Fal­cons' fo­cus is on stop­ping Bears rookie Forte

The Covington News - - Sports - By Charles Odum

AT­LANTA — Kyle Or­ton's gaudy pass­ing day last week didn't dis­tract the At­lanta Fal­cons.

They still say their top de­fen­sive chal­lenge against Chicago on Sun­day will be con­tain­ing Matt Forte and the Bears' run­ning game.

Or­ton had a ca­reer-high 334 yards pass­ing with two touch­downs in the Bears' 34-7 win at Detroit. Forte was held to a sea­son-low 36 yards rush­ing, but the rookie ran for a touch­down and had a touch­down catch.

"They're go­ing to try to es­tab­lish the run­ning game," said Fal­cons line­backer Keith Brook­ing. "The rookie, it's amaz- ing how many touches he gets. He's a phys­i­cal run­ner. He's got some speed and he's good at catch­ing the ball out of the back­field. It's a big test for us."

Forte leads NFL rook­ies with 383 yards rush­ing. He also leads the Bears (3-2) with 22 catches and ranks fourth in the league with 555 to­tal yards from scrim­mage.

The Fal­cons (3-2) will counter with NFL rush­ing leader Michael Turner, the for­mer backup to LaDainian Tom­lin­son in San Diego.

A na­tive of North Chicago who played for North­ern Illi­nois, Turner signed with the Fal­cons as a free agent but ac­knowl­edged this week he dreamed of play­ing for the Bears.

Turner said he re­ceived no in­ter­est from the Bears, who in­stead drafted Forte in the sec­ond round from Tu­lane.

"They didn't make a call or any­thing or put an of­fer on the ta­ble," Turner said. "I was looking to go any­where, but it would have been great to be in Chicago. I'm here in At­lanta now and I do what I can con­trol."

Turner said he ex­pects to have more than three dozen friends and rel­a­tives from Chicago at the Ge­or­gia Dome.

"I had love for them," said Turner of the Bears. "It's go­ing to be some­thing to see them on the other side of the line."

Turner's only pre­vi­ous game against the Bears came in last year's opener with San Diego, when he had 10 car­ries for 41 yards.

Turner, who has 543 yards rush­ing, has been a force in his first chance to be a full-time starter. He has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of the Fal­cons' three wins, in­clud­ing a fran­chise-record 220 yards rush­ing against Detroit in his At­lanta de­but.

An­other speed back, Je­ri­ous Nor­wood, and Turner have com­bined for 22 runs of 10 yards or longer.

Just like Or­ton, Fal­cons rookie quar­ter­back Matt Ryan is com­ing off his ca­reer high with 194 yards pass­ing in last week's 27-24 win at Green Bay. And just like the Fal­cons, the Chicago de­fense is ex­pected to fo­cus first on At­lanta's run­ning game.

"He's a great run­ning back," said Bears cor­ner­back Nathan Vasher of

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