St. Louis Rams Must Shut Down Matt Forte

By roywhitehead
Jo-Lonn Dunbar
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams‘ defense has been much improved over the last three weeks limiting teams to 16.7 points per game during that stretch. While they have one of the most fierce defensive lines when it comes to attacking the quarterback they haven’t been very successful in stopping opposing team’s passing attacks. The soft coverage on the outside allows teams to complete a high volume of short passes leading to a high QB rating.

St. Louis’ biggest issue has been their run defense all season. Many thought that the re-addition of Jo-Lonn Dunbar would fix that issue. Part of the roller coaster ride season has been on the shoulder of the run defense surrendering 100 yards to opposing backs one week and then shutting down an All-Pro the next.

Matt Forte could be next in line to destroy the Rams’ run defense that is giving up 114 yards per game.  Forte is averaging 77 yards per game this year, but he has broken off three runs of 50+ yards this season. St. Louis has to make a point of hammering Forte early and often if they hope to derail the Chicago Bears offense. He has reached the end zone seven times on rushes and has one receiving touchdown this year. Not only does Forte have the ability to make people miss and break off the big run, but he might be one of the best receiving backs in the league.

His 49 catches place him in the top three among running backs in the league. He can be utilized as an extra receiver or on screens using his excellent field vision to find holes and pick up large chunks of yards. Forte is a back that can do it all, and St. Louis will need to know where he is at all times or they could see him picking up solid yards on the ground and as a receiver. If they fail to limit Forte’s touches then it could be game over. Forcing Josh McCown to win the game for the Bears will give the Rams a solid chance at an upset victory and bring them one step closer to .500 on the season.

Roy Whitehead is a St. Louis Rams writer for, follow him on Twitter @roypatrick1, or add him to your network on Google

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