Peterman goes from hero to goat

Is this the last we see of Nathan Peterman in a Bills uniform?

Howard Simon
October 14, 2018 - 6:10 pm

Photo: Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports


The Buffalo Bills have found some really crazy, rip your heart out ways to lose a game over the years and we now have a new entry.

Just when you thought it was safe to watch Nathan Peterman when pressed into duty, he showed once again that he just doesn’t have what it takes to play in the National Football League. In the same Houston stadium where E.J. Manuel once threw a critical pick-six to J.J. Watt that led to a Bills loss, Peterman ripped what would have been a hard to explain Bills win from the jaws of victory and gift wrapped it for the Texans.  

While many of you are probably angry at Peterman (there was a lot of cursing in the same sentence with his name on my Twitter feed), you should direct your anger at the Bills' brain trust of Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane. I don’t know why Peterman made it past his first season with the Bills. While he was the best quarterback in the preseason and won the competition, his disastrous opening day start should have sealed his fate on the Bills roster. If this performance doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will. I just don’t know what the Bills, and most likely it's more McDermott than Beane, see in this kid.  

As the pick-six showed, he just doesn’t have the arm strength to play at this level, not even as a backup. Beane and McDermott should have come up with a better plan than having Peterman as the only option with Josh Allen going into the season. If Beane and McDermott are only wired to win and don’t want to hear about taking a step back to take steps forward, then why wasn’t there a Derek Anderson signing, or a signing of some similar veteran quarterback sitting at home, immediately after the Ravens game. Allen clearly looks like he’s not ready to play, but the Bills had no choice after Peterman’s disastrous season opening performance. It remains to be seen if Allen is healthy enough to play at Indianapolis in Week 7. If he isn’t, the Bills had better put Anderson in charge of the offense. There’s just no reason to put Peterman on the field anymore, which is exactly how I felt after the opener in Baltimore.

Peterman's career stats are hideous. In six games, he has thrown 79 passes, nine of which have been picked off. So he throws an interception every 8.7 attempts on the average.

Perhaps Allen should thank his fellow signal caller because this game would have led to a discussion about whether or not the Bills should put Allen back on the bench and let him learn from there. One week after going 10-of-19 for just 82 yards, Allen was 10-of-17 for 84 yards when he left the game late in the third quarter with an elbow injury. He was, once again, inaccurate on some throws, but more troubling to me was Allen looking gun shy. There were times he had receivers open for positive plays and seemed to be looking at them, but he wouldn’t throw the ball. Instead, he opted to run or ended up getting sacked.

The Bills' very first drive of the game was Allen in a nutshell in his still early Bills career. He had Charles Clay open on, what should have been, a first down pass, but threw a bad ball that was too low to catch. Two plays later, he completed, what looked like, the same play to Clay for a first down.  

On that same drive, he made a bad decision to throw back across his body into the middle of the field while going to his right, but he did make it work for a big gain by LeSean McCoy, so you went from "No, don’t throw that," to "Way to go Josh" rather quickly. Later on the drive, he overshot Kelvin Benjamin on a deep throw to the left side. It was so badly overthrown, 6' 5" receiver couldn’t even try to make a play on it. 

The Bills offense had just 53 yards in the first half on 22 plays and, at that point, had scored just one touchdown through 12 quarters going back to the game in Minnesota. I knew the Bills offense was going to be bad, but it actually looks worse than I anticipated. At this stage, it is historically bad in terms of its production. The offense produced 27 points in the first half of that stunning Week 3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. They’ve scored a total of 49 points in the other 22 quarters this season. In a year where the NFL is on pace to break the record for most points, that level of production is unthinkable. 

With the offense that bad, it leaves very little room for error for the defense and special teams. The defense was outstanding in this game, but special teams had a day filled with errors and that contributed to this defeat. The Bills dropped two kickoffs, muffed a punt and had a punt blocked. The muffed punt and blocked punt gave Houston a pair of drive starts inside the Bills' 30-yard line and they turned that into 10 points. 

I feel so bad for the guys on defense who played their rear ends off. They harassed Deshaun Watson all day and beat the snot out of the Texans' offensive line. The defense gave up one long drive all day. It was the 84-yard drive that ended with a field goal, which tied the game at 13-13. However, that still saw the Bills defense stop Houston cold when they had a 1st-and-goal at the one-yard line after a 41-yard pass interference penalty against Phillip Gaines. By the way, on that play it sure looked like Eddie Yarbrough was held by the Texans left tackle, which would have meant offsetting penalties and a replay of the down. 

The Texans came into the game averaging 423 yards per-game. The Bills held them to 216 while recording seven sacks, getting three takeaways, stopping them on 10-of-13 third downs and giving up just one touchdown in four red zone possessions. DeAndre Hopkins, one of the best receivers in the NFL, was held to 63 yards, his lowest total in 15 games going back to last season. That should be enough to win almost every time but not with this offense.  

Man, I hope the Sabres keep winning on their western trip.

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