Can the Lions stop Chase Daniel or are they doomed to let another backup quarterback torch them?
After the Chicago Bears’ impressive performance on “Sunday Night Football” against the Minnesota Vikings, not many were giving the Detroit Lions a chance for the upcoming Thanksgiving Day game against the Bears. Chicago silenced a lot of doubters with two consecutive wins inside the division—both in fairly convincing fashion.
But the Lions were gifted some luck this week, as it looks like Bears starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is unlikely to play on Thanksgiving. Trubisky suffered a shoulder injury late in Sunday’s game and is officially listed as “doubtful” fo Thursday.
While Trubisky is not essential to the Bears’ success, he does give Chicago’s offense an extra dimension with his rushing abilities.
Chase Daniel, Trubisky’s backup, is a complete unknown. Somehow, Daniel has stuck around the NFL for over nine years, despite the fact that he’s only started two games and thrown just 78 career passing attempts. We know that Daniel is well-versed in Matt Nagy’s offense, but whether he’s able to execute it is a whole different story.
The Detroit Lions have struggled to stop any quarterback this season, so it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Daniel have some success Thursday. But with less of a threat to run the ball, it’s possible the Lions could create a little pressure to rattle the inexperienced thrower.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Will the Lions be able to stop Chase Daniel?
My answer: Probably not. The issue, to me, isn’t Lions defense vs. Chase Daniel, it’s Lions secondary vs. Bears receivers. Last time the two faced off, Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller were getting wide open against a poor set of cornerbacks.
Granted, Darius Slay will likely play this week, after missing the previous matchup, but I don’t think that will be enough. Unlike in years past, the Bears have a pretty deep bench of receiving options. In addition to Robinson and Miller, the Bears have leading-receiver Taylor Gabriel, tight end Trey Burton and running back Tarik Cohen.
The Lions are just not deep enough in the secondary to account for all of these weapons, so as long as Daniel can handle the mental part of the game (going through his progressions, reading coverages), I have a hard time seeing how the Lions stop him. It may be different if the Lions could create consistent pressure, but they can’t.