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Q&A with Football Outsiders about the 2022 Chicago Bears: David Montgomery or Khalil Herbert?

We finish this series by theorizing who really is the top man in the Bears’ backfield.

Chicago Bears Training Camp Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The SB Nation NFL blog sites have partnered with Football Outsiders over the last few years to try and provide more context on the 32 teams.

The person who will try to shed some light on the Bears’ 2022 outlook is FO writer Derrik Klassen (@QBKlass). In today’s edition, we shed light on Chicago’s top man in the backfield.

In case you missed it:

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Windy City Gridiron: Finally, in sticking with the offensive theme, David Montgomery has produced well for the Bears. But some have surmised Khalil Herbert could be just as good if not better in the backfield. Is there any data to support this? How valuable is Montgomery to the Bears, running back or not?

Derik Klassen: Herbert did have a higher DVOA, but in my opinion, that has a lot to do with defenses caring less about the Bears running the ball with Montgomery out of the lineup. Montgomery is a top-10 back at his best, and defenses knew he was easily the team’s biggest threat on the field the past couple of years. That’s not to say Herbert is bad — I think he’s a real nice No. 2 — but this sort of thing happens all the time where the No. 1 looks less efficient than the No. 2, who is afforded cheaper and easier opportunities. Montgomery has a threatening blend of size, balance, and vision, and the Bears should continue with him as the No. 1 without question. It’s not like Herbert is the better pass-catcher, either, so Montgomery is plenty safe in that regard.