Recently retired Chicago Bears legend/two-time Pro Bowl running back to be a featured analyst on network’s game day coverage beginning this fall
Chicago, IL (May 10, 2018) – NBC Sports Chicago, the regional home for the most comprehensive multi-platform coverage of the Chicago Bears, has announced recently retired Bears legend/two-time Pro Bowl running back MATT FORTE will be joining the network as a game day studio analyst for the upcoming 2018 NFL season. In addition to his game day analyst role, Forte is also scheduled to make additional appearances throughout the NFL season on a variety of NBC Sports Chicago’s programs and cross-platform portals.
“I am truly excited about this next chapter in my life,” said Forte. “I’ve always envisioned a career in broadcasting, and I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity than joining the NBC Sports Chicago team."
“We are extremely pleased to have Matt, who is one of the greatest players in Bears history and a true expert of the game, join our Bears game day coverage team beginning this season,” added Kevin Cross, Vice President of Content for NBC Sports Chicago. “The addition of Matt once again showcases our year-round commitment and desire to deliver the most comprehensive coverage of the Bears to our viewing audience.”
Forte recently signed a ceremonious one-day contract with the Bears on April 23rd that would officially mark the conclusion of his brilliant ten-year NFL career. Forte, a second-round pick out of Tulane in the 2008 NFL Draft (44th overall), spent eight of his ten pro seasons in a Bears uniform and immediately made an impact in his rookie season in which he led all rookie NFL running backs in total yards and receptions. Forte’s Bears tenure had numerous standout seasons including career-highs in rushing yards/rushing touchdowns in 2013 (1,339/9) and receptions/receiving yards/receiving touchdowns in 2014 (102/808/4). Only Hall of Famer Walter Payton ranks ahead of Forte on the Bears all-time list for rushing yards (8,602), yards from scrimmage (12,718), receptions (487), and 100-yard games (24). He currently sits third on the team’s all-time list in total touchdowns (64) behind Payton and Neal Anderson.
NOTE: NBC Sports Chicago will announce its full slate of 2018 Bears/NFL multi-platform offerings later this summer.
After he threw three interceptions in the first half of the Tampa Bay-Pittsburgh game on MNF, Ryan Fitzmagic has reverted to just plain Ryan Fitzpatrick. The result is that the Bears likely should expect to see Jameis Winston at quarterback when the Buccaneers show up in Soldier Field next Sunday.
This would not necessarily be good news for the Bears, even with Winston starting this season with a three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy.
Last-place finishes in the standings by the Bears and Bucs have had Winston facing the Bears each of his three NFL seasons, all three in Raymond James Stadium. After the Bears escaped with a victory in Winston’s rookie (2015) season, the Buccaneers outscored the Bears by a combined 65-17 in Winston’s last two meetings with them.
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Needing deeper thoughts
No surprise really, but the Bears are leading the NFC North with the lowest-rated quarterback in the division:
No. Player Rating
8 Aaron Rodgers 104.5
12 Kirk Cousins 98.8
23 Matthew Stafford 83.4
25 Mitch Trubisky 77.8
Trubisky does rank ahead of rookies Josh Allen of Buffalo and the Jets’ Sam Darnold but he does stand 26th in yards per attempt at a very underwhelming 5.68
But Trubisky and the offense produced produced only six plays of 12 yards or longer at Green Bay and six against Seattle. Against the Cardinals, the Bears had nine, but those included three on runs, by Tarik Cohen (21 and 17 yards) and Jordan Howard (17), plus four short completions with yards after catches.
The irony is that the offense is getting a completion rate from Trubisky – 69.2 – that is axiomatic for success with West Coast offenses. But his overall accuracy continues to inconsistent: His completion percentage is its lowest (51.16) in the red zone, and he has established zero deep threat based on accuracy on throws longer than 10 yards.
“Those are important to have and we need to start connecting on those,” said coach Matt Nagy. “It's great to take the opportunity of going deep, those are great, but they're way better and they mean a lot more when you connect on them… .
“I thought that there were some good ones and I thought there were some he could get better at. That's where we're at. He'll be the first to tell you that. We'll do everything we possibly can each week to make sure we limit those inaccuracies.”
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Funky stats and factoids aren’t all that difficult to find in the NFL; all the teams that could’ve drafted Tom Brady or Joe Montana, that sort of thing.
So isn’t there something at least lightly amusing about the Miami Dolphins, the Bears’ opponent on Oct. 14 coming out of the off week, sitting at 3-0 and sharing the No. 1 spot in the AFC with the Kansas City Chiefs?
Behind quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the NFL’s No. 3 passer (121.8 rating)?
Under offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains?
The Bears defense did the heavy lifting in their Week 3 win over the Arizona Cardinals, generating a turnover and forcing a quarterback change to keep Mitchell Trubisky and company in the game.
Khalil Mack was a major key to the victory, but the rest of the defense really stepped up too. It was actually Eddie Jackson and Akiem Hicks who were the Bears’ highest-graded starters in the game by Pro Football Focus.
They both made PFF’s Week 3 Team of the Week for their performances.
Technically, Sherrick McManis was PFF’s highest-graded player for Chicago, recording a sack and an interception on only five snaps played.
Mack was right behind Jackson and Hicks to lead the defense, while Jordan Howard was the Bears’ highest-graded offensive player.
On the other end of the spectrum, Mitchell Trubisky was the lowest-graded player on the team. He was the fourth-lowest graded QB in Week 3, ahead of only Tyrod Taylor and both Cardinals quarterbacks.
Matt Nagy will need better from his quarterback down the line, but for now, the Bears have found a way to ride their defense to the top of the NFC North standings.