Forte a big reason Bears sealed deal at Lambeau
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter November 5, 2013 9:26PM
Updated: December 7, 2013 6:37AM
He has played in playoff games and a Pro Bowl, but he had never won at Lambeau Field.
“Took me six years,” Matt Forte said.
He gained 125 rushing yards — his highest total since rushing for 133 on Nov. 7, 2011, against the Eagles — on 24 carries in the Bears’ 27-20 victory Monday night.
Forte’s 179 yards rushing and receiving was his most gaudy total since a 183-yard effort on Oct. 23, 2011.
He scampered out of Green Bay with a win after traversing the famous field in an 18-play, 80-yard drive on the Bears’ last possession that consumed 8:58 and ended in a field goal. The drive left the Packers with the ball for a fruitless final 50 seconds.
Forte carried eight times on the possession.
On fourth-and-one from the Bears’ 32, Forte ran left, behind pulling center Roberto Garza. Linebacker A.J. Hawk blitzed on the weak side past fullback Tony Fiammetta.
“[Hawk] ran through, basically unblocked,” Forte said. “I was lucky enough to get by him pretty quick and get the first down.
“He almost made the biggest game-moment tackle. He ended up missing the tackle, and I got the first down.”
He surged left, slipping right of safety Morgan Burnett for a three-yard gain.
“That was the first time we showed that play the whole game,” left tackle Jermon Bushrod said. “I think they were ready for us to run Forte up the middle, and we didn’t.”
Six plays later, Forte scampered left for 15 yards but slid before reaching the sideline. The clock ran under three minutes.
“You’ve got to be smart as a running back in those situations,” Forte said. “Obviously, you want to keep the clock running. So no matter how long the run is, you have to stay in bounds.”
After the two-minute warning, he gained eight yards on third-and-five from the Packers’ 19.
“It was big to keep running the ball and keep converting on third down,” Forte said.
Forte averaged three yards per carry before contact, according to Pro Football Focus.
The site gave left guard Matt Slauson — who described the fourth-down attitude as “we need to get this” — the best run-blocking grade of his career.
“It pumps us up, just to hold the ball for nine, 91/2 minutes like that,” rookie right tackle Jordan Mills said. “It’s something that doesn’t happen often. . . .
“To see us come together collectively and go on a drive like that, it leaves you speechless.”