Chicago Bears RB Khalil Herbert advanced stats review

Chicago Bears - Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports /
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Injuries throughout the running back room had the Chicago Bears relying on Khalil Herbert more than they expected. Still, now Herbert is one of just two running backs from last year’s roster to be here this season, so it is good that the team was able to get some tape out there on him.

What do the advanced stats say about Khalil Herbert and how he performed as a rookie?

Chicago Bears RB Khalil Herbert advanced stats review

Khalil Herbert rated 25th out of 50 in yards created after contact with 2.83. In comparison, David Montgomery was in 42nd at 2.53. Names above and below Herbert include Miles Sanders, Antonio Gibson, Cordarelle Patterson, and James Conner. He is right in the middle, ahead of Montgomery, and with mostly starters so it has to be a pretty good outcome for the sixth-round picks’ rookie season.

While Herbert did not force as many missed tackles as Montgomery due to a volume difference he did have a better-missed tackle forced per attempt rating. Per PFF he ranked 21st, while Montgomery ranked 32nd. Names near Herbert include AJ Dillon, Sanders, Elijah Mitchell, and James Robinson.

Herbert also ranked 19th in breakaway rush rate. This is a pretty rate for a rookie as well and is with names such as Gibson, Robinson, and Javonte Williams. Montgomery ranked 34th in this area, and breakaway runs have never been his forte, so this is a nice contrast.

The one issue with Khalil Herbert was his yards per route run. He ranked 44th in this area with 0.68 yards per route run. This is the one area where he is behind Montgomery, who rated 27th. We wrote about this last year noting that while everyone will pile on Matt Nagy, Herbert had issues in pass protection, and dropped two passes which brought his rate down. He is next to names such as Devonta Freeman, Ronald Jones, and Devin Singletary, also known as players who get replaced because they cannot contribute in the passing game.

Overall, it was an encouraging rookie season. Behind the same line with the same offense against the same opponents, Herbert was a bit more efficient in plenty of metrics than David Montgomery, which is great. Still, while Montgomery is not elite as a pass-catcher, he does enough and is a good blocker which makes him an all-around player. This is something Khalil Herbert must strive to become in year two.