Chicago Sun-Times

Stats say Forte worst on goal line

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Aaron Schatz of footballoutsiders.com used statistical analysis to reveal just how bad the Bears were in goal-line and short-yardage situations last season.

It's a great website, by the way. Check it out.


By Aaron Schatz
footballoutsiders.com

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte played behind one of the worst offensive lines in football -- and it showed in his work near the goal line. By our figures, Forte's two touchdowns on 19 attempts inside the 5 in 2009 were 5.7 touchdowns below his expected total. That's the worst figure of the decade. Backs with a performance of minus-3.0 or below in a given season have been just about league-average in the subsequent season, so Bears fans can at least hope for a better 2010 from their star back.

We have to establish how to measure success near the goal line. Merely counting a player's touchdowns isn't enough; just like RBIs in baseball, we have to consider how frequently a player had the chance to score. With that in mind, we took every carry by a running back inside the 5 from the past ten seasons (2000-2009), separated them out by down and distance, and found the percentage of the time the opportunity resulted in a touchdown.

For example, running backs who were handed the rock on first down from the opposition's 1-yard line scored 52.9 percent of the time; from the 3-yard line, that figure was 31.1 percent.

Using these baseline values, we can form an "expected" touchdown total for each player. Applying those baseline values to each carry inside the 5 and then measuring the player's actual touchdown count produces a measure of how well the player performed versus a league-average back.

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21 Comments

And we have not upgraded our o-line yet! C'mon people, a fullback and some tight ends will help a little, but we could have had several different linemen by now, most of them are gone already! I hope Martz and Tice can work miracles!

Nobody could score behind our weak o-line (except for the late great Walter "Sweetness" Payton...who would have simply vaulted over the top for the TD).

stop with the useless stats already.

Considering what I saw last season, this stat probably accurately reflects reality. But this is not an area that lends itself to statistical analysis. Those of us who watched the Bears saw these failures every game, and we don't need a statistic to tell us how bad the goal line offense or running game was.

Duh, anyone who watched the Bears last year knew they sucked not only on the goal line but also in the red zone, simply pathetic is about the best way to describe it.

It was not just the O line's fault, although they lost the line of scrimmage battle in most goal line situations, the defenses had their way with them. The play calling was about as creative as Lovie is emotional. Every play it seemed, the defense knew what was coming. In addition, Mr. Cutler did little to help with his interceptions and poor judgement.

Forte certainly was not the runner he was the previous year, he seemed quite slow did not hit the hole when it existed which was not very often, the fullback made some good blocks but not much pop at the goal line. It was plain and simple UGLY!!

The Bears will do better next year, even a blind pig will find a truffle every now and again.

Why is that a surprise to anyone? The line flat out sucked and that moronic idea of shoehorning a tackle in at guard was just that; a moronic idea. Look at the Falcons game for instance, half of the run plays looked like Cutler was handing the ball off to the Falcons' defensive players as they were right in the backfield a split sec. after the snap. Pathetic. Which raises the question: How will this year's line be any better than last year's? Chester Taylor's not going to fix that.

Sean/Neil, I saw that story on the twitter account about Jerry Glanville trading Favre away for his own good because of his alcoholism. Nice story and all but really? Sending a guy with a drinking problem to Wisconsin is going to sober him up? The people there are nothing but bloated, mouth-breathing, 36 IQ having, drunken embarassments who are so ashamed of their bloated, mouth-breathing, 36 IQ having, drunkeneness that they drink themselves stupid and thus create the perfect cycle which, if you will divert your attention to the chalkboard please, explains their love of all-you-can eat buffets, words no larger than two syllables, and the Green
Bay Packers. Oh hey, what's up stuckinwisconsin? How's it going?

What? I'm just playing LOL!

Forte has NEVER been good in short yardage situations.
I think by the end of the 2010 season, Its taylor that gets most of the carries,

Agree that the line lacked any punch but................who keptcalling the same formation and play, game after game..? Ron Turner. Never played to whatever strengths the line had.

