This week the Raiders have set up camp in London preparing to ‘host’ the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The Bears will head across the pond on Thursday with a different starting quarterback than they’ve had for the first four games of the season
Mitchell Trubisky left last week’s contest with a dislocated shoulder injury and all indications are that he will miss the Week 5 clash against the Raiders. Stepping in for him will be backup Chase Daniel.
The question is how different the offense will look with Daniel behind center as opposed to Trubisky. Raiders linebacker Tahir Whitehead doesn’t see much to differentiate between the two quarterbacks.
“In week four we pretty much saw them stick to the game plan. I think Trubisky and Daniel they’re pretty much the same player. They move pretty well and they have good arms.” says Whitehead. “That system is an Andy Reid system – RPO style, get guys on the edge, got a bunch of crossers…so I don’t see a change.”
Are they really so similar?
Through three games this season, Trubisky has a 65.1% completion rate for 588 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. His ability to extend the play is an added bonus to the Bears offense as Trubisky is capable of scrambling for yardage when the pocket collapses. However, his inaccuracy and penchant for making bad throws helps defenses get off the field.
Daniel is actually appears to be a bit safer option. After replacing Trubisky early into last week’s contest, Daniel completed 22 of 30 passes (73.3%) for 195 yards and a touchdown and helped lead the Bears to a win over a tough Vikings team.
Last season when replacing the injured Trubisky, Daniel started in two games. He tallied 515 yards on 69.7% passing with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Those numbers are awfully similar to what Trubisky has done so far through 2019.
Suggesting there might be no drop off from a former second overall pick to a former undrafted free agent journeyman might seem a bit odd, but the Bears aren’t a team built to put their wins on the quarterback’s shoulders.
“Obviously we’re having more time for Daniel to operate the system. We can expect some slight changes, but as I stated earlier, they’re pretty much the same guy and I think they’re going to run their stuff. They have explosive guys on the outside, some good running backs, solid up front on the offensive line, have the coach calling the plays.” Whitehead adds. “They’re going to run their stuff. I think they feel confident just doing that and feeling like they can go out there and put up a lot of points. So, it’s really going to fall on us to make sure we go out there and execute out game plan and have 11 guys where they need to be.”
Whether it is Trubisky or Daniel taking the snap, the Raiders defense needs to keep the Bears offense in front of them. As mentioned, the Bears love to run short crossing routes and get the ball to their play makers with space to operate. In that aspect, it doesn’t really matter who is throwing the ball. Daniel is not quite as mobile as Trubisky, but he is more than capable of managing a game.
You can understand how Whitehead would not be concerned with the differences in the two signal callers. With Vontaze Burfict out, Whitehead must step on at middle linebacker and his focus is on his team. The Raiders need him in the running game as promising rookie running back David Montgomery has been solid through four weeks, but also in the passing game. The Bears have a tendency to check down to the running back, which will fall on the linebackers to take care of.