Every week the spotlight has been wrenched over to an opposing running back having his way with the Bears’ run defense, or lack of. Meanwhile, Matt Forte quietly piles up yardage and in ways that correlate directly to Bears wins and at a rate that has him about to move past Neal Anderson in rushing yards and other categories in franchise history.
With 66 rushing yards, Forte will trail only Walter Payton among Bears running backs. Forte has run for 6,101 yards in 85 games, compared with Anderson’s 6,166 in 116 games.
More to the immediate point, Forte stands third in yards from scrimmage this year behind only Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles in Kansas City. Forte has compiled 100 or more total yards in seven of 10 games this season. The Bears are 1-2 when he is held to sub-100 (Cincinnati, New Orleans, Detroit II).
The St. Louis Rams have given up 11 rushing touchdowns this season vs. three of their own, all by Zac Stacy, all in the last two games. Forte has scored seven rushing TDs and one receiving and again represents a foundation pillar for keeping the Bears’ offense on the field and the Bears’ defense off of it.
Forte is one of four Bears with more than 40 pass receptions (42), more than any Ram through 10 games.
The matchup of concern for Forte is Rams middle linebacker James Laurinaitis, who leads the Rams in tackles and is tied for team high with two interceptions.
“He's in the right place,” said coach Marc Trestman. “He's a finisher. He's relenteless to the ball. He's really impressive too in term of his just ability ... he's got great football sense. You can see it, how he reacts, how he moves. You know, how he reacts, how he moves, you know, his drops in coverage. His ability to play man-to-man coverage, it's very good.”
What to look for: The Bears are 0-4 when they have fewer than 25 rush attempts, including quarterback runs, 6-0 when they have more than 25 touches in the run game.