Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Forte's Pivotal Game Against Eagles

The Bears beat a very good Philadelphia Eagles team last night 30-24. Matt Forte set the tone in the first series touchdown drive that covered 89 yards. Forte had six carries for 52 yards despite the fact that Eagles were well aware of his recent play and prepared for him.

Despite, and perhaps because of Forte's two fumbles in the game, it was a pivotal game for Bears' soft-spoken star running back.

In sports, an athlete's effort is often expressed in hyperbole with that age old slogan "he always gives 110%." But professional athletes--especially those in skill positions like quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers--can overplay or play outside themselves. When a skill position athlete plays outside himself or outside his game, the result isn't always good.

In Forte's case, his extra effort, his 110% was superb to see, but things got away from him and he fumbled twice. Games like last night can help a player set parameters for himself--give him a better idea of how far he can go. Last night Forte was over the limit and back again.

You can be too cautious in football. If it happens, a team becomes predictable besides being boring. A team that stretches out and tries to get to that next level is a better team for it. Forte and the Bears took it to the next level last night.

Whole Team Has Learned Its Lesson

Cutler has learned some lessons about overextending himself. The Bears offensive plan has overextended the Bears talent on occasion this year. The defense has had moments of trying to do too much leaving lanes open that resulted in huge plays. And now Forte has gone way out on a limb and needs to climb back just a bit. These experiences are lessons that are best learned when a team actually makes the mistakes in game situations and pays the price. The Bears payed the price for Forte's errors, but scrambled back and won.

Forte rushed 24 times for a total of 133 yards and a 5.5 yard average. He also had 3 receptions for 17 yards. Earl Bennett had 5 receptions for 95 yards. Roy Williams had 3 receptions for 46 yards.

Last night was a great night for the Bears and Matt Forte. The Bears are improving and maturing as a team.

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