Eagles focused on stopping Bears tailback Matt Forte
Bears boast the Pro Bowl names of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, not to mention rising star Alshon Jeffery, but it’s still the man in the backfield who will get the lion’s share of attention from the Eagles’ defense. Matt Forte is in his sixth year with the Bears, but he may be having his most productive season ever.
He is third in the NFL with an even 1,200 yards rushing — just 38 shy of his career high set during his rookie season.
It’s a good bet he’ll break that career best, but not this week if the Eagles get their way.
“Forte is a very good back in this league,” linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. “He’s an all-around guy. He does a good job of course running the zone read plays, but also out of the backfield he has good hands. … [He’s a] very underrated player in this league. He doesn’t get a lot of attention but I think he definitely should be up there with the top backs in this league because of his versatility.”
The Eagles are being very cognizant of Forte, not just on handoffs, but also as a pass receiver.
When Cutler drops back to pass and Jeffery or Marshall are covered, Forte can still burn your defense.
“They have play makers [at wide receiver], but also Forte is a guy we have to keep our eyes on,” Ryans said. “We gotta be focused on him out of the backfield. They do a good job running the ball and getting him out of the backfield on checkdowns.”