Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Stock Watch: Forte finding his rhythm
By Michael C. Wright
Matt Forte followed up his first 100-yard game with a 96-yard performance against the Lions.
1. Charles Tillman, CB: Placed the handcuffs on Detroit's Calvin Johnson on Monday, locking him down for 3 catches and 34 yards despite Matthew Stafford targeting him 11 times. Johnson didn't even finish in the Lions' top three in receptions or yardage. Tillman also forced two fumbles, with the performance leading to national recognition as NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
2. Matt Forte, RB: Off to a slow start in 2012 after suffering an ankle injury in Week 2, Forte put together his first 100-yard rushing game on Oct. 7, and followed that up with 96 yards in the win over the Lions. Having finished with back-to-back games of 20-plus attempts, Forte seems to be finding a rhythm that should serve the Bears well in the coming games.
3. Brandon Marshall, WR: Marshall averages 96.2 yards per game, and leads the team with 577 yard. Marshall continues to produce at a record-setting pace. If Marshall continues his current production, he'll finish the season with a career-high 1,538 receiving yards, which would rank as the most in franchise history. Marshall's three 100-yard receiving games thus far are already tied for the most since 2006 (Muhsin Muhammad).
1. Matt Toeaina, DT: After starting the first game of the season, Toeaina has been inactive for four of the club's six outings, which casts doubt on his long-term future with the team. In the games he's played, Toeaina has contributed just three tackles, and it's apparent the team prefers defensive tackles with pass-rushing skills such as Henry Melton and second-year man Stephen Paea, as opposed to players better suited to stop the run.
2. Evan Rodriguez, TE: Activated for Monday's matchup with the Lions after missing two games because of a sprained knee, Rodriguez didn't play as the club opted to use other players in his spot. The club's decision to not play Rodriguez might be a sign that he hasn't yet returned to full health. Given the staff's expectations for Rodriguez upon drafting him, it's discouraging to see he hasn't yet lived up to them.
3. Gabe Carimi, RT: Offensive coordinator Mike Tice raves about the effort Carimi displays, but doesn't mince words about the right tackle's struggles. In 75 snaps against the Lions, Carimi gave up a quarterback hit and a pressure, in addition to being flagged twice for penalties. Through six games he's been responsible for more hits (5) on Cutler than any other player on the offensive line.