Welcome to Bad Quarterback Performance Of The Week, a recurring feature in which we celebrate the worst quarterback play the NFL has to offer.
You already know what happened to Nathan Peterman on Sunday, because Buffalo’s decision to start him against the Chargers was instantly enshrined as one of the dumbest coaching moves in NFL history. You know you’ve chosen to start the wrong quarterback when the opposing team is personally offended by his very presence on the field:
Peterman went into that game as the NFL’s first case of living bulletin board material, and he came out of it having thrown one more completion to his own teammates than he did to the opposing team. He only made it to halftime, and finished with one of the most ghastly stat lines imaginable: 6-of-14 for 66 yards and five interceptions.
What’s remarkable about Peterman’s picks is not that they happened, but that they exist as perfected and varied versions of shit going absolutely wrong. There are a lot of ways for a quarterback to throw an interception, and Peterman somehow hit just about all of them in 14 passes.
The first was a pitch-perfect rendition of Overcooked Ball Pops Into The Air While Everyone Looks On In Horror:
Next came the idealized version of Extremely Ill-Advised Deep Throw While Under Intense Pressure:
That one had a sequel:
That segued into Telegraphed Sideline Pass That Should Have Been A Pick-Six:
And for the grand finale, a fresh take on Where The Fuck Was That Supposed To Go?
Are you ever going to see a higher concentration of bad throws in a single half of NFL football? Unlikely. Was any of this really Nathan Peterman’s fault? Yes, but the guy who really deserves to be cooked for it is Bills coach Sean McDermott.
Nobody needs to be convinced that playing quarterback is, for a variety of reasons that are of the NFL’s own making, one of the most difficult things to do in all of sports. You would assume that someone like McDermott would understand this, and would further understand that the ideal time to test out a rookie quarterback—who, again, is being asked do one of the hardest things in sports—is not a road game for a team in the middle of a playoff hunt.
Maybe McDermott truly believes that Peterman is the future of the franchise, and will be able to take the Bills to heights that Tyrod Taylor has not been able to reach. Great! Maybe he’s even right! But maybe the point in the season at which your team is 5-4 and still trying to make the playoffs is not the best time to punt and start building for the future. Or perhaps McDermott truly believes that Peterman gives the Bills their best shot at winning the next few games and making the playoffs. That would be far less great, because it would mean that Sean McDermott is a pretty huge dummy