Strangely enough, a lot of Buffalo Bills fans defended the weird decision by coach Sean McDermott to bench quarterback Tyrod Taylor for rookie Nathan Peterman this past week. The common refrain was that the Bills “need to see what they have” in Peterman.
The Bills got to see what they have, all right.
Peterman was a debacle in the first half of his first start. He threw a pick-six to start the game against the Los Angeles Chargers (though, it went through his intended receiver’s hands). Then he threw another interception. And another. And another. And another.
He had five interceptions (!) in the first half. Taylor had three in nine games before being benched. The NFL record for interceptions in a game is eight, set by Jim Hardy in 1950. The Chargers led 37-7 at halftime. And after halftime, the Bills yanked Peterman for Taylor.
Taylor went 15-of-25 for 158 yards and one touchdown in the second half of the Bills’ 54-24 loss. He also had a fumble returned for a touchdown by defensive end Melvin Ingram.
According to Mike Sando of ESPN, the most interceptions for a player in his first start since at least 1950 was five for Keith Null of the Rams in 2009. Peterman tied that and played only a half.
It was an unusual decision to change quarterbacks because the Bills were 5-4 and had the sixth seed in the AFC. Also, almost all quarterbacks drafted in the fifth round or later struggle.
The Bills haven’t made the playoffs since the 1999 season. And in a decent spot to make the playoffs this season, McDermott benched a solid veteran in Taylor to roll with a fifth-round pick. It shouldn’t have been a shock to him when Peterson struggled and the Chargers opened up a huge lead.
McDermott said he will review film before deciding his starting quarterback for next week’s game against the Kansas City.
McDermott: I don’t regret my decision to play Peterman. I regret the result. #Bills
— Chris Brown (@ChrisBrownBills) November 20, 2017
Maybe it will get better for Peterman, and the Bills will find that he’s a much better quarterback than he showed. But the strange gamble to switch quarterbacks was as bad as it could possibly be on Sunday.
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