With the bizarre benching of QB Tyrod Taylor, rookie Nathan Peterman will make his NFL debut against the Chargers this Sunday. All eyes will obviously be on the rookie to see if he can keep the Bills in the wildcard hunt (currently the 6th seed). Even as a Tyrod supporter, Peterman should be fun to watch for a few reasons… One of Peterman’s strengths is being able stay in the pocket and deliver a pass when the defensive pressure is in his face. He is no where near Taylor as far as being able to avoid the pressure and scramble but it’s a good thing to have a quarterback who can take some big hits and get back up. Another strength Peterman has over Taylor is his ability to get the ball out quick while anticipating the route. Taylor has a tendency to hang on to the ball for too long and that has resulted in him being sacked 28 times on the season (fourth highest in NFL). If Peterman’s debut goes south quickly, you can expect to see Tyrod back out there throwing 4 yard hitches and 6 yard out routes to tight ends and running backs.
That last sentence will lead us to our next player to watch, but for the first time, its not a player – it is Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison. A lot of people believe he is on the hot seat which is absolutely… fair to say. Dennison’s play calling has been suspect at best and has caused a strain on Tyrod and the coaching staff. Going to Peterman this Sunday is what I believe to be a last ditch effort for Dennison to remain the OC for the Bills moving forward (at least for this season).
Kelvin Benjamin is probably more confused than anybody right now. He went from Superman being his quarterback to Tyrod Taylor (1 game – 6 targets, 3 catches, 42 yards) to rookie Nathan Peterman all in a span of 18 days. Benjamin has gone over 100 yards receiving just only once this year but has the the big game threat ability to do so every week due to his monstrous size, leaping ability and speed. Look for Peterman to target the 6’5” receiver early and often throughout this match-up. The Chargers are giving up 209 passing yards a game – good enough for 11th best in the league so it will be a battle for both Peterman and Benjamin to get on the same page.
LeSean McCoy will look to get things going again coming off back-to-back games held under 50 rushing yards – granted he only received 8 carries last week in a blowout loss against the Saints. The Chargers are the second worst in the NFL giving up 135 rushing yards a game so McCoy should have a good, if not great game this week. With the rookie getting the start at QB, a lot of carries should be in line for McCoy and Travaris Cadet, due to Mike Tolbert’s injury.