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Chiefs vs. Bears: Jamaal Charles and Matt Forte to Reunite at Arrowhead Sunday

Former draft mates now headline Sunday’s game as two of the National Football League’s best running backs and friends

When the Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Bears take the field on Sunday, it will be the first time since 2003 the two teams have met at Arrowhead.

It will also be the first time Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles' draft mate and friend, Bears RB Matt Forte, has played on his home turf.

"We were drafted in the same draft class and exceeded expectations obviously," Forte said of the Chiefs all-time leading rusher. "Definitely have to watch out for his speed in the run game and the passing game.

"In the screen game, he's dangerous. He's dangerous all over the field. He's a guy that you've always got to know where he's at, at all times in the backfield and even split out as well. Definitely, in the up-front, we have to get penetration by a D-line, just try to shut him down."

Charles, a three-time All-Big 12 Conference selection, was the 13th rusher in Texas history to run for 1,000 yards since 1995 in his junior season. He doubled as a track star, earning All-American honors four times and winning the Big 12 Conference title in the 100-meter dash as a freshman.

On the other side of the state line, Forte took Tulane's all-time record for scoring runs with 38 and became the 11th player in Division I-A history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season during his senior year.

"He's very talented, he's very versatile, he's very athletic," Charles said of Forte. "He can go to wide receiver and run wheel routes and run fade routes; that's the position of a running back going into the next level. I'm happy to be able to compete with him this week. He's a friend of mine and the dude can play. The defense is up for a challenge that they probably haven't seen for a while."

Since falling in the 2008 draft to the likes of Darren McFadden, Chris Johnson, Ray Rice and Rashard Mendenhall, both backs have made names for themselves in the rushing elite. Charles was the ninth running back selected, 73rd overall, and Forte was the sixth at 44th overall.

Forte beat Charles by a mere 5 total yards in the 2014 season, while Charles hauled in 9 touchdowns over Forte's 6. Fast forward to October of 2015 and Charles sits at 306 yards with Forte at 367.

Seems the two backs stay close in most things, not just their friendship.

Historically, four Chiefs have stood out against Chicago: 

In his two career games against the Bears, Smith has completed 30 of 48 passes, good for a 62.5 completion percentage, with 253 yards and 1 touchdown.

Derrick Johnson has faced the Bears twice, in those contests he has 12 solo tackles, 3.0 sacks for -21 yards, 4 quarterback pressures and 2 passes defensed.


In three career starts against the Bears, Abdullah has compiled 17 tackles (16 solo), 2 interceptions, 2 tackles for loss, and 2 passes defensed.

Maclin has 174 receiving yards on 14 receptions, an average of 12.4 yards per reception, with 1 touchdown in the three times he has played Chicago.

In his rookie year of 2011, Justin Houston recorded 3 sacks against the Bears in a game where the Chiefs defense racked up 7 total and complemented with 3 interceptions.


  • Chiefs FB Anthony Sherman (2011-12) and Bears LB Sam Acho (2011-14) were both selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2011 NFL Draft; Sherman was a fifth round pick and Acho was selected in the fourth round.
  • Chicago general manager Ryan Pace (2001-14) who spent 13 years in the New Orleans player personnel department, tight ends Coach Frank Smith (2010-14) and T Jermon Bushrod (2007-12) spent seasons with Kansas City QB Chase Daniel (2009-12) and G Ben Grubbs (2012-14) when the three played for New Orleans. Chiefs linebackers coach Gary Gibbs (2006-08) also overlapped seasons with Bushrod and Pace when he served as the team's defensive coordinator and he coached Bears CB Tracy Porter (2008-11) when he played in the Saints' secondary.
  • Kansas City DB Ron Parker (2012) played a single season for the Carolina Panthers when Chicago QB Jimmy Clausen (2010-2012) was on the roster.
  • Bears G Vladimir Ducasse (2010-13) was on the team when Chiefs LB Josh Mauga (2009-13) played for the New York Jets. Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton (2000-12) served as the defensive coordinator and assistant linebackers coach Mark DeLeone (2012) was a defensive assistant for the Jets during that time. Chicago C Will Montgomery (2007-08) and G Matt Slauson (2009-12) also played for the Jets when Sutton was on staff.
  • Chiefs S Tyvon Branch (2008-14) and Bears LB Lamaar Houston (2010-13) played on the Oakland Raiders' defense together for several seasons. Bears CB Tracy Porter (2013) also spent a single season with the Raiders.
  • During their stints with the Ravens, Bears LB Pernell McPhee (2011-14), Chiefs G Ben Grubbs (2007-11), CB Jamell Fleming (2012-13) and OL Jah Reid (2011-14) spent time together on the Baltimore roster during various seasons.
  • Chiefs offensive line coach Andy Heck (2004-12) served in the same role with Jacksonville when Chicago TE Zach Miller (2009-11) played for the Jaguars.
  • Bears head coach John Fox (1992-93) was the secondary coach for the Chargers while Chiefs running backs coach Eric Bieniemy was a RB for San Diego.
  • Chiefs QB Alex Smith (2005-12) was on the San Francisco 49ers roster overlapping with all three of the Bears coordinators and a member of the defensive coaching staff: offensive coordinator Adam Gase (2008) was an offensive assistant, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio (2011-14) was the defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers (2005-07) was the special teams quality control coach and secondary coach Ed Donatell (2011-14) was the secondary coach.
  • Donatell (2007) was also a special assistant with the New York Jets while Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton (2000-12) served in the same capacity. Early in his stint in New York, Sutton coached Bears assistant secondary coach Sam Garnes (2002-03) while Garnes was a safety.
  • Additionally, Donatell (2004-06) was the defensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons while Chiefs defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas (2002-09) was a senior defensive assistant/secondary coach. Prior to that, Donatell was the defensive coordinator of the Packers, where he coached Chiefs assistant/secondary Al Harris (2003-09) as a cornerback. Donatell was on the coaching staff while Chiefs general manager John Dorsey (1991-98, 2000-12) was in the front office and head strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin (1995-05) served in the same capacity. Also in Green Bay during that time as an offensive quality control coach/special teams was Chicago running backs coach Stan Drayton (2001-03).
  • Chicago defensive coordinator Vic Fangio (2006-09) was on the Baltimore Ravens defensive coaching staff while Chiefs G Ben Grubbs (2007-11) was a member of the Baltimore offense.
  • Chiefs defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas (2002-09) and director of college scouting Marvin Allen (2009-12) were with the Atlanta Falcons while Bears linebackers coach Glenn Pires (2008-14) served in the same capacity.


