Buffalo Bills rolling the dice with rookie QB Nathan Peterman

ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Nathan Peterman
ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Nathan Peterman /

Buffalo Bills fan will get their first look at rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman on Sunday in a crucial with have playoff implications.

The Buffalo Bills made a surprising announcement to go with rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman against the Los Angeles Chargers in favour of Tyrod Taylor. With the playoffs being a realistic goal this season, the Bills are not willing to be patient which explains the change.

The Bills selected Peterman in the fifth-round of the 2017 draft after splitting his college career between the University of Tennessee and the University of Pittsburgh. When he made the transfer to Pittsburgh, Peterman was given an opportunity to start throwing for 5,142 yards, 47 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

Many have noted that the highlight of Peterman’s career came in a showdown against DeShaun Watson and Clemson when he threw for five touchdown passes in a nail-bitting 43-42 win. It was the only loss that Clemson had on their way to winning the National Championship and it helped solidify his position as a top-five quarterback in the draft.

When Buffalo made the pick, ESPN draft expert Todd McShay was a big fan of the pick giving a lot of praise as one of the steals of the draft.

"What a steal for the Bills: I had Peterman ranked as my No. 4 QB and 69th overall prospect, and Buffalo got him in the fifth round. He’s the most pro-ready of all the quarterbacks in this class. Peterman throws with great anticipation and showed the ability to handle a lot of pre-snap responsibilities in Pitt’s scheme. I was on the sideline when Peterman went into Death Valley and threw five touchdowns to hand eventual national champion Clemson its only loss of the season. Peterman played with great poise in that hostile atmosphere. The one negative with this fit is Peterman’s lack of arm strength in the windy AFC East. But he gives the Bills a reliable backup in the short term and a potential starting option in the long term if they want to move on from Tyrod Taylor in the coming seasons.McShay on the Bills picking Peterman."

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The 23-year-old definitely brings a different approach than Taylor and  he will have a tough test against the Chargers defence which ranks 11th in passing defence. It does help that he has LeSean McCoy in the backfield and hopefully Peterman can take advantage of the attention the Bills running back draws against the defence.

The Florida-native, was touted in his NFL draft profile for his ability to find his play actions reads early which might work better in Sean McDermott‘s system. What will be a challenge for Peterman is remaining consistent in his delivery and his arm strength. Many have compared the young rookie to Kirk Cousins.

Hopefully the addition of Kelvin Benjamin makes it easier for Peterman as a dependable receiving option downfield. The key to success for Peterman will be his decision making, not forcing into strong coverage and avoid the turnovers.

At the same time the Bills need their run defence to get back on track after a poor result against the New Orleans Saints and the New York Jets. The defence has given up 492 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in the last two games including six against the Saints.

Maybe the Bills feel that if the offence is more effective it will put some pressure off the defence, but it is still a gamble to go with a rookie quarterback this late into the season. Hopefully for Peterman this decision has a similar effect to what the Dallas Cowboys experienced with Dak Prescott.

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What do you think of the decision to start Peterman? Is it too early or did the Bills need a shakeup? Let us know in the comments below.