It seems like just yesterday the Buffalo Bills were 5-2, and ready to take the league by storm, take the division, and hey, maybe even contend for a Superbowl. Well, it’s funny what a difference just a couple weeks can make. Buffalo, since then, has dropped 2 consecutive games, gotten demolished in both of them, and now are electing to start their backup quarterback, Nathan Peterman. This move was a shock to many, as fans either thought the timing was off, or quite simply, the staff didn’t have the guts to pull it off. Today, the move was made official, and it seems as if there is now another new era arriving in Buffalo; and his name is Nathan Peterman. This is what McDermott had to say:
“We are 5-4, I understand that, and we are in the playoff hunt at this point. It is always and will forever, for the time that I am here, will be about becoming the best team that we can possibly become. We are made for more than 5-4 and I’ve come here to be better than 5-4.”
It seems as if McDermott has heard the cries of many fans, and his own self-doubts started to creep in about the current QB, Tyrod Taylor, as they’ve now decided to travel in a new direction. This is a gutsy call for sure, and can be seen as a very high risk (yet high reward) move. This move has many implications, pros, and cons, so let’s break it down.
The Good: Peterman’s Got Talent
Tyrod Taylor is a talented athlete, no doubt, but Peterman has his own talent as well. In this case, Peterman’s talent comes in the pocket. Despite the fact that he can move, more so on bootleg plays, or the ability to get out of the pocket and scramble for a few yards, he thrives in the pocket. That is not something that can be said of Tyrod Taylor. Peterman looks decisive, calm and collected in the pocket. In addition, he displays great vision and the ability to find the open receiver. He’s not afraid to throw the ball into tight windows, and overall is rather accurate as well. Peterman can also feed the ball to his playmakers. Tyrod simply could not do that. Despite his excellent ability to run, evade sacks, and make excellent plays under duress; those plays came too far and few between to be consistent. Tyrod was unable to find/throw to the open men he did have, and didn’t trust his arm, instincts or even WR’s enough. His vision suffered, and he often held onto the ball too long. Peterman will assure that he will get rid of the ball quick, which is certainly helpful against the defenses that have smothered the pass game all season.
The Bad: Timing
It’s hard to give the Bills a lot of issues on this one, but the timing certainly seems off. At 5-4, after coming off of 2 terrible offensive (and well, defensive too) performances (and blowout losses in general), some would say a change certainly had to be made. At the same time, this team was still 5-4, and in a playoff spot, so why change it? Especially with the defensive struggles, this team appears to have more problems than just QB. Of course, on the other hand, if they waited 2 or 3 more weeks, they could have very well been staring another playoff-less year in the face. Starting Peterman then may have been too late. Timing here could never be perfect, but it’s better to start Peterman now. If he does well, amazing. If he does terrible…well, would Tyrod have gotten this team above 8-8? All of this, not to mention the fact that Peterman’s first start will come on the road, across the country, against 2 amazing D-lineman in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. That’s one tough feat in itself.
The Good: McDermott Wants To Win
Many people were questioning McDermott after the past couple of games and, of course, some still are now. They were questioning if McDermott knew how bad Tyrod’s played of late, and why he wasn’t thinking of starting Peterman after he stated he wasn’t after the Saints game. Today though, he made it clear. Peterman is the starter because, as McDermott stated today, “I’m here to win games and win a championship. Once in awhile you have to take a calculated risk to get where you want to go.” We all have our answer. McDermott is willing to make the tough changes and the tough moves that many otherwise would not make. He certainly is looking to win, and believes that right now, Peterman has the best shot to do so.
The Bad: QB Not This Team’s Only Issue
This past weekend, Tyrod Taylor only managed to throw for 56 yards, 1 Int, and just 9 completions. He went 1/9 on drives played, the 1 being just a FG on the opening drive. That was one of the worst league performances by a QB this season. Let’s not let that distract us from the fact that this Bills team is getting absolutely gashed on defense. In the past 2 games, they’ve averaged about 250 yards per game given up to opposing rushers. Even pocket passers Josh McCown and Drew Brees managed to rush for TD’s. The rush D is not good right now, and the defense as a whole is struggling. They look like just a shell of their September selves, and right now, it’s hurting them big time. They’ve managed only 1 turnover in the past 2 games and don’t look nearly as aggressive. It almost seems like they’re playing prevent defense every play, and they give yards up in chunks, especially on 3rd and long situations. The pass rush is non-existent either. The defense NEEDS to wake up for Sunday’s game and beyond, because the defense is the league’s worst over the last 2 weeks.
On the offensive side of the ball, they’ve got all the weapons, but there’s 2 places this team is lacking. O-line and RB. The o-line isn’t always bad, but they have had trouble finding room for Shady, and have been giving up a lot of pressure on their QB. It’s certainly a fixable issue, especially if Peterman can get the ball out on time. As far as RB, this team is hurting for a solid backup RB. Buffalo needs a change of pace, downhill runner, but they need one with speed. Travaris Cadet is on the roster, and I think Cadet, as a veteran, could fill that spot wonderfully and be a wonderful complement to Shady.
The Good: Move Could Right The Ship
Despite all of the risk involved, there is nothing that can say this is truly a bad move. Peterman has been raved about by scouts and coaches, and he was even declared the most NFL-ready QB out of the draft by some scouts. Tyrod Taylor was only averaging 187 passing yards per game anyway. As long as Peterman doesn’t come out and throw 3 picks per game, there is no doubt in my mind that Peterman can play to the strength of this team’s weapons and feed the playmakers the ball. Even if Peterman can throw just 2 TD’s and 250 yards, as well as extend drives, he will be a certainly appreciated upgrade.
Having Peterman at QB is certainly a risk, but if it pays off, it could pay off huge for this team, and Peterman could ultimately help end the drought. There’s no answers for sure, so it’s time to buckle up and watch the games. Thanks for reading, and as always, let’s go Buffalo!