fall off and they are just too beat up to be effective anymore.
    They want to be paid, but a long term deal usually will backfire. See Chris Johnson, AKA I got paid so I don’t have to play as hard. 250 yrds in 5 games.
    Who said NFL contracts where worth the paper they were written on to begin with. It’s all about the up front money in the NFL.

  12. scudbot says: Oct 21, 2011 5:02 PM

    He’s tied for 17th among RBs in TD production. If you add in FBs it’s more like 22nd. He has no TDs off pass plays.

  13. twesty85 says: Oct 21, 2011 5:07 PM

    is this his contract year? if so i smell a franchise tag and a chris johnson style hold out this summer.

  14. lacharger2112 says: Oct 21, 2011 5:22 PM

    The stats also point out how much this team is in need of real WR’s. If they had someone to throw the ball to, his percentage would drop in line with the other players and teams who have a complete offense.

  15. nineroutsider says: Oct 21, 2011 5:47 PM

    Their best RB and WR…that’s funny. Chicago needs some real receivers, but at the very least they should pay this man.

    He had to become a good WR…Martz’s play calling is a joke. Chicago might end up signing J.T. O’Sullivan if Cutler keeps mouthing off to Martz…reading that made my Cutler respect go up immensely.

  16. bearsfan88 says: Oct 21, 2011 5:50 PM

    scudbot says:
    Oct 21, 2011 5:02 PM
    He’s tied for 17th among RBs in TD production. If you add in FBs it’s more like 22nd. He has no TDs off pass plays.

    Not to nitpick, but he did turn a short dump off pass into a 56 yard TD against the Falcons in Week 1. As well as doing the same in Week 1 last year against the Lions, except it was for 89 yards. Give Cutler time to throw, and he’ll find Forte and the WRs. I still can’t believe the Bears haven’t paid this guy yet. Typical McCaskeys.

  17. dfeltz says: Oct 21, 2011 6:03 PM

    I love Forte, but signing RB’s is scary business. As a die hard Bears fan, I say tag him next year and then for 2013, once the franchise decides it is time to cut ties with Urlacher, some money will be there for him. Urlacher was great, but each week, plays that he use to make look routine, he is missing now. But hey, we had a stud MLB for a decade. I’ll take it.

  18. scudbot says: Oct 21, 2011 6:06 PM

    I agree they ought to pay him and probably won’t. But he does have a continuing history of not getting it done around the goal line.

  19. dbellina says: Oct 21, 2011 6:13 PM

    Haha, without him they have 1000 yards total offense. That’s amazing.

  20. jutts says: Oct 21, 2011 6:19 PM

    Tim Ruskell and Jerry Angelo need to wake up. Pay the dude!

  21. 46defense says: Oct 21, 2011 6:34 PM

    He’s tied for 17th among RBs in TD production. If you add in FBs it’s more like 22nd. He has no TDs off pass plays.
    ————————————————————–

    He had a TD reception in the first game of the year.

  22. escoboltsfan says: Oct 21, 2011 6:39 PM

    Marty wore LT out back in the day with all those dump off passes, a lack of solid receivers really hurts running backs over time.

  23. dlmcc1010 says: Oct 21, 2011 6:45 PM

    Exhibit A of why the Browns are in no rush to pay Peyton Hillis. Matt Forte still has not gotten paid yet, and deserves it much more than Hillis. My guess is Forte gets D’Angelo Williams money at the end of the year. He deserves it. Hillis does not

  24. mimitaroo says: Oct 21, 2011 7:10 PM

    Its easy to rack up yards when you get an extra 20 yards per TD drive due to the o-line giving up 4 false starts

  25. Bearfan54 says: Oct 21, 2011 7:14 PM

    Settle down, the deal will get done. Forte isn’t going anywhere except the bank.

