Matt Forte's Performance Inside 5-Yard Line Proves Bears Need Big Back

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIDecember 18, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 16: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears runs against Sam Shields #37 of the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on December 16, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Packers defeated the Bears 21-13.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Matt Forte is one of the most versatile running backs in the NFL, but he has long been taken out of the game when the Chicago Bears find themselves inside the five-yard line.

Against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, we saw an example of why.

Had Michael Bush been healthy, the Bears probably would have had him in the game for at least one of the team's rushing attempts near the Packers' goal line, late in the third quarter.

As it was, Forte got the call on two attempts, and instead of putting his head down to power his way into the end zone, he hesitated and turned the run horizontal for an instant.

When you're that close to the end zone, that's all it takes to fail, and fail is exactly what the Bears did on that drive—which was set up by one of the team's coveted takeaways.

Settling for a field goal in that situation was just one of the many reasons the Bears came up short on Sunday.

Instead of cutting the deficit to seven, they only closed the score to 21-10. For a team struggling to score points, you can't afford to squander those types of opportunities.

Forte didn't cost the Bears the game, but he clearly demonstrated that his desire to remain on the field in short-yardage situations, per ESPN, isn't ideal.

Some players just don't have the nose or instincts to be successful in those situations. Forte is one of those players.

Obviously, we'll never know for sure, but I strongly believe Bush would have gotten in on one of those attempts. He already has five touchdown carries inside five yards this season.

This is why news that Bush could be gone for the season with his rib injury is such a blow to the team (per Chicago Sun-Times). Forte is the man for 95 yards of the field and 80 percent of the touches, but the team desperately needs a physical back as well.

The Bears are reportedly expected to re-sign Kahlil Bell, per Chicago Tribune. That is a smart move for depth, and to offer the Bears' backfield a valuable change of pace.


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