Matt Forte: The Most Unappreciated Running Back In The NFL
If someone were to ask the question, "Who is the best running back in the NFL?" You would hear answers such as Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch and Jamal Charles. One name that rarely gets mentioned is that of Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte. There is little doubt that almost every football fan would agree that he is a good running back but he's essentially an afterthought to most. This is truly baffling, considering Matt Forte has quietly been one of the most productive running backs in the NFL since coming into the league.
As of Week 6, Matt Forte is currently the rushing leader in the NFL. In addition, Forte ranks third among all players in yards from scrimmage this season. What is surprising is the fact that very few have taken note of Forte's accomplishment. Don't believe me? Take last year as an excellent example. Matt Forte became only the second player in NFL history to have one hundred catches and rush for over 1,000 yards. Forte set an NFL record for most receptions by a running back with one hundred and two catches and ranked fourth in the entire league for receptions. Despite these incredible accomplishments, Forte was not selected to the Pro Bowl. The fact that Forte didn't at least make the Pro Bowl is truly difficult to comprehend.
I will admit that there have been running backs that have had better seasons that Matt Forte, but Forte's recognition as a prominent running back in the NFL has been nonexistent. Forte has been one of the most consistent backs in the NFL. Through seven seasons Forte has averaged a respectable 4.1 yards per carry along with running for over 1,000 yards in five of those seasons. Furthermore, Forte has also had over four hundred yards receiving in all but one year since coming into the NFL. Considering that he is currently the rushing leader this season, it is easy to say Forte is on his way to his fourth consecutive season rushing for at least 1,000 yards.
Since entering into the league in 2008. Matt Forte has been one of the best running backs the Chicago Bears have had and one of the top running backs in the game. Forte currently ranks second all-time in Bears history for rushing yards behind the great Walter Payton and ranks sixth in rushing yards among all active running backs in the NFL with 8,211 yards. Forte also ranks sixth all-time in Bears history for receiving yards as well.
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The one serious issue with Matt Forte are his rushing touchdowns, or lack thereof. Last year Forte ranked 17th in rushing touchdowns in 2014 and ranks 19th this season with just two. It is difficult to blame Forte for this, however, because the Bears as a team ranked 26th in rushing touchdowns last year and currently rank 15th this year. The Bears have been notorious over the years for fielding below average offensive lines. This has been a consistent struggle for the Bears over the years and as a result it has hindered Forte's effectiveness in the redzone.
Throughout his career, Matt Forte has worked hard in silence. For a man who is very soft-spoken in interviews, he lets his play do the talking. Although Forte has had a stellar career thus far as a running back in the NFL, his accomplishments often go without recognition. Forte has some of the best footwork in the NFL and it shows when he gets the ball. He poses as the double threat, a man who can not only run the ball effectively but also be one of the top receiving running backs in the game. He may not be the flashiest Running Back but it goes without saying that Matt Forte is a top tier Running Back who deserves recognition.