Bears

Mullin: Extension for Forte won't be easy

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Mullin: Extension for Forte won't be easy

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011
Posted: 11:28 p.m.

By JohnMullin
CSNChicago.com BearsInsider Follow@CSNMoonMullin
Moneyballin

The two-week performance by Matt Forte, 324 total yards between rushing, receiving and the yards-after-catch thing he does very well, has been the most productive two-game combo in Fortes career.

But not by much.

More amazing than the last two games is the fact that he has topped 130 total yards in each of the last six games. Counting backwards:

166 New Orleans (49 rushing, 117 receiving)

158 Atlanta (6890)

160 Green Bay, NFC Championship (7090)

134 Seattle, divisional playoff (8054)

151 Green Bay (9160)

169 N.Y. Jets (11358)

All of which says the meter is running as far as a contract extension. The guess here is that something will get done (Jerry Angelo and the Bears have lost only one player Bernard Berrian that they really wanted back).

But it wont be easy. Heres why:

First of all, the Bears never remotely denigrated Fortes value as a football player. They offered him a lot of money as far back as the outset of training camp. Thats not the issue.

The Bears will increase their offer, which already was more that a number of other top backs were getting, despite the Bears holding all leverage in the form of a contract in place and a franchise-tag-in-waiting.

But Forte and the Bears didnt get an extension resolved, not because the Bears are cheap or Forte is greedy, but because the two sides simply disagreed on value.

So while the Bears will up their offering because they recognized increased value, Fortes side will increase their lets-do-it point because they see precisely the same thing, that Forte is to the Bears what Marshall Faulk once was to Mike Martz and the St. Louis Rams. Put another way, the Bears could bump their offer up significantly and still be short, because the Forte side moved the goal posts.

And the waiting game will still continue until one side makes a big change. Right now, that doesnt look to be Forte anytime soon.
Just a thought
Judging from Lovie Smiths words and tone, the Bears offense will not be so pass-run lopsided for the foreseeable future. But Mike Martz probably had something to show his boss, a reason for firing passes all over Soldier Field:

The last two quarterbacks who faced the Green Bay Packers defense threw for 419 yards (Drew Brees) and 432 yards (Cam Newton) and their teams, respectively, scored 34 and 23 points on the Packers.

So, obviously, air it out against these Packer guys, the No. 2 scoring defense in the NFL for 2010?

Except that both of those 400-yard passers lost.

Tough enough for you?

Is everyone, including assorted NFL players, finally clear on Jay Cutlers toughness? If anyone is still chirping about the quarterback taking an injury out in the NFC Championship game, when hed been sacked just twice and the Bears had the ball on their 40 to start the third quarter, check out Sundays fourth quarter when hed been kicked in the throat, the Bears were down 30-13 and he was being sacked five times on the final four possessions.

Whether Cutler should even have been in the game at that point is another question. Cutlers toughness never should have been.

Cutler may be a fan of Mike Martzs offensive scheme and philosophy. But he was sacked just 11 times in his final season in Denver, in a supposedly confining West Coast scheme. He has been sacked 11 times in two games this year and 52 in 14-12 games last season.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

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USA TODAY

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.

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