Bills bench Tyrod Taylor, rookie Nathan Peterman to start vs. Chargers

Bills bench Tyrod Taylor, rookie Nathan Peterman to start vs. Chargers

Three days after Tyrod Taylor was yanked for rookie Nathan Peterman in the Bills‘ 47-10 loss to the Saints, coach Sean McDermott announced that Taylor will remain on the bench this week when the Bills face the Chargers

The development comes on the heels of a two-game losing streak that dropped the Bills out of a tie atop the division with the Patriots and currently has them sitting at 5-4 with a tenuous hold on the final playoff spot. And that reality — qualifying for the postseason for the first time since 1999 — played a role in first-year coach Sean McDermott’s decision to turn to Peterman.

Peterman saw his first action of the regular season against the Saints, and he finished 7 of 10 for 79 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers. Taylor, meanwhile, was 9 of 18 for 58 yards and an interception before he was pulled. 

Taylor ranks 20th in value per play among all quarterbacks, according to Football Outsiders’ metrics, just behind Russell Wilson and Marcus Mariota. A season ago, Taylor ranked 19th in value per play.

“Horrible game. Our offense didn’t get anything going and that starts with me,” Taylor told reporters after the loss on Sunday. “Just an overall bad game. Something as a team we have to learn from. I definitely have to learn from this one. Just a bad game overall.”

Do you know what else reporters were told on Sunday? That Taylor would remain the starter even though fans may want to see Peterman. Do you know who said that?

Clearly, something changed.

“I’ve been impressed with the maturity from Nathan Peterman,” McDermott said Wednesday. “I’m comfortable making a calculated risk to try and get us where we need to go.”

While McDermott has been supportive of Taylor, he’s never fully committed to the quarterback, now in his seventh season.

In late April, shortly after the Bills took Peterman in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft — and 12 months after they used a fourth-rounder on quarterback Cardale Jones — McDermott said he wasn’t willing to name Taylor the starter for 2017.

“Competition is there,” McDermott said at the time. “You earn the right to start on this football team. … Nothing is promised to anyone. We’re going to compete every day. [Even] I’ve got to earn my spot. You guys have heard me say that before.”

And after nine games, Taylor’s time in Buffalo appears to be up — if not in the coming weeks then almost certainly after the season.

As ESPN’s Field Yates points out, the 2018 free-agent quarterback class could include Taylor, Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith, Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, Josh McCown, Mike Glennon and Blake Bortles.


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