Forte, Marshall named to Pro Bowl

Matt Forte (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY)

Running back Matt Forte and wide receiver Brandon Marshall will represent the Chicago Bears organization at this year's Pro Bowl festivities, while Alshon Jeffery will not.

The Pro Bowl rosters have been announced and the Chicago Bears are sending two representatives to Hawaii: RB Matt Forte and WR Brandon Marshall.

Marshall (94 catches, 1,221 yards, 11 TDs) will make his fifth trip to the Pro Bowl (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012). He's currently fifth in the NFL in catches and tied for 11th in receiving yardage. His 70 points scored this season are 10th best in the league amongst non-kickers.

Forte will be making his second straight appearance in the Pro Bowl. He's currently fourth in the NFL in rushing yards (1,229) and third in yards from scrimmage (1,776), while his 70 receptions are third most amongst running backs.

The most notable snub was wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (86 catches, 1,341 yards, 7 TDs) who is eighth in the league in receptions, sixth in yardage and 11th in 3rd-down receiving yardage. There's still a good chance Jeffery will be at the top of the list of alternates but his absence is baffling.

The team released the following statement regarding the selections:

The Chicago Bears RB Matt Fortè and WR Brandon Marshall were selected to the 2014 Pro Bowl.

Forté was selected to his second Pro Bowl, also earning a nod to the 2012 Pro Bowl, and is the fourth Bears running back to be named to the Pro Bowl multiple times joining Hall of Famers Walter Payton (nine) and Gale Sayers (five) and Rick Casares (five) and Neal Anderson (four). Forté is currently third in the NFL with a career-high 1,776 yards from scrimmage and fourth with 1,229 rushing yards. He is also third in the NFL with 87 first downs, fourth in the league among running backs with 547 receiving yards and tied for eighth amongst his position in scoring (56 points). He is one of four players in the NFL to have at least 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards this season and is the first player in franchise history to have two such seasons, also doing so in 2010. His 1,776 yards from scrimmage are eighth most in franchise history and most among players other than Payton.

Marshall was named to his fifth career Pro Bowl (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Pro Bowls) and his second in two seasons as a member of the Bears. He is the fourth wide receiver in franchise history to be named to multiple Pro Bowls joining Harlon Hill (three), Dick Gordon (two) and Johnny Morris (two). He is the first Chicago wide receiver since Gordon in 1971 and 1972 to make back-to-back Pro Bowls. In 2013, Marshall is tied for fifth in the NFL with 94 receptions, 11th with 1,221 receiving yards and seventh with 11 touchdown receptions (which are fifth among wide receivers). Marshall is the first player in franchise history with back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons and joins Hill (1954 and '56) as the only player in Bears annals with multiple 1,000-yard seasons.

Forte issued the following statement:

"It's a blessing to be selected to the Pro Bowl for a second time. God has blessed me so much and I'm thankful for his grace on and off of the field. I'd like to thank the many fans, friends and family for voting for me. But more importantly, I'm thankful to my teammates that helped me to achieve success on the field, especially my offensive linemen who work hard blocking for me every day and receivers who unselfishly work hard down field blocking for me."


Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his third season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.

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