The city of Chicago has never seen such a spectacular season from a rookie running back as the one that Matt Forte had last year. And when we consider the history of the Chicago Bears, since 1920, and the great names that represented the Bears for all of those years, Matt Forte's achievement is monumental.
Walter Payton was the ideal complete back who set the gold standard for how the position should be played. Forte is also a complete back. Forte and Payton both have similar styles in that they both can not only run the ball, but can also catch, block and score touchdowns, and they do all of these very well.
Perhaps the most complete back to ever play the game is Marshall Faulk, arguably. Of course there are many great backs to come out of Chicago and the rest of the NFL, considering the style, completeness and demeanor of Forte, Payton and Faulk, all being similar to one another, I've decided to compare their stats from their rookie seasons, let's take a look:
Forte: Rushing Yd's:1238 Recieving Yd's: 477 Total Yd's: 1715
Rushing Td's:8 Recieving Td's: 4 Total Td's: 12
Receptions: 63 Yd's per Carry: 4 Fumbles: 1
Drafted in 2nd round 44th pick overall
Faulk: Rushing Yd's: 1282 Receiving Yd's: 522 Total Yd's: 1804
Rushing Td's: 11 Receiving Td's: 1 Total Td's: 12
Receptions: 52 Yd's per carry: 4.1 Fumbles: 5
Drafted in 1st round 2nd pick overall
Payton: Rushing Yd's: 679 Receiving Yd's: 213 Total Yd's: 892
Rushing Td's: 7 Receiving Td's: 0 Total Td's: 7
Receptions: 33 Yd's per carry: 3.5 Fumbles: 9
Drafted in 1st round 4th pick overall
(Note: Payton started only 7 games, Forte and Faulk started 16)
There will only ever be one "Sweetness", and there will only ever be one Marshall Faulk, the catalyst for "The Greatest Show on Turf", and of course Matt Forte has a long way to go before his career can be compared to the likes of Payton and Faulk, but we cannot deny that his rookie season is legendary. We may be witnessing a legend in the making. Matt Forte, "They call him legend"?