Bears

Chase Daniel proves to be worth every penny in Bears’ win over Lions

Chase Daniel proves to be worth every penny in Bears’ win over Lions

DETROIT — One of Chase Daniel’s biggest mistakes in his first start in four years involved taking off and running a little too quickly. 

That it happened before the game even started speaks to how well the Bears’ backup quarterback played in their 23-16 win over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. 

“The guy said ‘Let’s go, Bears, you’re running out of the tunnel.’ So I’m always at the front, so I turn around and I run three steps, and I look back and I’m like oh my gosh. And just like put my head down and go back,” Daniel laughed. “Listen, it wasn’t nerves or anything like that. I’m sure it’s all over the Internet. Not one of my proudest moments. I thought some guys would’ve at least run out but we were waiting on the other teammates, so it is what it is.”

Daniel, starting his first game since December 2014, completed 27 of 37 passes for 230 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 106.8. With starter Mitch Trubisky out with a shoulder injury, the Bears needed a guy who only threw 78 passes in his entire NFL career before Thursday to deliver. And that’s exactly what Daniel did. 

It wasn’t just that Daniel pulled off the game he did, either. He did it without a proper week of practice — the truncated Thanksgiving game week meant Daniel only had a couple of walkthrough practices with which to work with his teammates before playing the Lions. 

“That’s why we have Chase,” coach Matt Nagy said. “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 with these guys and 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.”

The Bears were able to run the same offense they did with Trubisky as the quarterback, albeit with some different wrinkles, thanks to Daniel’s extensive knowledge of it. But it wasn’t just that Daniel operated the offense well — his only truly poor pass landing barely out of the reach of an open Tarik Cohen in the end zone. He made throws when he needed to and found Taquan Mizzell and Cohen for his two touchdowns. 

“I know that as a quarterback, I’m a distributor of the football,” Daniel said. “Use my legs a little bit, almost got out of a couple tackles, took a couple big hits and that can’t happen moving forward — you’re the quarterback, you gotta stay healthy. But it’s a fun time, and it’s a fun time to play quarterback in this offense, especially for this team right now.”

The expectation is that Daniel will return to his backup role when the Bears prep to face the New York Giants next week. The Bears will know more when they get Trubisky back into Halas Hall next week. (“We feel like right now, it’s a day-to-day thing with him,” Nagy said.)

If this indeed is Daniel’s only start of 2018, it had to be personally gratifying for the 32-year-old. The money Daniel’s made in his career as a sparingly-used backup has become somewhat of a punchline around NFL-centric social media. 

But Daniel, on Thursday, proved to be worth every penny for the Bears. 

“It means a lot,” Daniel said. “You don’t know when these opportunities will come and you just have to make the most of them.” 

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Plenty of Bears players had their own Myles Garrett-Mason Rudolph takes

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USA TODAY

Plenty of Bears players had their own Myles Garrett-Mason Rudolph takes

Thursday Night Football has a rich history of providing insanely boring games. It unites the football watching community by reminding them that hey, maybe that weeknight ACC game is a better choice (it was!). Last night's literal scrap between Cleveland and Pittsburgh broke the mold, though, and everyone brought some real Weekend Enthusiasm to their takes today. Plus there's still 48 hours before any other games, so strap in. 

There was a defensive lineman's take:

There was an offensive tackle's take: 

There was Tarik Cohen's take:

Allen Robinson was watching the Mavericks: 

The NFL just announced that Myles Garrett would be suspended indefinitely, so there will be certainly be more takes to come. When they come – and they will – from the Bears' direction, we'll have it covered. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.

Under Center Podcast: Tony Dungy & Chris Simms preview Bears/Rams

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Tony Dungy & Chris Simms preview Bears/Rams

JJ Stankevitz catches up with NBC NFL analyst Tony Dungy about how important Sunday's Bears-Rams game is for both teams. They also discuss the degree to which the Bears miss Jordan Howard, and Lovie Smith's revival of the Fighting Illini (1:00).

Then, producer Eric Strobel and NBC's Chris Simms discuss how teams are game-planning for Khalil Mack, how and why both the Bears and Rams have disappointed this season and which franchise he'd want to be moving forward (11:00).

Listen to the episode here or via the embedded player below:

Under Center Podcast

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Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.