Bears QB Chase Daniel plays solid game in rare start

ByJeff Dickerson via ESPN logo
Thursday, November 22, 2018
ESPN

DETROIT -- Chicago Bears quarterback Chase Daniel proved to be a wise offseason investment.

Forced into action because of Mitchell Trubisky's right shoulder injury, Daniel, who Chicago signed in March to a two-year deal that included $7 million in guarantees, played a smart, efficient and turnover-free game in the Bears' 23-16 victory over the Lions.

"At this point of my career it's really not about the money, it's about opportunities, and I felt really good about an opportunity here with [Bears] Coach [Matt] Nagy to help back up Mitch," Daniel said. "Like I've said before, the job of a backup quarterback is to get the starter ready and to be prepared when your opportunity comes, and I think I do that pretty well."

Making his first NFL regular-season start since 2014, Daniel completed 27 of 37 pass attempts for 230 yards and two touchdowns (106.8 quarterback rating).

"I think once we settled in, we were able to do some RPO [run-pass option] stuff on offense, do some quick pass games, take some shots, and I thought the scheme was great," Daniel said. "I really enjoy this game plan, and I told Nagy that last night. I think we have a really solid game plan and he agreed. Listen, it's hard to win on the road, especially a short week in the division, so we'll take them however they come."

The 32-year-old veteran backup said earlier in the week he "knew the [Matt Nagy] offense like the back of my hand."

On Thursday, Daniel backed up the talk, and without any help from the running game. The Bears failed to run the ball on either of their two drives that resulted in touchdowns.

Chicago rushed for only 38 yards as a team.

Daniel threw both of his touchdown passes to running backs -- Taquan Mizzell and Tarik Cohen -- on balls that traveled at least 10 yards down the field.

The last NFL quarterback to throw two touchdown passes that traveled 10 or more yards to running backs was the Chargers' Philip Rivers in 2013, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The Bears felt confident turning to Daniel on short notice -- Chicago became the first team since the 1970 merger to play a Thursday afternoon game after a Sunday night game -- because he spent three years in Kansas City under Nagy.

"I want to say what a great job Chase Daniel did coming in here on such a short notice," Nagy said. "That's why we have Chase. I have a great relationship with him; that's why he's here. You have no idea, especially when you don't have any reps, what these guys -- in two days of walkthrough practices, how it's going to go. No matter how much experience he has in this offense, you really, truly don't know how it's going to go. So for him to be able to come out here and do what he did -- protect the football and be a leader when he needed to be a leader -- I thought he did a great job."

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