Chase Daniel’s efforts to lead the Bears to another win fell just short, and the backup quarterback fell on his sword after the game: “As an offense, especially as a quarterback, your No. 1 job is to take care of the football,” Daniel said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “I let my team down. I’ll be the first one to say that.”
Ouch, dude. I can feel your pain. Daniel had his problems in Sunday’s loss, to be sure. He mishandled several Cody Whitehair snaps, committed a pair of costly turnovers (and had a half-dozen near-misses), and couldn’t find his footing, build up a lather, or really get into a rhythm until it was too late. But things looked most fine when he did finally figure it out … didn’t it?
When the Bears needed someone to make plays on the offensive side of the ball at the end of the game, Daniel was able to get the pigskin in the hands of his playmakers. At one point, the Bears faced a 24-14 deficit with 18 minutes and 58 seconds remaining in regulation. According to Pro Football Reference’s win probability calculator, the Bears’ odds of winning were a lowly 10.8 percent at that point in the game (though they dropped further after that*). Here’s what Daniel did between that point and the end of regulation:
- 16 of 24 completions (66.7%)
- 211 yards (8.8 yards per attempt)
- 118.8 passer rating
Most NFL executives would do backflips for a backup quarterback to do that in a game, let alone in a stretch of 18 minutes and 58 seconds when their team is down 10 on the road. So for Daniel to engineer a comeback to tie the game is as impressive as it was improbable. And yet, the facts here have me at a crossroads.
Daniel’s efforts in crunch time were admirable. On the other hand, Daniel wouldn’t have needed to reach back and put up those numbers had he not made mistakes earlier in the game. How much credit do you give a guy for engineering a comeback when his earlier performance was part of why the come-from-behind efforts were necessary? Frankly, it’s not a question I’m sure I have an answer for right now.
In the end, we hope Chase isn’t beating himself up over the loss too much. Because while his interceptions put the Bears behind the 8-ball, he did his part in bringing the team back when everything was going against him. We tip our cap to you for keeping the Bears afloat with Mitch Trubisky sidelined. Here’s to not having to play meaningful minutes once QB1’s throwing shoulder is healthy.
*The Bears had 1st and 10 from their own 25 with 1:49 left in regulation. At this point, Pro Football Reference’s win probability calculator had Chicago’s chances of winning down all the way to 2.33%. Welp, that’s the ballgame, right? Except it wasn’t.
From that point forward, Daniel completed 8 of 12 passes for 90 yards, helping the Bears to score 10 points, tie the game, and send things into overtime as time expired.