There is talk within the Bears fan community that Matt Forte is having a bad season. Forte hasn't been the dynamic play-maker that the Bears thought they were paying to get when they gave him a contract extension during the off-season. The expectation was Forte was going to have his best season ever because he's in the prime of his career.
Instead Forte is 18th in the NFL in rushing with 749 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Lost in all the criticism are a few facts, Forte is still averaging 4.2 yards per carry and had as many touchdowns at this point last season as he has currently. Forte has fewer carries, with a game missed due to injury and the addition of Michael Bush to limit Forte's carries.
Forte is having the same type of season we've come to expect from him, minus being the bell cow back and getting the additional receiving yards. That loss in receiving production is due to the arrival of Brandon Marshall as the primary weapon in the passing attack.
Essentially this should all have been expected, this is the type of season Forte always has. His play is nothing spectacular but is consistent and reliable. He's still capable of hitting a home run when he has good blocking in front of him, and is allowed to get into a consistent rhythm on offense.
The play calling has also limited Forte's production as early in the season Mike Tice was leaning on the deep pass to be the catalyst. Now as the play calling is being balanced out Forte's production should increase.
Yes it's disappointing that we're next experiencing the same level of explosive play from Forte that we've seen over the last two seasons. However we shouldn't be concerned because Forte is playing through injuries, and is contributing the level of production expected.
Going forward it's not fair to expect Forte to put up the same number of yards both rushing and receiving he has. His yards from scrimmage total is rightly dipping because of Brandon Marshall who has the vast majority of receiving targets in this offense.
Hopefully Forte can make a few more explosive plays going forward, but if he doesn't know that he is still contributing a typical Matt Forte season rushing the football.