With last year's offensive line that's not too surprising, but stupid calls also contributed, like runs right into the opponents' strength. I'm very happy that Turner is gone and expect the figures on Forte to improve immensely, not only on the goal line but also in receptions, run yardage, and yards per carry.

Neil what are you talking about? Forte was the best back in football last season just ask Kevin A. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Do you want answers? Do you have questions? Do you want answers to those Questions?

Than just ask me. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah just kidding. But not really.

Sean Jensen Bears beat writer and former Vikings spy may or may not have these answers, to those questions. But it never hurts to ask. Sean Jensen has seen Peppers in person. He has seen Tice. He even saw Chester Taylor in the shower. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha just kidding. Sean noes the Vikes better then anyone. So I'm telling you guys to make Sean bring back Bears Insider fan Q&A.

Just let the man know. No were not alking about me. Hahahahahahahahahahahahhahaha. I crack my self up sometims.


This "news" hardly comes as a surprise to anyone who actually watched the Bears last season.

Mike, I too, am stumped by cheeseheads love of all-you can eat buffets.....but with the food so bad up here.....i guess quantity replaces quality...............they do have the fattest vegetarian ever known to live......in Prince Fielder..............and with the women so ugly up here........why not indulge in beer????? Though I think Favre's drinking problem is more related to lack of alcohol......if you know Jerry Glanville at all.

i am thinking that having jay cutler as a quarterback will be a benefit to the bears in about ten years when he retires, good luck guys

Forte was slow off the blocks last season due to multiple leg injuries and it was the staffs responsibility to put the player in a situation to succeed they didn't and Cutler has superhero syndrome with the decision making ability of a teenager. Not to mention a o-line with miscasts and weaklings. Tackle and guard are two different worlds, guards things happen faster leverage is more important. Martz always had athletic left tackles big strong guards, strong powerful right tackles and big blocking TE's. Most running plays were stretch plays with a back the can either break the first tackle or make him miss. None of these describe the 09 version of the Bears offense. The tackles could already be in-house the guards aren't. Garza is considered athletic not a road grader no offense would look good if all o-linemen are so-called athletic. So Bears why were you running a power game without power-players? That is why along with leg injuries Forte looked so inept.

THE PLAY CALLING IN THE RED ZONE WAS ATROCIOUS AS WELL AS THE PLAY OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE.
HOPE MIKE TICE HAS THESE GUYS REVVED UP NEXT SEASON. MAYBE BETTER BLOCKING SCHEMES WILL HELP. WITH AT LEAST 3 FORMER HEAD COACHES IN THE MIX THEY SHOULD COME UP WITH SOMETHING.
GO BEARS

Matt Forte's bum knee, and absolutely no push inside are a couple reasons why Chicago was so bad in short yardage situations. Line help is needed, especially inside. Chicago needs to go into next months draft and land some help on the line, especially at left guard, which, too me, is hands down need #1. Heres my mock draft.

Rd player school pos ht wt
3rd Mike Johnson Alabama g 6-6 305
4th Robert Johnson Utah fs 6-2 203
5th Eric Olsen Notre Dame g/c 6-4 310
6th Matt Mayberry Indiana mlb 6-2 236
7th Dan Batten S Dakota st de 6-4 252

