Chicago Bears: Matt Forte, Rushing Attack Impress in Week 1


The Chicago Bears opened their 2015 NFL regular season with a defeat in the hands of their division rivals, the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense pretty much had their way with the Bears’ defense, but the Bears’ offense was able to make some noise, mostly thanks to the rushing attack led by Matt Forte.

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Forte finished the afternoon with 141 yards on 24 carries, which came out to an impressive 5.9 yards per carry average. He was able to get into the end zone once, a one-yard score early in the second quarter, which was the Bears’ first touchdown of the 2015 season.

Forte’s score capped off an incredibly efficient 15-play, 80-yard drive, that included 62 yards rushing on 10 carries from the Bears’ running back. More than anything, the Bears’ coaching staff’s confidence in the rushing attack was nice to see on that drive.

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Marc Trestman and the Bears’ old coaching staff would never allow Forte to get in a groove. They preferred to feature the passing game, which would have been fine, but they refused to adapt. It was nice to see head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase stick with Forte and the rushing attack, as it clearly had the Packers’ defense off-balance.

As you would expect, a strong running game, opened up things for Jay Cutler and the Bears’ passing attack. They were not able to do enough to get the job done, but Cutler looked much more comfortable in this Bears’ offense, and I strongly believe that had a lot to do with the Bears’ ability to run the ball.

Gase has brought a zone run blocking style to the Bears, and at least early on, it appears to fit Forte’s style very well. Forte is an extremely patient runner, and while he has been accused of dancing in the backfield too much in the past, he was extremely quick and decisive on Sunday.

The Bears’ offensive line struggled to pass protect on Sunday, but they were consistently opening up holes for Forte in the running game. Forte was doing an incredible job of making his decisions quickly, and hitting the holes provided by the offensive line. Obviously, as the numbers indicate, this was a recipe for success on Sunday.

With a seemingly weak defense, if the Bears are going to be competitive this season, the offense is going to have to be great. Cutler has shown his limitations in the past when the Bears have put too much responsibility on him. So, featuring Forte and the running game to help keep the pressure off of Cutler seems to be a must.

Next: Bears vs. Packers: What Was the Turning Point?

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