Nathan Peterman tried really hard. He was so very bad on the field, but it was never for a lack of effort.
Looks like Peterman just said "I got this"!— Buffalo Rumblings (@BuffRumblings) October 14, 2018
Then he threw a pick-six to give the Texans the lead and another interception to end the game. Every time Peterman had a chance to turn things around in a big way, he fell down a flight of stairs instead.
In less than two seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Peterman appeared in eight games and made four starts. He threw three touchdowns with 12 interceptions and had a 32.5 passer rating. Keep in mind that throwing every pass into the ground earns a quarterback a 39.6 rating.
That doesn’t even include his postseason stats: three pass attempts, one completion for 14 yards, an intentional grounding penalty, and a season-ending interception.
This week, the Bills decided they’d seen enough. Peterman was released Monday — one day after off-the-street-signee Matt Barkley led Buffalo to a 41-10 win against the Jets. It means we’ll likely never see Peterman throw another pass in the NFL.
That’s probably for the best, because — for as fun as it was to watch the Peter Man brand of spectacular self-destruction — he was one of the worst starting quarterbacks ever. Let’s review and appreciate the beautiful disaster that was Buffalo’s short-lived Peterman era:
Historic awfulness: 9.5
Believe it or not, there are quarterbacks who finished with worse stats than Peterman. Much worse.
There was Kim McQuilken, who started seven games for the Falcons between 1974 and 1976, and finished his career with a 12.9 passer rating. He threw 29 interceptions with only four touchdowns and completed only 39.7 percent of his 272 passes.
So three touchdowns and 12 interceptions doesn’t make Peterman the worst of all time.
It’s not great that Peterman’s compatriots in terribleness are from the 1970s, though. That was an era when everyone had bad stats. Joe Namath made the Pro Bowl in 1972 with 19 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, and Terry Bradshaw didn’t even finish a season with more touchdowns than interceptions until his sixth season. Those guys were Hall of Famers.
That makes it noteworthy that Peterman put together astoundingly awful stats in the NFL of today. The average passer has a 94.6 passer rating so far this season. In 1974, when guys like McQuilken and Clark were throwing out freebies to the defense, the average passer had a 64.2 rating.
No quarterback with at least 100 pass attempts in the last 20 years has a lower career passer rating than Peterman.
The worst starter ever? There’s an argument to be made, but there’s zero doubt he has the worst stats we’ve seen in a long time.
Make no mistake, most of Peterman’s worst plays were his fault. But he wasn’t in good favor with the football gods.
He didn’t quite pull off multiple bank shot interceptions off the feet of his receivers like Blake Bortles, but Peterman certainly had some bad bounces and deflections.
The real hilarity of Peterman’s tenure were the stats, though. Boy, will I miss the stats.
Like the time he finished a half with 75 passing yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions, and it RAISED his career passer rating.
Nathan Peterman’s 12/19, 75 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs at halftime— Adam Stites (@AdamStites_) November 4, 2018
That’s good enough to raise his career passer rating from 31.4 to 31.5
Or that he finished his career with the Bills with as many pick-sixes as touchdown passes.
How about the fact that Aaron Rodgers could throw literally nothing but interceptions until the inevitable NFL lockout of 2021 and still have better stats than Peterman?
Aaron Rodgers could throw 1,240 consecutive Int, without a TD, and still own a better career ratio than Nathan Peterman (0.25).— Paul Hembekides (@PaulHembo) November 13, 2018
Wait, one more: Drew Brees could throw 2,746 consecutive incompletions and still have a better career completion percentage than Peterman. Goodness, I’m gonna miss the Peterman stats so much.
As fun as it was, it’s probably for the best that the Peterman era is over. It was raising real questions about why he kept getting so many chances to fail in the first place.
Peterman was a 2017 fifth-round pick who was bad basically every time he was on the field. He began his career by getting benched after throwing five picks in his starting debut, and his three-interception game against the Bears was the only one of his four starts he even finished.
So when EJ Manuel implied that Peterman’s chances with the Bills were an example of the NFL’s double standard for black quarterbacks, well ... he’s not wrong. Not to mention the fact that Colin Kaepernick — a 31-year-old former Super Bowl starter — is currently suing the NFL for colluding to keep him out. The Bills only helped prove his point by continuing to trot out an all-time bad passer.
In the Bills’ defense, Peterman’s preseason performance suggested he was ready to be better in 2018. He threw three touchdowns, one interception, and had a 124.7 passer rating. It even provided enough highlights for this spectacular piece of content:
And when Peterman fell flat, the Bills didn’t mindlessly stick with him. They benched him for Josh Allen, until the rookie suffered an elbow injury. Then they benched him for Derek Anderson, until the veteran suffered a concussion.
But it reached the point that Peterman even being on a roster was a bit problematic. We’ll miss the Peter Man, but his release was probably for the best. May we never forget what a gloriously miserable tenure it was.