Long sticks up for Forte after rough night

Matt Forte had a rough night in the Chicago Bears' blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, carrying the ball just nine times for 29 yards and failing to pick up the blitz in pass defense, an area in which he'd been solid in previous games.

But Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long was quick to shut down criticism of Forte on Monday's "Carmen and Jurko" show on ESPN Chicago 1000, saying he himself made mistakes in protection Monday.

"Matt Forte puts his body on the line, like we all do in protection," Long said. "Matt Forte is one of the smartest guys, the most complete backs, in football. I've seen the guy blow up linebackers and defensive lineman at the point of attack and not say a word about it, not bat an eye. Why don't you call me out?"

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was sacked five times in the loss and the Bears offense was held to 257 yards.

The loss kept the Bears from clinching the NFC North, and they'll now need to defeat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at Soldier Field to reach the playoffs.

"I think guys realize the opportunity that has come and gone last night," Long said. "But if I know the team like I think I know the team, I think we all kind of wish we could have kept our pads on, gone straight to Soldier Field and played the Packers. Shoot, we could have had an 8 a.m. kickoff this morning. We want to get this thing out of our system as soon as possible."