In a move that perhaps will come as a surprise to anyone who remembers his two-quarter, five-interception outing in November, the Buffalo Bills on Monday named Nathan Peterman as their starting quarterback for the season opener Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. Peterman earned the job over Josh Allen, whom the Bills took with the seventh pick of this year’s draft.
Buffalo’s move may — in the long run — be more about protecting Allen than Peterman’s superiority: The Bills open the season with games against the Ravens, Chargers and Vikings, whose defenses all finished in the top seven of Football Outsiders’ weighted DVOA metric in 2017. The Chargers (43 sacks) and Ravens (41) also were in the NFL’s upper echelon when it came to getting to the quarterback, and Baltimore led the league with 22 interceptions. Plus, as told by ESPN Stats & Info via Pro Football Weekly, the Ravens are 14-2 vs. rookie quarterbacks at home under Coach John Harbaugh,
The Chargers were the team that picked off five Peterman passes last season, as the rookie tied the NFL record for interceptions thrown in his first career start. But Peterman looked better this preseason, completing 80.4 percent of his passes for 431 yards and three touchdowns with just one interception and a 124.7 passer rating.
“I’ve watched him grow and develop, which is good to see,” Coach Sean McDermott said recently. “Still more work to do, but I think he has been consistent, which is important at the quarterback position.”
Allen, by contrast, completed 24 of 44 passes (54.5 percent) for 210 yards and two touchdowns, compiling an 82.58 passer rating. He also was sacked seven times behind an offensive line that hasn’t exactly been impressive.
Buffalo seems content with Peterman and Allen as their lone quarterbacks; the Bills traded A.J. McCarron to the Oakland Raiders on Saturday.
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