The Buffalo Bills benched Tyrod Taylor earlier this week and turned to rookie fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman as a starter in Week 11. That lasted two quarters after the rookie threw five interceptions in the first half to spot the Chargers a 37-7 lead.
Now it’s Taylor back in the game for the Bills to begin the second half and it’s hard to imagine he’ll lose his job again anytime soon.
The only Buffalo possession in its first five of the game that didn’t end with an interception was a two-play touchdown drive that was just a pair of runs for LeSean McCoy that went for 37 and 27 yards. After a pair of punts on the Bills’ sixth and seventh drives, Peterman threw one more interception just before halftime.
Peterman’s game ended with six completions on 14 attempts for 66 yards, and he tied the record for most interceptions in a first career start.
Taylor was made the scapegoat for the Bills’ offensive struggles in a Week 10 blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints. His conservative approach evidently frustrated Bills coach Sean McDermott, but the benching of Taylor still surprised most.
“I think everybody was kind of surprised,” McCoy said at a press conference after the decision to start Peterman was announced. “Nobody really knew until today. We’ve been struggling, I think everybody has been struggling the last two weeks so we were a little surprised … We’re all together. We’re not playing well, from [Taylor] to me, guys up front, other playmakers, we’re not playing well together on offense.”
Even if Taylor wasn’t pushing the ball downfield enough, an avalanche of turnovers is much worse.
Tyrod Taylor has the lowest interception rate in NFL history (at least 1000 attempts).— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) November 19, 2017
In the first nine games of 2017, Taylor had just three interceptions, which Peterman tied in the first quarter. Taylor has five interceptions in his last 14 starts combined.
Peterman, 23, played college football at Tennessee and Pittsburgh, but was never particularly turnover prone. He saw his first regular season action in garbage time against the Saints and completed seven of 10 passes for 79 yards and threw the team’s only touchdown of the day.
Buffalo is still very much in the postseason hunt at 5-4, but the only other quarterback on the roster is Joe Webb, a player who has been at receiver at times in his career and hasn’t thrown a pass since 2011.
Peterman may have another chance to be a quarterback of the future for the Bills, but it’s hard to imagine it’ll be anyone other than Taylor at the helm for the rest of 2017.