ST. LOUIS — After sitting out the third preseason game, Kansas City backup quarterback Chase Daniel got a chance to play the first half of the team's 24-17 victory over the Rams Thursday night at the Edward Jones Dome and enjoyed a homecoming of sorts.
Entering his seventh NFL season, Daniel virtually rewrote the University of Missouri record book as a three-year starter for the Tigers. In that time, he led the Tigers to Arch Rivalry victories over Illinois at the Dome in 2007 (40-34) and 2008 (52-42).
"It's always fun to play here," he said. "Not only were there Rams and Chiefs fans here tonight, there were also a lot of Mizzou fans. Just felt good to come out and get a chance to play a little bit."
With Kansas City starter Alex Smith and a number of other key players sitting out the preseason finale, Daniel took advantage of the extended playing time Thursday. The 28-year-old Daniel completed 16 of 20 passes for 117 yards, finishing with a touchdown and an interception.
The interception came late in the first quarter when Rams safety Cody Davis stepped in front of Kansas City rookie receiver Chris Conley and raced 24 yards for a touchdown to put the Rams up 14-7.
"He got me. I didn't even see him come down," Daniel said, joking about being a little rusty after getting a "vet's day off" in the Chiefs' 34-10 win over visiting the Tennessee Titans last week. "I was like, 'It's a 10-yard completion to Chris' and all of a sudden that dude was going the other way. So obviously the competitor in me -- you never want that to happen, ever, but especially when you're backed up like that.
"No excuses. You can't make the throw. I gotta see him. I was a little mad."
Daniel responded by completing all six of his passes on the ensuing drive, which he capped off with a 15-yard scoring strike to Conley.
Daniel said he and Conley made eye contact at the line of scrimmage to set up the skinny post pattern.
"It's one of those plays where a quarterback sees a certain look and a certain route," Daniel said. "Chris ran it like a veteran. He's a big body who gobbles up a lot of ground. He's super tall and fast. He got on the corner fast and crossed right in front of his face, just like we teach it.
"I had the easy part. He ran it and it worked out awesome."
With Thursday's win, the Chiefs wrap up the preseason at 4-0.
"It's not meaningless to us," said Daniel, who entered Thursday's action having completed 25 of 33 preseason passes for 271 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. "Coach (Andy) Reid wants to win them all. We want to win them all. We came out this preseason and everyone, the 1s, the 2s and the 3s, has really played well. I think that says something about the depth we have in the third year of the regime (of Reid and general manager John Dorsey). We're looking forward to the regular season and hopefully we can start 4-0 there, too."
When the Chiefs open the regular season Sept. 13 at Houston, Daniel will be the team's No. 2 quarterback. It's a role he's thrived in during his professional career.
At Mizzou, Daniel threw for 12,515 yards and 101 touchdowns and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting as a junior. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent, signing with Washington before spending much of his rookie season on New Orleans' practice squad. He was activated for the final game that season and was a member of the Saints' Super Bowl squad.
Daniel spent three more seasons backing up Drew Brees and serving as the Saints' holder before signing a free agent deal with the Chiefs prior to the 2013 season.
That season, he completed 25 of 38 passes for 248 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also ran for 52 yards. Last year, he completed 16 of 28 passes for 157 yards.
"It was great," Reid said when asked about the game. "This was an opportunity to play our 2s, play against their 1s. This was a great experience for them.''
Daniel added: "It was good to shore up some things and get it going."