After the Giants kicked a 44-yard field goal to take a three-point lead in overtime against the Bears on Sunday afternoon, quarterback Chase Daniel licked his fingers, strapped on his helmet and readied for a potential game-winning drive.
The Bears 'backup quarterback, who was starting back-to-back games for the first time in his career, wasn't perfect in the Bears' 30-27 loss. He threw two interceptions, including a pick-six on the first play of the game, and was sacked five times.
"As a quarterback, your No. 1 job is to take care of the football," Daniel said. "I didn't do that today. I let my team down. I'll be the first one to say that, and it's sad, because I pride myself on taking care of the football and playing with an edge, and for the first at least three quarters we really didn't do that today."
But despite the rocky start, Daniel and the Bears offense appeared they'd finally hit their stride at the end of regulation heading into overtime.
With two-and-a-half minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Giants up 24-17, Daniel took the field and readied for a two-minute drill to try to even the score. Instead, his first completion of the drive was punched out of the hands of receiver Taylor Gabriel and recovered by the Giants.
Four plays later, the Giants kicked a field goal to extend their lead to 10.
Daniel came back in with less clock remaining and two scores required to keep the Bears' hopes alive.
Daniel — who quarterbacked the Bears to a big win over the Lions on Thanksgiving in his first start since 2014 — took the field and wasted no time chipping away.
The quarterback found receiver Allen Robinson II to his right for a gain of 19 yards to kick off the drive. Robinson managed to get out of bounds to stop the clock. On another first-and-10, Daniel hit running back Tarik Cohen for a pickup of eight yards. On the next play, Daniel went Cohen's way again, dropping a perfect ball to the streaking running back down the right sideline despite being hit while gunning back for the throw. The completion plus a roughing-the-passer penalty netted 40 yards and put the Bears within striking distance.
The Bears couldn't break the plane on three attempts and settled for a field goal to make it a one-score game.
Down a touchdown with just over a minute left, Chicago set up for an onside kick. Kicker Cody Parkey dribbled a perfect ball to the right side that tight end Daniel Brown recovered to keep the Bears' hopes alive.
Daniel took to the field again, this time needing a touchdown to force overtime.
Daniel hit Cohen on the first play for a first down, but a sack, incompletion and short reception followed, setting up a fourth-and-three for the game.
Daniel dropped back and launched to his favorite target on the day, hitting Cohen in stride for a 23-yard gain. Cohen got out of bounds to stop the clock with less than 20 seconds.
A pass interference penalty two plays later set the Bears up for one final play from the 1-yard line.
Daniel took the snap and handed off to tight end Trey Burton . Burton pitched to Cohen in motion the opposite way, and Cohen threw to Anthony Miller in the end zone for a game-tying score as the clock hit zeroes.
An extra point forced overtime after an improbable fourth-quarter comeback.
But the magic ran out in overtime after the Giants took the lead with a field goal.
Daniel and the Bears picked up two first downs, but a fourth-and-eight heave to Gabriel fell incomplete, ending the overtime thriller.
Daniel said it'll take at least a day to get over the loss, but thought the game showed the fight that this Bears team has.
"It talks about our team's mental fortitude," Daniel said. "Just how we're able to put a disastrous, really, three quarters to bed and just really play the fourth quarter and into overtime and at least just be in the game. ... I'm proud of our team, really how we fought back. It says a lot, and it'll help us a lot down the road."