Chicago Bears, Matt Forte Chasing Sweetness

By Dale Casler
Mark J. Rebilas- USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears running back, Matt Forte is one 840 yard season away from landing a spot behind Walter Payton in the Bears all time record book. I hope and expect Forte to do better than that, but that is the magic number for him to sit behind the greatest running back to ever play the game.

If Forte manages the feat, he will have done it in just six NFL seasons. He currently has 5,327 yards rushing. The Bears 2nd best all time rushing yards leader is Neal Anderson. He had the honor to play with “Sweetness”. He also carried the burden of being the next in line at the position.  That’s a tough act to follow but Anderson handled it well and landed in the 2nd spot after eight successful seasons, with 6166 yards and 51 touchdowns.

Forte should go on to chase the late Walter Payton but don’t look for him to match the Hall of Famer’s 16,726 rushing yards. That’s no knock on Matt but to put it into perspective, after six seasons in the NFL, Payton had already amassed 8,386 yards and an astonishing 65 touchdowns. Let’s say Forte does indeed have a 1000 yard season with six touchdowns, that would put him at 6,327 yards and 32 scores. Not bad, but nowhere close to the Bear legend.

Either way, it will be an accomplishment for Matt Forte. The young pro has seen a sprained knee and ankle in five seasons with the Bears, but he looks healthy enough to play out the contract he signed last season.  Sitting at number two all time rushing behind Walter Payton will give rowdy Bears fans an argument for many years.

After Payton, you have to collectively agree on Gale Sayers as the teams 2nd best RB in history.  I am adding in all stats now, not just rushing yards. And the debate for the rest will have to include Forte.  How could it not?


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