No more Nathan Peterman, Matt Barkley to start at QB for Bills

Yahoo Sports

The Buffalo Bills just couldn’t give Nathan Peterman another start at quarterback.

Not that Matt Barkley is going to save the NFL’s worst offense, but he’s getting a start. The Bills announced that Barkley is “expected to” start on Sunday against the New York Jets. Maybe the wording allows them some wiggle room if they change their minds again, but that’s doubtful.

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The announcement also said rookie Josh Allen was declared out with an elbow injury. This year’s first-round pick will start when he’s ready but the Bills don’t have much reason to rush him.

Peterman has started in Allen’s place, and it hasn’t gone well.

Nathan Peterman struggled mightily

It’s worth noting that this Bills coaching staff twice voluntarily made Peterman their No. 1 quarterback. They did so last season, benching Tyrod Taylor, and Peterman threw five first-half interceptions against the Chargers. They did so for Week 1 this season too, trading AJ McCarron to the Raiders and choosing Peterman over Allen. The results were similarly bad.

Peterman has played in eight games, starting four, and has a 32.5 career passer rating. That’s nearly impossible. Bleacher Report noted that of the the 356 quarterbacks who have thrown at least 130 passes in the last 40 years, Peterman’s rating is dead last. Nobody else is below 39.5.

The Bills didn’t have many great options with Allen out and Derek Anderson injured too. But Barkley was better than Peterman.

Matt Barkley hasn’t played a game in nearly two years

The Bills signed Barkley on Oct. 31. It’s not a great sign when a quarterback is a free agent at the end of October. Barkley was with the 49ers in the 2017 preseason and the Bengals this preseason. He posted a low 65.7 passer rating this preseason.

Barkley started six games in 2016 with the Chicago Bears, and he threw eight touchdowns to 14 interceptions. The Bears went 1-5 in his starts. And his last NFL game was Jan. 1, 2017.

The Bills simply had no good options. It was a bad offense before Allen and Anderson got hurt. It won’t be better against the Jets. But Barkley at least might be an improvement over Peterman. That bar was not set high.

Matt Barkley, shown with the 49ers in the 2017 preseason, will start for the Bills on Sunday. (AP)
Matt Barkley, shown with the 49ers in the 2017 preseason, will start for the Bills on Sunday. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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