2018: Week in Review - QB Nathan Peterman - Week 1

It’s still hard to believe that the Buffalo Bills played their first postseason game in almost two decades after finishing 9-7 in 2017. Some would point to the play of Tyrod Taylor as the driving force behind that team. The QB had put up numbers that the Bills hasn’t seen from the position in some years. Others would argue they reached the playoffs in spite of Taylor's limited passing ability and that it was the play of LeSean McCoy and a playmaking defence that carried them to the postseason. Say what you want about Taylor, however, he rarely made mistakes.

That certainly can’t be said for fifth-round pick and second-year player Nathan Peterman. Despite his five-interception game against the Los Angeles Chargers last season, after the benching of Taylor, he was given the nod to start in Week 1 of the 2018 season. As for Taylor, he now plays behind center for the Cleveland Browns.

How did Peterman fare?

Did Peterman have a better game against the Baltimore Ravens in week one? Let’s assess his performance here.

 

In some ways, Peterman was equally as bad. He threw for two picks and was without a touchdown. In fact, his performance was so poor that he ended the game with a 0.00 passer rating. A passer with at least 15 pass attempts has been awarded a 0.00 QB rating on 55 previous occasions in modern NFL history, according to Pro Football Reference.

However, there are numbers to suggest that Peterman's 0.00 passer rating is the worst of them all. Just 17 of the atrocious performances finished with 30 or fewer passing yards. Of those, just two players were sacked at least three times. One of those games featured an unforgivable and brutal 1998 game with Ryan leaf behind center.|

Peterman vs Leaf

It could be argued that throwing for two interceptions and one completion for a mere four yards in 15 attempts was a worse showing than Peterman’s against Baltimore, but there were a number of extenuating circumstances that go in Leaf’s favor. Firstly, while they were less than impressive, Leaf had at least managed to string together two NFL-level starts for the San Diego Chargers prior to that loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3 of the season.

Peterman didn’t have an entirely poor outing in his second start last year, although it was hard to measure anyone’s performance in a game which took place during a blizzard. Besides that, it was backup QB Joe Webb who came in to win the game after the replacement for the already-injured Taylor took a shot to the head. Peterman has virtually zero chance of being the face of an NFL franchise. His heir-apparent Josh Allen was sitting waiting in the wings just praying for Peterman to have a game like he had had. With plenty to gain and everything to lose in a fresh start for the first QB taken by the Bills’ current regime, it was a complete disaster. For Josh Allen, it may just be the beginning of a new dawn in Buffalo and their first legit long-term answer at QB since the legend that was Jim Kelly.

New gunslinger in town

Whether the Bills can come back from their week one blowout remains to be seen. While Josh Allen might see some support from both fans and fantasy players, with his huge arm giving the team signs of life in Week One, the Bills remain a long shot to go all the way this year. But then they did make an unexpected comeback to the preseason last year under new head coach Sean McDermott. With the man they hope to be the answer at QB, they may just end up surprising a few people once again. Rookie Tremaine Edmunds, another rookie the Bills traded up to get, also gives the team hope on defence. The youngest-ever LB in the Super Bowl era to start a season was all over the field against Baltimore. Buffalo fans may want to check the odds on the Bills winning the Super Bowl at Oddschecker, and may even be tempted to bet on their team finally getting their Super Bowl monkey off their back. The Bills' chances, however, start with Josh Allen, and not Nathan Peterman.

Josh Allen was taken with the Bills first-round pick and the seventh pick overall of the 2018 draft. The Bills traded a lot to go up and get him so, while they'll be plugging him in sooner than they'd like after the failed Nathan Peterman experiment and the poor pre-season performance of the now-traded AJ McCarron, they'll be hoping and praying that he's the answer the Bills have been hoping for.

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