Forced into action because of Mitchell Trubisky‘s right shoulder injury, Daniel, who Chicago signed in March to a two-year deal that included $7 million in guarantees, played a smart, efficient and turnover-free game in the Bears’ 23-16 victory over the Lions.
Making his first NFL regular-season start since 2014, Daniel completed 27 of 37 pass attempts for 230 yards and two touchdowns (106.8 quarterback rating).
The 32-year-old veteran backup said earlier in the week he “knew the [Matt Nagy] offense like the back of my hand.”
On Thursday, Daniel backed up the talk, and without any help from the running game. The Bears failed to run the ball on either of their two drives that resulted in touchdowns.
Chicago rushed for only 38 yards as a team.
The last NFL quarterback to throw two touchdown passes that traveled 10 or more yards to running backs was the Chargers’ Philip Rivers in 2013, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The Bears felt confident turning to Daniel on short notice — Chicago became the first team since the 1907 merger to play a Thursday afternoon game following a Sunday night game — because he spent three years in Kansas City under Nagy.