Matt Forte is single-handedly keeping the heat off Bears GM Jerry Angelo. But Chicago’s next-best rookie has been third-rounder Marcus Harrison, who has all of 10 tackles. The Bears’ other draft picks have barely played.
Matt Forte is single-handedly keeping the heat off Bears GM Jerry Angelo. Forte’s 916 yards rushing and 329 receiving give him 1,245 total yards, third in the NFL and on pace for 1,810, eighth in Bears history behind Walter Payton, who has the top seven totals.
But Chicago’s next-best rookie has been third-rounder Marcus Harrison, who has all of 10 tackles. The Bears’ other draft picks have barely played.
That’s nothing new. Of Angelo’s nine picks in the first three rounds the previous three years, four aren’t even on the team anymore and the only three who are quasi-starters are Devin Hester, Dusty Dvoracek and Greg Olsen.
And even Forte isn’t a total home run for Angelo. Many critics wanted him to sign free-agent Michael Turner. The former NIU star leads the NFL with 13 rushing touchdowns and is third with 1,088 yards rushing for surprising Atlanta.
700 a club of one (maybe)
The Bears are 699-513-42 in 89 seasons. If they win at Minnesota on Sunday, they’ll be the first NFL team to 700 wins. Green Bay is second at 667-524-36. The Giants, at 636-530-33, are the only other team within 140 wins of the Bears.
The Bears’ first win was 20-0 over the Moline Tractors. Other landmark wins were over the Chicago Cardinals (100), Lions (200), 49ers (300), Saints (400), Cowboys (500) and Jaguars (600). A good sign for Sunday: the last five milestone wins, starting at No. 200, all came on the road.
Forte a rare dual threat
Matt Forte currently leads the Bears in both rushing touchdowns (six) and receiving (three). If he maintains his lead, he will be only the fourth NFL rookie since the Super Bowl era began to lead his team in both categories. The first was Bears great Gale Sayers (14 rushing, six receiving). The other two played for teams that struggled to score. Mike Alstott had three rushing and three receiving TDs for the 1996 Bucs and Clark Gaines ran for three TDs and caught two TD passes for the 1976 Jets.
Stout against the run
The Bears have two of their best eight run-stuffing games in history this year. The 14 yards on 19 carries against the Rams last week ranks No. 5 in team history. The 20 yards on 29 carries against the Titans ranks eighth. Chicago’s top four run defense games are: minus-36 yards against the Eagles in 1939, minus-17 against the Chicago Cardinals in 1942, zero against the Bills in 1988 and 11 against the Vikings in 1996.
Sunday’s foe, though, is even tougher against the run. Minnesota ranks No. 2 in the NFL in both rushing defense (70.4 yards) and rushing average (3.1 yards per carry). The Bears rank No. 5 in yards (80.7) and No. 3 in average (3.3).
Colorful wardrobe leads to questioning for Idonije
A sharp-eyed TV reporter spied a colorful shirt in defensive tackle Israel Idonije’s locker Wednesday.
“Is that a purple shirt?” he asked.
“No, it’s lavender,” Idonije replied.
“I think it’s purple.”
Idonije then laughed when the TV reporter asked him if he also had a Vikings hat in his locker.
Matt Trowbridge can be reached at (815) 987-1383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.