I don’t want to panic one game into the Nathan Peterman Era in Buffalo, but I’m starting to think that he might not be the answer. Or at least not the answer right now. Or ever.
Listen, I’ll admit, I could be overreacting. I don’t want to be a prisoner of the moment, but I didn’t love what I saw from Peterman against the Chargers yesterday. But let’s take a rational approach to it. Things actually started off pretty well. Buffalo got the opening kick-off. LeSean McCoy had a pair of runs and then on third and three, Peterman picked up the first down. Nice. Way to be.
And he chased that with a 20-yard completion to Kelvin Benjamin on first down. Benjamin was injured on the play, so that’s not good, but at this point, you know the Bills Mafia had Petermania. Follows that completion with a four-yard scramble and then set up this play, a 59-yard pick six to L.A.’s Korey Toomer.
Okay, look, I’ll be real. A pick-six on the opening drive is not great. Not how you’d want to draw it up, but these things happen. And when you fall off the horse, you get right back on it. Which is exactly what Peterman did.
Buffalo gets the ball back they go with a McCoy run, followed by an incomplete pass, and followed by another interception.
Okay, that’s less than ideal. At this point, some of you might have been thinking, maybe Peterman isn’t the guy after all. I know Richard Sherman was thinking that.
Sherman tweeted: ‘So they bench my guy Tyrod Taylor and the guy they bring in has already thrown 2 picks with 10mins left in the 1st. Great decision’
Love it. My man weighing in and dropping bombs. On a game that neither he nor his team is involved in. Buffalo’s defense managed to hold the Chargers to a missed field goal, so it’s still 7-0. And then two huge runs from LeSean McCoy later, and it’s 7-7. The Chargers kick a field goal to go up 10-7, but the Bills come back on the field after scoring a touchdown in with their last possession and you could tell they were feeling it.
Peterman connects on a couple of short passes, classic move to let him settle into the game. They try a couple of McCoy runs that go nowhere, so on third and ten, it’s time to put the ball in Peterman’s hand again….Damn! Third interception of the half. That’s really not great, but again, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. These things will happen.
The question is, how will you weather the storm? And the answer, if you’re Nathan Peterman, is not very well. Because this is how he responded on the very first play of the very next drive, lucky number four! That’s four. The grand slam of interceptions.
The best news of the day for the Bills was that they went three-and-out on the next two drives. I’ve never seen a team so relieved about a three-and-out because at least their punter was giving the ball back to the other team, not their quarterback.
But if there’s one thing that we learned about Peterman yesterday it’s that he won’t give up. Get knocked down four times, get up five. Or, to put it another way, get picked off four times, get picked off five! Hell, yes! Attaboy, Peterman. First quarterback in NFL history to throw five interceptions in a half.
Just when I thought you were going to run out of time before the half, you still managed to get that fifth pick in there. Unfortunately, for some reason, Peterman was benched at halftime. What a ridiculous move. The guy was just getting loose.
Then again, as Richard Sherman pointed out on twitter: ‘Wonder what they are gonna say after this game about Tyrod Taylor …. one bad game and he’s benched. Do you cut the new guy after this half?’
Well they didn’t cut him. Not only that, but head coach Sean McDermott didn’t even guarantee that Peterman wouldn’t start against Kansas City.
I’ll get to McDermott’s comments in a moment, because I want to start with my man Peterman: “I’ve had tough games before and coach always says you never lose, you learn. That will be my mindset moving forward. I am going to learn a lot from this and make sure that it never happens again.”
Love that attitude. You never lose, you learn. And I think we learned that Nathan Peterman might not be an NFL quarterback at this point.
We also learned that Sean McDermott isn’t one for rash decisions: “I don’t regret my decision. I regret the result. We didn’t get the result we were looking for. So I don’t regret the decision at all.”
I might suggest that starting a rookie on the road against the Chargers pass rush wasn’t the best idea, but that’s fine. And I do love the line “I don’t regret my decision. I regret the result.” That is such a great phrase that can be used any time, any place.
After hitting the drive-thru at Mickey D’s – “I don’t regret my decision. I regret the result.” After a long stay at Old Country Buffet – “I don’t regret my decision. I regret the result.” After having that third donut – “I don’t regret my decision. I regret the result.”
McDermott also said that he’s not sure who’ll start the next game: “I’m going to take my time and evaluate it. I’m going to make the decision that I feel is right for this football team.”
Respectfully, what exactly is there to evaluate and how much time are you going to need? The guy threw 14 passes. He completed six to your team and five to the other team. Tyrod Taylor has thrown three all season. This dude threw five in a half. I know you don’t love Tyrod and there may be plenty of reasons for that, but you can’t seriously need to take your time on this evaluation. The only thing worse than making the worst decision of the year by any coach in the league is refusing to own it. And the quicker you do, the better chance you have of keeping that part of the locker room you haven’t already lost.