  • During his freshman year at Texas, Bears LB Sam Acho (2007-10) played alongside Chicago LB Lamarr Houston (2006-09) and Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (2005-07). Charles rushed for 1,619 yards and 18 touchdowns in the 2007 season, leading the Longhorns to a 10-3 record and a Holiday Bowl victory.
  • At the University of Florida, Chiefs WR Frankie Hammond Jr. (2008-12) and DT Jaye Howard (2007-11) overlapped seasons with Bears running backs coach Stan Drayton (2007, 2010), who was the running backs coach/recruiting coordinator). The two won the 2010 Outback Bowl.
  • Chiefs LB Tamba Hali (2002-05) and Chicago K Robbie Gould (2001-04) played for the Penn State Nittany Lions during their years in college.
  • Bears C Hroniss Grasu (2010-14) and G Kyle Long (2012) played on the Oregon Ducks' line when Chiefs WR De'Anthony Thomas (2011-13) was on the team. Grasu was on an offensive line that helped Thomas rack up 3,186 yards on from scrimmage on 356 total plays, good for an average of 8.9 per play and 41 touchdowns in three seasons. Bears CB Terrance Mitchell (2010-13) also spent his college career with the Ducks.
  • Kansas City TE James O'Shaughnessy (2010-14) and Chicago WR Cameron Meredith (2010-14) spent all of their college years together on a potent Illinois State offense. The duo combined for 95 receptions for 1,605 yards and 18 touchdowns throughout the 2014 season.
  • Chiefs CB Marcus Peters (2011-14) played alongside Bears LB John Timu (2011-14) at the University of Washington. Peters had 11 interceptions, 129 tackles (95 solo) and 11 passes defensed in the three seasons he suited up for the Huskies.
  • Bears head coach John Fox was the secondary coach at the University of Kansas in 1983.
  • Chiefs linebackers coach Gary Gibbs (2001) was the defensive coordinator at LSU while Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase (2000-02) was a recruiting assistant in Baton Rouge.
  • Bears special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers was the Kansas State special teams coordinator in 2008. Chiefs assistant defensive line coach Britt Reid (2010-12) was a student assistant in 2010 at Temple while Bears defensive quality control Coach Sean Desai (2007-10) served in numerous positions on the Owls coaching staff.
  • In 2008, Stan Drayton was at Tennessee as running backs coach with Chiefs S Eric Berry (2007-09); 2008 was a year in which Berry won SEC Defensive Player of the Year, was a unanimous All-American and won the first of two Jack Tatum trophies.
  • Bears offensive assistant Bo Hardegree (2003-06) was a QB at Tennessee while Chiefs P Dustin Colquitt (2000-04) was on the Volunteers roster.
  • Chiefs DL Allen Bailey (2007-09) was a member of the Miami Hurricanes defensive line while Bears outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt (2001-05, 2006-13) was the defensive line coach.
  • Chicago defensive line coach Jay Rodgers played QB at Missouri State in 1999. Rodgers went on to coach the quarterbacks at Missouri State in 2004. The previous year, Rodgers was the passing game coordinator at Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, Kan.


Former Chiefs

  • Chicago WR Joshua Bellamy (2012) began his NFL career with the Chiefs, playing in Kansas City for a single season. Bellamy returned five kickoffs for 101 yards in 2012.
  • From 2008 to 2013, Bears LS Thomas Gafford played for Kansas City.
  • Bears assistant special teams coach Derius Swinton spent the 2012 season as the special teams quality control coach in Kansas City.
  • Former Bears
  • Chiefs director of football operations Chris Ballard (2001-12) spent 12 seasons with the Chicago Bears. Ballard spent his first 10 seasons as a Southwest Area Scout before being promoted to Director of Pro Scouting in 2012. Ballard helped the Bears make the playoffs four times, including a Super Bowl XLI appearance.
  • Chiefs offensive line coach Andy Heck (1994-98) played tackle for the Bears for several seasons.
  • Kansas City special teams coordinator Dave Toub (2004-12) served as the special teams coordinator for Chicago. Toub was a part of three divisional championship teams (2005, 2006, and 2010) and the 2006 NFC Champion Bears squad. During Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub's time in Chicago, he helped five special teams players earn Pro Bowl honors. The Bears also had 22 kick return touchdowns (15 punts, seven kickoffs) while Toub was in charge of the special teams units, in addition to two missed field goal return touchdowns and a kickoff return for a TD in Super Bowl XLI.

Hometown and Local

  • Chicago C Hroniss Grasu, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and De'Anthony Thomas are all from Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase are both natives of Ypsilanti, Mich.
  • Bears assistant offensive line coach Ben Wilkerson and Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles both hail from Port Arthur, Texas.
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