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Forte runs wild in loss to Packers

The Bears have been vowing to be more balanced on offense by committing to the run and they delivered on that promise in a major way in Sunday's season opener.

Kyle Long rushed for 141 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries, the fourth highest output in his eight-year NFL career. The two-time Pro Bowler ran for 105 yards in the first half, the fourth time he's topped the century mark in the first half of a game.

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Matt Forte's 141 yards were the most by a Bears running back in a loss in 31 years.
"It felt good," Forte said. "It felt like that's how it's supposed to be. This offense runs to be effective out there so that we can open the passing game more. The offensive line did a great job out there. I can't take credit for that running game. They did a great job of getting me to the second and third level.

"And then when you've got safeties and corners coming down, you make one guy miss and you get more yards and you get big plays. I was able to do that. It starts up front. They did a great job for us."

Forte averaged 5.9 yards per carry with a long run of 23 yards. His 1-yard TD dive gave the Bears a 10-7 lead in the second quarter. He also caught five passes for 25 yards.

Forte's 141 yards were the most by a Bears running back in a loss since Dec. 9, 1984 when Walter Payton rushed for 175 yards in a 20-14 defeat to the Packers at Soldier Field.

"The sky's the limit for [Forte]," said quarterback Jay Cutler. "He does so many things so well. He runs between the tackles, he runs outside the tackles and catches the ball in space. He can block. It's just going to be up to us and the coaching staff to keep him fresh and not overdo him, make sure we're giving him some spells from time-to-time."

After playing in a pass-oriented attack the past two seasons under coach Marc Trestman, Forte is thrilled to be part of a more balanced offense.

Asked about the biggest difference from last year to this year, Forte said: "Just the mentality of this offense. Obviously the schemes are different, but the mentality out there [is], 'Don't even blink.' Once we had the turnover, [the Packers] went down and scored (to take a 31-16 lead) and we got the ball back and nobody blinked.

"We were like, 'We're going to go down there and score again and kick an onside kick.' We went down there, we scored and unfortunately we didn't get the onside kick. But the mentality of this offense, which I was proud of, is nobody had that stupid look on their face, like before, when something would happen and kind of saying that the game is lost already when there's time left. So I was glad we didn't have that and we came out and kept fighting."

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