Despite losing Mitchell Trubisky on the first drive of the game, Chase Daniel rallied the Chicago Bears to victory in a key divisional matchup Sunday.
Trubisky was ruled out quickly because of a shoulder injury, but the veteran backup did his part in what became a 16-6 win over the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. The defense was also able to contain the Minnesota attack despite being without Roquan Smith, Bilal Nichols and Akiem Hicks.
The effort was enough to put the Bears (3-1) into a tie for first place in the NFC North, while the Vikings (2-2) become the only two-loss team in one of the most competitive divisions in football.
Notable Fantasy Stats
- Kirk Cousins: 27-of-36, 233 passing yards
- Dalvin Cook: 14 carries, 35 rushing yards, 1 TD, 6 catches, 35 receiving yards
- Adam Thielen: 2 catches, 6 receiving yards
- Stefon Diggs: 7 catches, 108 receiving yards
- Tarik Cohen: 5 carries, 11 rushing yards, 2 catches, 7 receiving yards, 1 TD
- David Montgomery: 21 carries, 53 rushing yards, 3 catches, 14 receiving yards
- Allen Robinson II: 7 catches, 77 receiving yards
Chase Daniel Thrives in Backup Role
All teams are expected to take a step back when the starting quarterback is injured, but the Bears offense performed well with Daniel at the helm.
Daniel found Tarik Cohen for a touchdown early in the game and continued to spread the ball around to a variety of targets:
Nine different players caught passes for the Bears as the 32-year-old continually took what the defense gave him.
Though he didn't put up monster numbers, it was hard not to be impressed by Daniel's effort:
David Haugh @DavidHaugh
Give Chase Daniel credit. He came into game unexpectedly, after Trubisky injury on sixth play, and looked as ready as any starter. Command. Confidence. Accuracy. He's been best QB on the field. It's surprising because he's a backup but he also struggled in preseason. Strong half.
Considering the Bears only averaged 2.3 yards per carry, the fact there was any offense at all was a testament to Daniel's ability.
The defense also deserves a lot of credit for keeping the Vikings in check while totaling six sacks and two turnovers. However, the quarterback play was commendable and encouraging going forward if Trubisky misses more time.
Kirk Cousins Unable to Muster Any Offense Against Bears
The Vikings have relied upon their rushing attack so far this season, but the pressure was on Kirk Cousins against the Bears, and he flopped with the opportunity.
The quarterback often relied on the checkdown and missed passes when he did throw the ball down the field. Few were impressed by the performance during the game:
Courtney Cronin @CourtneyRCronin
Kirk Cousins has, at times, struggled to locate his receivers on deep passes this season. The ball to Thielen on 3rd-and-10 was overthrown. Cousins' five incompletions on passes of 15+ yards have all been overthrows, according to ESPN Stats and... https://t.co/GqbrjlnbMv
He also hurt his team's chances with his fifth fumble of the year on a Khalil Mack sack:
There were signs of life in the final few minutes as Cousins moved the ball down the field during the hurry-up offense. He found Stefon Diggs for some big gains before Dalvin Cook slammed in the team's only touchdown.
Still, a quarterback making $29 million this season needs to be more consistent throughout the game.
The Bears will remain home for Week 5 with a matchup against the 2-2 Oakland Raiders. The Vikings will go on the road to face a New York Giants squad that looks much more dangerous with Daniel Jones at the helm after back-to-back wins.