Forte, Bradshaw flirting with running back receiving records


DeMarco Murray isn’t the only NFL running back on a record pace this season.

Murray, the Cowboys running back who is threatening the NFL’s single-season records for carries and yards, is having the best season of any back in football. But Bears running back Matt Forte and Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw are both threatening to break NFL records for running backs as well.

Forte is leading the league in receiving, with 52 catches, which puts him on pace for 119 catches this season. That would blow away the previous record for catches by a running back, set in 1995 when Cardinals fullback Larry Centers caught 101 passes. Forte is also threatening to become just the third player in NFL history to have 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. Forte currently has 448 rushing yards and 436 receiving yards, putting him on pace to finish the year with 1,024 and 997, respectively. Only Roger Craig in 1985 and Marshall Faulk in 1999 have managed 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving in the same year.

Bradshaw has six receiving touchdowns through seven games this season, putting him on pace for 14 by the time the year is over. No running back in NFL history has ever had double-digit receiving touchdowns. Faulk had nine receiving touchdowns in 2001, and running backs Leroy Hoard, Chuck Foreman, Bill Brown and Billy Cannon all had nine-touchdown seasons as well. Bradshaw has a good chance of becoming the first running back ever to get to 10.

At a time when running backs are being devalued in the NFL, Murray is showing how big an impact a workhorse back can have for his team. But Forte and Bradshaw may be showing the future of running backs in the NFL: In a passing league, the best backs may be the ones who have the biggest impact on the passing game.

28 responses to “Forte, Bradshaw flirting with running back receiving records

  1. The Forte stat is not necessarily a good thing.

    Take the Carolina game. Outside of the long run, he had 11 catches for a 4ypc average – that is effectively the running game.

    The concern is that Jay Cutler is not reading his progressions and going to the Forte check down at the expense of open receivers for bigger production.

    The fact that Matt Forte has more receptions than Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall combined is not a good thing.

    Cutler still on pace for 4,300 passing yards. I’d prefer to see 2,500 of those going to Marshall and Jeffery.

  2. There aren’t enough good quarterbacks on the planet to make the running backs who run irrelevant yet. While the receiving backs are continually increasing in value to teams, the rusher is not going away quietly. The best offenses still operate a balanced attack because it is the best way to keep a defense off-balance and produce points.

  3. This is great and all, but in the case of Murray who is a great RB, he became a monster because his offensive line is the best in football. Forte and Bradshaw have been huge for their teams and one has a stud QB in Andrew Luck while the other has Jay Cutler, who has been erratic and might be depending on the great Matt Forte a little too much.

    All in all, neither of these RBs were selected in the first round of the draft and that speaks volumes. You don’t need to spend a first round pick on a RB, and while Forte was selected in the middle of the second, DeMarco was a third round pick and Bradshaw was nabbed in the seventh round. Arian Foster wasn’t even drafted. Build an offensive line, because with out a stable one, you have 2014 Doug Martin and his 2.5 yards per carry average.

  4. If Matt Forte’s career hadn’t been wasted by a string of incompetent OC’s, he would have some records by now and maybe a ring as well.

  5. I know people hate hearing about their fantasy team, but let me tell you what a joy it was to be able to take Forte 1st round, Demarco 2nd round and Antonio Brown in the 3rd.

    I hit pay dirt.

  6. ^^ never understood why NY didn’t use him more. The guy excels at running and catching… blocking was passable. They just loved them some Brandon Jacobs for some reason.

  7. Good to see Bradshaw finally healthy again. Too many years he was limited but played in pain. Tough ass dude. NY fans are appreciative of all he gave while he was here.

  8. Interesting note: Three of the five RB’s with 9 receiving touchdowns in a season did so with the Minnesota Vikings. Brown and Foreman did this under OC Jerry Burns, the true inventor of the West Coast Offense. Former Viking RB Rickey Young led the league in receptions one year (1978 I believe…) Bill Walsh learned the WCO from Uncle Burnsie

  9. Up until the 1980’s it was actually pretty common for a RB to lead their team in receptions, though in that era backs generally split carries and there was less passing overall.

    Then we had the pass-catching fullback trend in the 90’s. Things are cyclical.

    However, if Forte breaks the receptions record but fails to even get 1,000 yards (which might actually happen), it will be an interesting anomaly but nothing more than a bunch of glorified rushes that count as receptions.

  10. floratiotime says:

    Oct 22, 2014 2:03 PM
    Ahmad Bradshaw stars in “Escape From New York”.


    Bradshaw is a pretty remarkable story. The way he has come back from multiple foot fractures/surgeries and totally transformed his body, re-inventing and re-invigorating his career is amazing.

  11. Bradshaw is hands down the comeback player of the year. We all thought in NY that he was an old 27 and done because of the 49 foot surgeries. Sucks we were wrong. Our loss is Indy’s gain. We couldn’t be happier for him. Good luck AB. OAGAAG!

  12. Forte continues to be underrated and has been clearly underutilized. While crazy offensive schemes have swirled around him, he has been the model of consistency. Barring injury, he should smash the records and carry the team.

  13. Too bad Forte still has to play against the Lions twice otherwise he might come close to those records.

  14. hyzers says:
    Oct 22, 2014 3:46 PM

    Too bad Forte still has to play against the Lions twice otherwise he might come close to those records.


    Hyzers, Forte would break the records in the 2 games against the Lions alone….be glad you only face Forte twice a year.

  15. I miss Ahmad Bradshaw!

    During his time with the New York Giants he quickly became a favorite of mine. I love his passion and pinball-like skills. Though he’s small in stature, he does not go down without being gang tackled.

    Keep up the great work #44, would love to see you back in the Giant Blue.

  16. Report comment
    hutson14 says:

    Oct 22, 2014 6:12 PM
    Doesn’t matter…Jim Brown is still the greatest RB of all time.


    W A L T E R P A Y T O N ! ! !

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