The odd thing about all of this? Head coach Sean McDermott said on Monday that Taylor would still be the starter.
“Because I believe in Tyrod,” McDermott said. “Tyrod is our starter. That’s what I said (Sunday). I know what Tyrod has done and I also know what Nate has done. Tyrod is our starter.”
When the change was made, he was understandably disappointed:
“I’m obviously disappointed and it’s a decision that I don’t agree with. Ultimately, it’s Coach McDermott’s decision and I need to continue to be the leader and teammate that I know I can be.” pic.twitter.com/ZczvI8S1f0— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) November 15, 2017
Taylor was pulled from the Bills’ game last week against the Saints, a contest in which they lost 47-10. Peterman led a scoring drive in garbage time, throwing the team’s only touchdown pass of the game.
Taylor went 9-of-18 passing with 56 yards and an interception before being taken out of the game. In his place, Peterman completed 7 of 10 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Buffalo’s defense didn’t exactly do them any favors. At one point, the Saints ran the ball 24 consecutive times for 169 yards in the second half.
The Bills drafted Peterman in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL draft out of Pittsburgh. Here’s how SB Nation’s draft expert Dan Kadar evaluated Peterman, who was his No. 6 quarterback available, back in April:
In the rush to find the next Kirk Cousins, Peterman has been anointed the one. Here are the requirements for Cousins 2.0: Don’t be a first-round pick, possess good but not great tools and physical skills, and have pro-style scheme experience and accuracy. Those all describe Peterman. You can also add in his toughness in the pocket and good enough pocket mobility.
Peterman’s arm is fine, but he’s not going to launch a ton of deep passes. He could spin it a little better at times, too. He had some fumble issues that will need to be corrected.
The move seems like a last-ditch effort by McDermott to save the Bills’ season. Taylor led them to a 5-2 start, making it appear as if they’d be competing with the Patriots for the AFC East crown.
#Bills HC Sean McDermott on Nathan Peterman starting: It's about becoming a better team.— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) November 15, 2017
However, in the past two weeks, the Bills have hit a wall. They got whooped by the Jets on Thursday Night Football, though the final score of 34-21 might indicate it wasn’t so bad. In that game, Taylor was 29 of 40 with 285 yards and two touchdowns.
Last week, the Saints — who have been one of the hottest teams in the NFL — torched them, 47-10.
Peterman’s probably not going to fix the Bills’ problems. It also resurfaces the idea that perhaps they really just don’t want Taylor around. The team looked like they were going to tank earlier in the season, and shipped WR Sammy Watkins to Los Angeles and CB Ronald Darby to Philadelphia. After their 5-2 start, they traded for Kelvin Benjamin.
And now, Peterman is the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills after a pair of bad weeks by a team that doesn’t really know where they’re going this season. Sure, why not?