Is Matt Forte Headed for the Running Back Cliff?

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I did my best to plot the ESPN data and compare Forte to the pack of average NFL running backs.  Here’s how the numbers shake out:

You can see that Forte trends above the average NFL running backs.  That’s why he’s a two-time Pro Bowler and earned a hefty contract a couple of seasons ago.  But given where the trend is going, it’s hard to imagine that Forte’s numbers are going to continue to rise.  If he follows the trend, his rushing yards would dip by 15% next season and 25% in two years.  By age 30, running backs drop off by 40% from their peak.  That’s a cliff alright.