Buffalo Bills QB Nathan Peterman pummeled in NFL debut after Tyrod Taylor benching

By Jay Paris, The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 19, 2017 at 9:33 PM
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CARSON, Calif. -- Buffalo Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman's father does some of his best work on Sunday.

Unfortunately, the minister's son didn't follow suit in his NFL debut.

Peterman, a rookie, heaved five first-half interceptions to fuel the Los Angeles Chargers in their 54-24 triumph over Buffalo at the StubHub Center on Sunday. He completed six of 14 passes for 66 yards and a rating of 17.9.

"I'm going to go back and learn from this as much as I can," Peterman said.

Peterman's first half was unsightly, but not quite historic. Joe Ferguson threw six picks in a game for the Bills in 1974 against the Houston Oilers. The Chargers' record for interceptions is six, when they flustered the Colts' Peyton Manning in 2007.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Peterman started for the first time since last year when leading Pittsburgh to a school-record 532 points and an upset of eventual national champion Clemson. But in his two years with the Panthers, and two before that with Tennessee, he never produced a day like Sunday.

Head coach Sean McDermott, who declined to name the Bills starter against the Kansas City Chiefs next week, said he doesn't regret starting Peterman against the Chargers' vaunted pass rush.

"He's mentally tough," McDermott said. "He wanted go back out there; he's driven to succeed."

That Peterman was inserted into the lineup over Tyrod Taylor surprised many Bills watchers. Taylor has thrown for 10 touchdowns, against two interceptions, and rushed for two more scores.

But after McDermott stated that Taylor was his quarterback early last week, he flipped his decision and the result was a flop by Peterman.

Part of Peterman's problem was figuring out how to avoid a pass rush led by Joey Bosa. On two of Peterman's five interceptions, he was hit by Bosa while throwing.

"I trust coach and his decision," Peterman said. "I felt very confident going into the game and things just got away from me."

Taylor replaced Peterman to start the second half. The former No. 1 quarterback provided a bit of a spark, rushing for a score and completing 15 of 25 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown.

"Tyrod was ready to go," McDermott said.

Peterman confirmed he is to, if asked to start at Kansas City.

"I'm always ready," Peterman said. "I just have to play better."

Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn wasn't shy about sending his pass rushers at Peterman.

"We knew that if we could supply a pass rush that it can get to him," Lynn said. "If we could get some pressure on him he didn't have the same success."

There were few silver linings for Peterman after his first game.

"I've never experienced anything like this," he said.

Peterman, at times, looked like he needed a miracle to complete his pass. Now McDermott will decide if he gets a second chance.

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