  26. mikewhorio says: Oct 21, 2011 7:20 PM

    Forte’s not elite, but the man deserves to get paid…

  27. ehatem says: Oct 21, 2011 7:59 PM

    The difference between a good running back and an elite one is how well they move the chains. The difference between an elite running back and a hall of fame running back is when the opposing team absolutely knows who is getting the ball and where, the HoFer will get the ball into the end zone. Forte is elite. Its not all his fault that he can’t get into the end zone when drunk guys in the nosebleed section of the stadium know which play is being called, but if he was one of the truly greats it wouldn’t matter. Pay the man. Elite ain’t bad. Only so many Barry Sanders types out there.

  28. Rex Grossman says: Oct 21, 2011 8:54 PM

    and they aren’t easy numbers either. I hope everyone has a chance to watch this guy play. every time he gets the ball he either makes guys miss or runs them over. he creates every yard he gets. its really exciting to watch. there isn’t a better back in the game right now.

    and this is coming from a former bears fan until they got rid of Rex grossman.

  29. chobes68 says: Oct 21, 2011 9:18 PM

    While I wasn’t completely sold on his getting a huge deal before the season, I am now. not AP big, but Deangelo big for sure.

  30. gridassassin says: Oct 21, 2011 9:48 PM

    Prior to last weeks game he was on pace to beat Chris Johnson’s record for all-time yards from scrimmage.

    They were idiots not to pay him after Frank Gore signed. Once Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson signed the price tag skyrocketed.

    It makes you wonder if Tim Ruskell is starting to get more control. It was mentioned that he didn’t like the fact that Shaun Alexander basically list his desire to play after getting paid in Seattle. Your comparing two different people at different stations in their career though – plus the genius Ruskell just lost Alexanders best blocker in Hutchinson.

  31. memphisfirebirds says: Oct 21, 2011 9:50 PM

    Chicago did the right thing….keep Forte hungry, playing for the cheese. Once he gets a fat, new contract the weight of all that $ will slow his arse down a la Chris Johnson or Sean Alexander.

    I drafted him 25th overall this year and I’m riding his coattails. He burned me good in 2009 when I made him the first overall pick and despite starting every game he finished the season with 1400 total yards from scrimmage and just 4 TDs.

  32. gb4mn0 says: Oct 21, 2011 10:12 PM

    scudbot says:
    Oct 21, 2011 5:02 PM
    He’s tied for 17th among RBs in TD production. If you add in FBs it’s more like 22nd. He has no TDs off pass plays.

    ————-
    Scudbutt you are so predictable. Only a pathetic piece of human debris lavender Larry who’s feelings are hurt because Adrian Peterless didn’t make the list would try to make an issue out of his TD production. He torched your limp wrist squad for 133 all purpose yards last Sunday night while your grossly overrated self professed slave ran only for 39. Idiot!

  33. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says: Oct 21, 2011 11:04 PM

    forte is dynamic. he and devin hester are the only two reasons the bears beat my panthers…and the panthers aren’t a good team. neither are the bears. that’s how good forte and hester are

  34. fmwarner says: Oct 22, 2011 2:40 AM

    Even stud RBs like Forte are tricky to sign to rich deals. The position tends to have a short shelf life, and it’s just as likely a late pick or undrafted guy turns out to be good. That said, they should work something out with Forte for big dollars and short length.

    And not for nothing, I traded Kevin Kolb for Forte in the offseason. My fantasy team is a big fan :)

  35. scudbot says: Oct 22, 2011 8:01 AM

    gb4mn0:
    I posted stats. A certain KS who covers the NFC North for the Magic Kingdom’s sports network has addressed Forte’s lack of red zone production several times, in depth.

    By the way, I’m a Packer fan.

    Have a nice day.

  36. scudbot says: Oct 22, 2011 8:06 AM

    By the way, “Only a pathetic piece of human debris…would try to make an issue out of TD production”?

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one.

  37. jessethegreat says: Oct 23, 2011 11:11 AM

    For his production, he’s earned about 2/3 of Chicago’s offensive payroll the past two years. Pony up Bears. Some quick estmation and rounding says he should have about 2/7 of their total payroll with 3/7 being offense, 3/7 being defense and 1/7 being special teams. if the payroll was about 140 million each year… the Bears owe him about 40 million last year and 40 million for this year. That’s about fair. Bears owe Forte 80 million in back pay.

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