Bear Dawn: Matt Forte, End of an Era


Eight seasons, 114 games, 1953 hand offs for 8252 yards. Add in 464 receptions for another 3946 yards and 60 touchdowns (rushing/receiving combined), Matt Forte has had an incredible career. The burning question now with this knee injury have we seen the end of an era?

A lot of the media and fans were worried about how good Langford would be, could he fill the shoes of Forte. Many were hanging on Fox’s “day to day” report on his knee. I think we all knew Forte was out against the Chargers and I see no reason for him playing against the Rams.

So is Langford ready to take the torch from Forte, or do we hope Matt recovers by the Denver game and get re-signed for 2016? Langford played well, as did Ka’Deem Carey (while limited) against a weak Chargers defense. While he wasn’t challenged like he will be by the Rams defense. You can’t take away that burst when he hits the hole, the acceleration when he clears the corner, nor his receiving ability. That layout 31 yard pass reception down the sideline was a thing of beauty.

What we will see going forward, if Langford continues to play well regardless of stats, is the gradual phasing out of Matt Forte. Matt has been a great Bear, quiet, diligent and does his job consistently. We all know when running backs get on the other side of 30, with the mileage Forte has, it is getting close to the end, if not there already. Forte is a smart man and knows what’s coming. He also knows it’s going to be far sooner than later.

Aug 22, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jeremy Langford (36) runs with the ball against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Do the Bears re-sign him? Well that depends on the next eight games by Langford/Carey. Along with the fact can Forte accept less money? Those factors are unknown right now, so no need to speculate. The good news as of today, the Bears have crop of young talented running backs in Langford, Carey and Perry. As we see an era end we are also looking at a bright future at running back.

Here is a quick wrap up the Chargers game, and included is the Box Score provided by Pro-Football Reference.

Special Teams: Other than Robbie Gould missing two FG’s attempts in a row (now making it three in a row) they played well. No long returns, no penalties, so all in all, the did their job.

Offense: Like we have grown accustomed to, the game doesn’t get interesting for them until the fourth quarter. If Gould hits those two FG’s the red zone play would not look so bad. The other passing of the torch is taking place as Leno started and a healthy Bushrod sat. Jermon is the Willie Pip of the Bears this season. Leno is the future LT for the Bears. Yes, he gave up that strip sack but there is not a LT in the game that does not get beat. Before that, Leno had given up only one sack. Lots to develop and learn but he is going to start the rest of the way.

Defense: We have been waiting for them to finish off a win, make big plays and we got it finally. Porter’s pass knock down, Houston’s two sacks and Amos hammer tackling did the Chargers in. While we know they are vulnerable on any play this is a huge step. We need to be prepared for a step backwards here and there.

The Bears had some interesting roster moves on Tuesday. Two players: Jalen Saunders and Tayo Fabuluje have been suspended for four games for violating NFL policy. Tayo’s was for a PED taken in an attempt to lose weight. Evidently he bought over the counter weight loss pills at a GNC. The pills contained a form of amphetamine, which was not on label. There are rumors about Saunders suspension but until the league or Bears publish something it will goes as unknown reasons.

The other roster moves was the promotion of WR Deonte Thompson, to the active roster. He spent two season on the Ravens where he handled KO Returns mainly. Was on the Bills roster last season and was an injury release. The only reason I can see him being promoted is that Royal’s knee might be more banged up than we thought. Martin Wallace, a second year OT out of Temple was signed and placed on the practice squad. He played in one game with the Browns in 2013.