He carries the ball well. He catches the ball well. He can line up as a single back or flank out as a receiver. There’s really no limit to what Matt Forte can do for the Bears.
Forte has played a large role in the Bears’ 6-1 record so far this season, but he can do even more to contribute to the team’s success, and especially that of Jay Cutler.
Cutler made it clear before the season even started that he believed Forte would see less carries this season due to the additions of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Michael Bush in the Bears’ offense. Cutler reiterated that feeling during his weekly press conference.
“Like I said earlier, maybe in training camp or somewhere, I didn’t think Matt (Forte) was going to get as many touches that he got last year,” Cutler said. “There (are) not enough balls to go around.”
Obviously adding a weapon such as Marshall would change the offensive philosophy for the Bears. He’s undoubtedly enjoyed a successful year already and is on pace to break all kinds of team records. But the Bears offense is still stagnant and safe, just as it has been in the past few years. Forte is the player that can set them apart from the opposition and provide the boost they so sorely need. Not only would it help an aging defense and keep them well rested on the sidelines, but increasing Forte’s touches would greatly help Cutler too.
Last weekend’s skin-of-their-teeth victory over the Carolina Panthers should have been a wake up call for Mike Tice and the Bears’ offense. Yes, the Bears have several new weapons on their offense and, yes, they’re capable of scoring 25+ points a game. But the Chicago Bears simply do not have a good enough offensive line to be a pass-first, run-second team. Forte needs at least 20 carries a game with a minimum of 5-6 passing targets out of the backfield. It will help the offensive line gain confidence and, more importantly, help Cutler gain confidence by completing short, quick passes for significant gains and not allow for sacks to prematurely kill drives.
The Jay Cutler that Chicago Bears fans witnessed in the final drive of last Sunday’s victory is the Jay Cutler that should be present for the first three quarters of every game as well. Tice and Cutler need to get back on the same page when it comes to the offensive gameplan and figure out a way to incorporate Forte more effectively.
Matt Forte runs the ball well. And if they simply give him the chance to do so, Jay Cutler and the Bears will reap the benefits.