Matt Forte

Bears All-Decade Team: Jay Cutler, Matt Forte are no-brainers at QB, RB

Bears All-Decade Team: Jay Cutler, Matt Forte are no-brainers at QB, RB

The Chicago Bears wrapped up their 100th season of football in disappointing fashion, but the 2010s provided Bears fans with some fun moments and personalities to cheer for.

In this nine-part series, we'll name our Bears All-Decade Team.

We've already covered linebackersdefensive linemenedge defenders, cornerbacks, safeties and wide receivers. Next up: quarterback and running back.

Quarterback: Jay Cutler
2009-16

Cutler dominated the Bears quarterback conversation the minute former general manager Jerry Angelo pulled off the blockbuster trade to acquire him from the Denver Broncos in 2009. He'd go on to play eight seasons in Chicago and was arguably the most talented quarterback in franchise history.

Cutler ended his Bears career as the club's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns but finished with a 51-51 record as a starter. Is there a better way to summarize his time in Chicago than that .500 winning percentage?

Ryan Pace moved on from Cutler during the 2017 offseason when the team figured they'd be better off with Mike Glennon and Mitch Trubisky. Three seasons removed from Cutler's last start, fans are still wondering if this team, with this defense, would've won more games if he was still under center.


Running Back: Matt Forte
2008-15

Forte's career with the Bears began in 2008 but he enjoyed some of his most productive seasons between 2010 and 2014. He had a career-high 1,339 rushing yards in 2013 and had a sensational 102-catch season in 2014.

The former second-round pick out of Tulane became a fixture in the Chicago sports landscape because of his consistent and reliable play. Forte was one of the NFL's most effective dual-threat running backs during his time with the Bears and finished second behind Walter Payton on the team's all-time rushing list with 8,602 yards. He's also second (again, behind Payton) in career receptions with 487.

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Matt Forte on NFL All-Decade Team: 'I gotta be on there'

Matt Forte on NFL All-Decade Team: 'I gotta be on there'

Former Bears running back Matt Forte was one of the best offensive weapons in the NFL during his tenure in Chicago, including a 2014 season in which he ran for 1,038 yards and added 102 catches for 808 yards with 10 total touchdowns.

Forte was a talented running backs whose most productive seasons all occurred during the last 10 years. Naturally, it begs the question: Should he be one of the running backs on an All-Decade Team?

"No. 1, I'm going to put myself. I'm gonna be humble," Forte said before a brief pause, "and put myself at No. 1.

"I gotta put Adrian Peterson on there, who's been killing it for beyond a decade. I think after him, I think I would put probably Marshawn Lynch on there as well. He's a guy who revitalized Seattle's running game after Shaun Alexander left and has been a really good asset for them when he was playing for them."

Don't get it twisted, though. Forte knows his resume deserves strong consideration.

"For myself, I'm gonna make my case," he said. "For 10 seasons, I did lead the league in all-purpose yards, so I gotta be on the All-Decade Team."

Despite leaving Chicago for the Jets in 2016, Forte is and always will be a Bear at heart. And he offered his take on the current state of the team.

"I think this season has been revealing for them. The fact that last year they were winning a lot, and it masked a lot of things. You look at the last four games that they played last year, they struggled offensively. And so right now they have been struggling, but the last couple of games, Mitch has been growing. He's been making better decisions with the ball, not turning it over as much.

"I just want to see them run the ball more. They've got a good running back in David Montgomery, and I just want them to run the ball a little more and be a balanced offense."

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Matt Forte open to Bears return?: 'My knees feel pretty good on this plant based diet'

Matt Forte open to Bears return?: 'My knees feel pretty good on this plant based diet'

The Bears running game woes are well-documented at this point in the season and now it is looking like rookie running back David Montgomery could be out on Sunday as he is officially a gametime decision for the matchup against the Rams, further complicating the issues plaguing the Bears. 

Bears fans have been routinely thinking about the glory days of the franchise to distract themselves from what has been an up-and-down 2019 season. When one Bears fan took to Twitter to share a quick Matt Forte appreciation post, he got the attention of Forte himself. 

In 2014 and 2015, Forte's last two years with the Bears, he amassed 3,133 yards from scrimmage and 17 touchdowns. After this Forte finished out his last two seasons with the New York Jets. Though Forte's last time on the field was the 2017 season, don't think that the veteran running back couldn't make a return if he absolutely set his mind to it.

A fan posited the question of:  Would Forte return to the Bears if offered a one-year deal? And Forte responded rather quickly that he would definitely be interested if such an offer was on the table.

Chicago sports fans all over the Twittersphere started to rejoice at the thought of Forte again donning a Bears jersey but when some asked Forte to not get them "worked up" about such an exciting idea, he hilariously replied that his plant-based diet has done wonders for his knees.

Obviously the lighthearted nature of Forte's response suggests that while he probably could still return to the NFL and play at a good level, he more just wanted to show his continued support for the franchise that brought him into the NFL in 2008. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.