Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte told CBS Chicago on Monday his team is beating itself. The Bears are on a two-game losing streak which dropped their record to 2-3 entering Week 6 of the 2014 NFL season.
Matt Forte feels the Chicago Bears are beating themselves.
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The Bears running back poured his sentiments to CBS Chicago on Oct. 6 in the aftermath of his team's most recent loss, a 31-24 defeat at the hands of the Carolina Panthers:
"Of the many goats in the Bears' 31-24 setback to the Panthers on Sunday afternoon, it's hard to fault running back Matt Forte, the workhorse who had 17 carries for 61 yards and 12 catches for 105 yards and a score. Amidst Chicago's underachieving 2-3 start, Forte's play has gravitated between splendid and consistent, and he's often been the team's best player.
"Nonetheless, it was Forte who coughed up a crucial fumble with 4:18 remaining in a (tied) game, setting up Carolina's winning touchdowns on a short field. And it was Forte who took blame.
"'You've just got to put two hands on it when you make contact,' Forte said. 'Initially I hit him and when I started fighting for extra yards, I needed to put two hands on it.
"'I was fighting for extra yards and I was sure I had two hands on it, I went to put two hands on it and it just came out.'
"In Forte's mind, the Bears' poor play, has little to do with their opponents. It has to do with themselves and a lack of execution.
"'It is frustrating early on because it is not like we are getting beat, we are beating ourselves,' Forte said. 'If we can get out of our own way, we can win some games.'
"While Bears coach Marc Trestman didn't go quite as far as Forte in his analysis, he too agreed much of the loss could be traced to his team not playing to its capability.
"'You look to see the reasons why you didn't finish it,' Trestman said. 'Was it something they did? And most of the time with all the respect in the world to what they did defensively because they played very, very well, but we've got to do our job. We've got to make sure we take control of our job and are consistent in our fundamentals and our technqiues and where we're supposed to line up and so forth.'
"Chicago plays at Alanta (2-3) next Sunday."
ESPN Chicago's Jon Greenberg argues that Forte has been worth "every penny and then some" of his four year, $30 million dea in his Oct. 3 blog:
"In the summer of 2012, there was a belief among some that Forte's quest for a big payday was a fool's errand. Forte, like every other running back, was nothing more than replaceable goods, worth X amount of dollars, and not a penny more. It's a passing league, after all, a point proven after that season when the Bears hired Trestman.
"I was all for Forte getting paid. Give me a chain-mover any day.
"Since signing a four-year deal that guaranteed him reportedly around $17 million and was worth around $30 million if pain in full, Forte has proven to be worth every penny and then some.
"In his previous two seasons, he played 31 games, carrying the ball 537 times for 2,433 yards and 14 touchdowns. He caught 118 passes for 940 yards and another four scores. He works hard at staying healthy.
"'It's important to be durable, especially as a running back because there's a perception out there that running backs really don't last that long,' Forte said.
"Forte's a calm guy off the field. His news conference register is just above a whisper. But he wants to show people that he's worth his contract and then some, because he's a complete player."
The 28-year-old Forte is in his seventh NFL season -- all spent with the Bears. He has rushed for 6,985 yards and 35 touchdowns on 1,633 carries in 96 career regular-season games through Oct. 6, per ESPN stats.
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