I think the Frank Omiyale experiment at guard is over, Chicago will probably move him outside where he belongs, that leaves a big hole at left guard, a position that has been killing Chicago since Ruben Brown retired. I say take Alabama's Mike Johnson, he's got the size Chicago wants inside to get bigger, 6-5 305lbs, he's a four year starter at left guard, and a good one, he was a first team all-american this year as a senior. In the 5th I took more line help in Notre Dame's Eric Olsen, Olsen might not help this season, but down the road could develop into a big strong starter inside at either right guard or center. In the 4th I took Utah's Robert Johnson. Johnson wasn't invited to the combine and only ran a high 4.5 40, but his 4.06 in the 20 yard shuttle and 6.56 in the 3-cone drill would have been tops among safeties at the combine. Johnson is a ball hawk and NFL.com's Gil Brandt was impressed with Johnson in his poition drills. Johnson has a visit sat up with the Bears on april 6th. In the 6th round I took Indiana linebacker Matt Mayberry, who at 6-2 236lbs is a very athletic linebacker. Mayberry ran a 4.5 40 and put up 24 reps on the bench press of 225lbs. Mayberry has lead Indiana in tackles the last couple seasons and had 108 this season to go along with 5.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, 3ints, and a fumble recovery. I think he'd be a nice prospect to develope behind Urlacher GO BEARS!!

I agree that Ron Turners inept play calls was a major reason our offense struggled. Forte was clearly slow and Injured last year, so why didnt they utilize a different back more often and a different offensive approach?
However I also feel the Oline was at major fault as well. No Coach trys an experimental Olineman by training a Tackle to play Guard when he just signed his Franchise QB that is supposed to be there for the next 10 years (and was a Pro Bowl QB untill he joined the Bears Shane)And knowing his top RB is injured, AND Sheaffer did a credible job, But the Browns let Sheaffer get away for a reason, he was not considered a very good Tackle by any stretch, And...if our Oline was so good please explain to me why not one, yes not one was a ProBowler? or even considered worthy of being mentioned as a good enouh Olineman? Did all of yous miss it completely when several media and former Coaches said our Oline was the worst in the league?? I dont see a reason for youse to neglect that in your posts.
And lets be realistic here, Garza and Olin are simply getting long in the tooth. The Bears couldnt play Beekman cause he was a bad Pass Blocker? So they SIGNED a Tackle that was a bad Run Blocking Guard??? When all they had to do was sign a real Guard? Olin has been injured for the past 2 years and said he was all healthy and ready to go, but he didnt look healthy last year. And now he is saying the same thing he said the last 2 years. I have all the respect in the world for Olin and when he does retiree I will be very sad, but he is not the player he was, time waits for no one.
Give me a break gys, I dont really care what play calls you make, if you have ProBowl Olineman - those plays are going to work. Same with the Defense, Same with our Defense, Lovie looked great when he had ProBowlers huh? But take away those ProBowlers and all of a sudden Lovie cant Coach.
Remind me again how many ProBowlers the Bears had on the Offensive Line???

And I really hope its more smoke the Bears are looking at Tackles, I have read in several articles they are brining in Tackles for a look see? uhhh, why not bring in a Guard to play Guard? That is a incredible idea huh? At the very least sign a @!# Guard as a backup. Geez, its not rocket science, you haveto have a strong middle in your line. And with the Bears record of not being able to run up the middle at all., what does that tell you? and it wasnt just Forte, we have a weak midddle Oline. and thinkw e might need a Center to replace Olin before he retires, (like Tait Brown etc... with no replacments worth a durn)

Was Forte the only Bears RB that struggled running up the middle??? I dont think so.

And getting to Favre, actually you are correct, sending someone to the beer capital is not a bright idea, but it did work out. It reminds me of Chris... the Eagle WR that Buddy Ryan sent packing bc he had drinking/partying problems and then he bewcame a star for the Vikes. Years later Chris said in an interview that he owed his stardom to Buddy bc that made him realize that he did have a problem and he fixed his problem so much he was a mentor to younger players.

btw good one Neil, with the draft coming up, maybe more about the Oline and Safety position needs?
Interesting year coming up and an interesting draft as well, will we trade Olsen for a pick???

To the idiot named "Creighton". Please for the love of god stop posting here you don't know everything and youre not even close to being funny.

People, quit B_ _ _ _ ing , God, is that all you do?
Lets GO BEARS ! We're going to have a Good Season , No A GREAT SEASON !!!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on March 18, 2010 10:24 AM.

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