MONSTER’S MASH: Chase continues to be the ‘perfectionist’
LAKE FOREST – By no means did anyone expect him to be perfect. Serviceable would have been just fine considering the circumstances.
Chase Daniel had to take over for Mitchell Trubisky with just one walkthrough practice. He’d prepared as a starter, sure, but having to get ready to take the snaps with a first team is a difficult thing on such short notice.
But the quarterback was, frankly, outstanding in a relief role against the Lions. Matt Nagy kept the offense pass-heavy, and Daniel completed 27-of-37 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover in a victory at Ford Field.
Yet as he prepares to likely start against the Giants Sunday with Trubisky listed as doubtful, he does so with a critical eye. Even though it was his first start in nearly four years, Daniel wasn’t going to accept just an average performance.
“I’m a perfectionist,” admitted Daniel. “So what I try to do is look at the negatives of the game and try to improve on it. There were ten incompletions. Some of those should have been completions. Four sacks is too many, those are all on me. You just constantly try to be a perfectionist, and that’s how I am and that’s how I was sort of raised.
“You just try to play the best game possible, and with practice, we’ll continue to do that.”
If all goes well, Daniel’s last start of the season will be Sunday, with Trubisky expected to return in time for the Bears’ Sunday night clash against the Rams at Soldier Field. That doesn’t mean the work of a self-proclaimed perfectionist stops when he returns to the backup role.
“I’m ten years in, but I’m still growing,” said Daniel. “I still try to get better every single day, whether it be watching film, or on the field.”
CHASE COULD GET SOME HELP AGAIN
Last week the offense wasn’t needed to score the game-winning points. Eddie Jackson took care of that.
His interception return for touchdown in the fourth quarter gave the Bears a 23-16 win over the Lions last week. It continues an incredible run of scoring by the defense, which had a touchdown in each of the last two games and six this season.
Five of those have come on interceptions with one via a fumble return by Jackson against the Bills. That’s the most in the NFL for a defense, that continues to make an argument to be the best in the NFL.
Keeping that up against the Giants could be a challenge, even as they offense struggles under Eli Manning. The Giants don’t turn the ball over that much, with just seven interceptions and five fumbles lost this season. But New York is scoring just 21.5 points per game (22nd in the NFL) and could have issues against a multi-faceted Bears’ attack.
Yet the defense doesn’t feel the need to get more points with Daniel under center. In fact, it’s the opposite.
“We take pride in having the offense’s back and we know they’ve got our back likewise too,” said linebacker Danny Trevathan. “We trust Chase and we know he’s been in this system. We know he can make the big play, we know Chase has been in there for a long time and he’s a great player.
“We just know our defense has got to prepare to be the best defense on the field; get our offense the ball as many times as we can.”
STAT OF THE WEEK: 12
The number of years since the Bears last beat the Giants on the road. That was November 12, 2006, when the Bears won 38-20, a victory aided by Devin Hester’s return of a missed field goal for a touchdown.
That game was played at the Meadowlands.