Matt Forte believes balance key to Bears' success in 2012

Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte is happy that he can share the load on offense with Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Michael Bush.

When the Chicago Bears signed running back Matt Forte to a four-year contract worth $18 million in guaranteed money during the offseason, they may have expected him to carry the bulk of the load on offense, but Forte is excited about the new-found balance for the Bears. Chicago's rushing offense is ranked No. 11 in the NFL and churns out 123.6 yards per contest, and at this point Forte and teammate Michael Bush have actually taken the same number of carries.

Forte has produced 270 yards and one touchdown on 58 attempts, while Bush has filled in when Forte has missed time due to an ankle injury with 206 yards and three touchdowns on 58 carries. Interestingly, both players also bring the same type of production in the passing game -- Forte averages 10.6 yards per reception while Bush is at 10.4 per catch -- but Forte gets involved more often.

The big help has been Brandon Marshall in the passing game, as he and Jay Cutler have been able to dictate coverage and open up the check down passes for players coming out of the backfield. Even more importantly, Cutler and the receivers have pulled safeties out of the box to help develop running lanes that Forte and Bush have used to their advantage. The offense looks and feels better than it has over the past few seasons, which is a good thing for the Bears even if Matt Forte isn't putting up the numbers his new contract might dictate.

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