Matt Forte is moving up the charts.
Forte’s two rushing touchdowns in the Bears’ 21-13 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Soldier Field gave him 40 for his career — passing Gale Sayers (39) into fourth place on the Bears’ all-time list. Forte trails only Walter Payton (110), Neal Anderson (51) and Rick Casares (49).
Both Forte touchdowns came off turnovers in the third quarter. He scored on a 13-yard run one play after David Bass forced a fumble with a strip-sack of Josh McCown to give the Bears a 14-10 lead with 4:51 left in the quarter. Forte added a one-yard run 1:49 later to give the Bears a 21-10 lead four plays after Ryan Mundy intercepted McCown.
“When they get a turnover like that, we have to turn that into seven,” Forte said. “Three isn’t good enough on a play like that. You’re not doing the defense justice by turning a turnover in the red zone into three points. So it’s critical that we get seven when you turn a defensive interception or fumble recover into a touchdown.”
Forte finished the game 112 yards from scrimmage. He had 23 carries for 89 yards (3.9 yards per carry) and added five receptions for 23 yards.
“Matt’s solid,” Guard Kyle Long said. “He’s somebody who can always do his job and we can rely on him to do the things he needs to do.”
Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith, who coached Forte from 2008-12 with the Bears, also saluted his former running back.
“Great player. He’s been that way since he came in the league,” Smith said. “So yeah, same old Matt Forte.”