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BBAO: The Forte-Taylor quandary

11/11/2010

We're Black and Blue All Over:

We spent plenty of time this offseason discussing how the Chicago Bears would split carries between tailbacks Matt Forte and Chester Taylor. Here's how it's gone for the first half of the season: Forte has 104 carries, while Taylor has 54. That makes for about a 65-35 split.

The ratio is more even than Taylor's most recent stop backing up Adrian Peterson for the Minnesota Vikings. But it's probably less than what most of us expected after the Bears guaranteed Taylor some $7 million to sign a free-agent contract in March. As my ESPChicago.com colleague Jeff Dickerson noted, Vikings quarterback Brett Favre said Taylor was underutilized with the Vikings. I think we can say the same about Taylor's time in Chicago thus far.

He will face the Vikings on Sunday hoping for an increased role.

"I wish I could have a breakout every week," he said. "But to have it against the team I played for the last four years would be even better. ... It's another game, but the only difference is I know way more people, and I was there the last four years."

We'll see. Several things have to happen first. The Bears have to commit to the run on a more permanent basis, and then they have to make the decision to get Taylor on the field more often. As we noted last week, it makes sense to at least use him more regularly in short-yardage and goal-line situations.

Continuing around the NFC North: