There are numerous players that can be named the Chicago Bears’ most valuable player for the 2013 season. Wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery would be prime candidates for the honor.
Marshall capped off the year with his second consecutive campaign with 100 receptions, extended his string of 1,000-yard receiving seasons to seven and hauled in 12 touchdowns. Jeffery, who was named the NFL’s Most Improved Player by the Pro Football Writers of America, put any thoughts of a sophomore slump to rest with his team-leading 1,421 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.
Another possible MVP came as the biggest surprise of the year in backup quarterback Josh McCown. The 34-year-old veteran stepped in when starting quarterback Jay Cutler went down with a groin injury in Week 7. In the eight games that he played in, McCown threw for 13 touchdowns, only one interception, and had the third-highest quarterback rating (109.0) among passers with significant playing time.
However, all of the aforementioned players were outdone by running back Matt Forte. The sixth-year veteran is arguably the most versatile back in the league, and came up big for the Bears in many ways this season.
Forte’s 1,933 total yards from scrimmage (1,339 rushing, 594 receiving) was a career-high and third in the NFL. His rushing total ranked second in the league, while only three other running backs had more receiving yards than him. The two-time Pro Bowl running back also had a total of 12 touchdowns (nine rushing, three receiving), and those rushing touchdowns were sixth in the league.
In addition to his eye-popping statistics, Forte also adds a dimension that can’t be seen on paper, which is his ability to stay on the field for all three downs as an offensive weapon or as a pass protector.
Even with Marc Trestman’s offensive mind, a solid offensive line and productive quarterbacks and receivers, this offense wouldn’t be nearly as potent without Forte in the mix. Forte is a player that has to be accounted for on every offensive snap, and his presence alone opens up so many other opportunities for his teammates.
Though much attention has been pointed in his direction from defensive oppositions, Forte still managed to have the best season of his career. It is for this reason that he is the Bears’ MVP of the 2013 season.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller.