Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott appears to be ready to admit that he made a mistake by benching Tyrod Taylor in favor of rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman last week.
On Wednesday, McDermott announced that the Bills are going back to Taylor as their starter for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
McDermott: “Tyrod Taylor will be our starting QB this week. It’s the right thing for our team. It was my decision and it will always be about what’s best for our team.” pic.twitter.com/zog6Wy1qTp
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) November 22, 2017
McDermott: “We are building toward our vision for this franchise. I’m here to win and sustain success. In order to do that, sometimes you have to make uncomfortable decisions.” pic.twitter.com/dVUN1E2bqC
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) November 22, 2017
There was no reason for McDermott to bench Taylor in the first place. The veteran had thrown just three interceptions on the season and became an obvious fall guy after an embarrassing loss at home to the New Orleans Saints — one in which Buffalo’s defense allowed nearly 300 yards rushing.
Taylor ended up playing in the second half of last weekend’s game against the San Diego Chargers after Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half. McDermott has been bashed by everyone from fans to analysts to current NFL players, especially since he benched Taylor with the Bills still very much in the playoff hunt. It will be interesting to see how Taylor responds in Kansas City.
Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott’s big quarterback gamble backfired spectacularly, and he’s had to go crawling back to his former starter in Los Angeles.
With the Bills trailing 40-7 after rookie Nathan Peterman’s five first half interceptions, McDermott went back to Tyrod Taylor for the team’s first drive of the second half.
Tyrod Taylor enters the game on the Bills first possession of the second half after 5 Peterman picks lead to 40-7 deficit
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 19, 2017
McDermott is in for a nightmarish postgame press conference. After abruptly benching Taylor, who had been solid enough for the team, Peterman came out with one of the worst quarterbacking performances you will ever see. Odds are McDermott will have to go crawling back to Taylor no matter how he looks playing out garbage time in the second half — Peterman simply isn’t good enough.
The Buffalo Bills made the puzzling decision to bench Tyrod Taylor in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman in Week 11, and it backfired in historic fashion. One former member of the team was not surprised by the results.
Peterman threw four interceptions in the first 17 minutes or so of Buffalo’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Jerome Felton, a fullback who played for the Bills in 2015 and 2016, was one of many who criticized Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott for benching Taylor.
— jerome felton (@jfelton45) November 19, 2017
The Bills traded away Sammy Watkins during the offseason, though they recently acquired Kelvin Benjamin from the Carolina Panthers. They also have Jordan Matthews, who had some stretches of solid play with the Philadelphia Eagles last year but has struggled to stay healthy. No one would say Buffalo has the worst wide receiver corps in the NFL, but you get the point Felton was making.
Taylor has thrown 10 touchdowns compared to just three interceptions this season, meaning Peterman already had more picks than Taylor before halftime of the rookie’s first NFL game. Richard Sherman was even tougher on the Bills with his tweet, and McDermott is sure to be showered in insults for the foreseeable future. The Bills were 5-4 and firmly in the playoff conversation at the time they made the QB switch.
The Buffalo Bills’ controversial decision to bench quarterback Tyrod Taylor in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman looks worse and worse.
Peterman’s NFL career started with two interceptions on his first two drives as an NFL starter on Sunday, with the benched Taylor looking on from the sideline. That caught the attention of injured Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who made his feelings clear on Twitter.
So they bench my guy @TyrodTaylor and the guy they bring in has already thrown 2picks with 10mins left in the 1st. Great decision
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) November 19, 2017
Many Bills fans would probably agree with Sherman’s assessment — and Taylor, who was open about his disagreement with the decision, may privately be thinking the same. The Bills were 5-4 and in the playoff hunt with Taylor under center, and so far, Peterman looks like an obvious step backwards.
The Buffalo Bills’ decision to bench Tyrod Taylor this week probably signaled the end of the quarterback’s time with the franchise, but that does not necessarily mean he will be released during the offseason.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports was told by several NFL executives that the Bills should find plenty of suitors for Taylor if and when they decide to shop him around. Taylor has a $6 million roster bonus due on the third day of the league year in March, but his $10 million base salary is more than reasonable for a starting quarterback.
More from La Canfora:
Buffalo has a $6M roster bonus due to Taylor in the first week of free agency in March, but, with just a $10M base salary other GMs see that as a trade-able contract with some value, given Taylor’s productivity, age, upside and unique athleticism. Other GMs identified the Jaguars, Broncos, Cardinals and Saints (if Drew Brees leaves as a free agent) as possible destinations. Those teams have strong defenses and other parts in place who are very likely to be on the market for a quarterback upgrade next season
Taylor only turned 28 in August, and he has not been bad in 2017. He has a passer rating of 91.4 and has thrown 10 touchdown passes compared to just three interceptions. His worst game came against the New Orleans Saints last weekend, but the Bills allowed nearly 300 yards rushing and were dominated in every phase of the game. There’s no way Taylor could have made a difference with how poorly Buffalo’s defense played.
The Bills will almost certainly release Taylor if they can’t find a trade partner, which is why teams may be content to just wait it out. However, if a team values him enough, it may be worth spending a low draft pick to prevent him from hitting free agency.
If the NFL playoffs started today, the Buffalo Bills would be in. Despite that, they are making a change at quarterback heading into Week 11, and Tyrod Taylor seems just as surprised as the rest of us.
Shortly after Bills head coach Sean McDermott announced that Taylor is being benched in favor of fifth-round rookie Nathan Peterman, the veteran said he is “obviously disappointed” but vowed to continue trying to be a leader.
“I don’t agree with the decision, but ultimately Coach McDermott has a vision for this team, what he feels is best for the team, as well as the owners and GM,” Taylor said, via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. “So I have to move forward and continue to be the leader and teammate that I am from a different role.”
Taylor, a team captain, has not played poorly all season. He had a rough game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, but the Bills allowed 298 rushing yards and five scores on the ground. Tom Brady wouldn’t have been able to win given how poorly Buffalo’s defense played. You can’t blame Taylor for being puzzled, but he is doing his best to take the high road.
“You learn from playing,” he said. “We’re 5-4. Games didn’t go the way we liked, some of the ones that we lost. You got to learn from it. I wouldn’t say you can pinpoint one thing that I did that led to this decision.”
Unless Peterman gets injured, it seems like the Taylor era in Buffalo is over. The 28-year-old is due a $6 million roster bonus next year and is scheduled to make $10 million in base salary for 2018. It’s unlikely that the Bills will keep him around, but Taylor still believes he can be a franchise quarterback.
“[I’m] very confident in my ability,” he said. “I think I’ve grown as a player the past three years and I’m going to continue to keep growing, whether I’m playing on Sundays or learning right now. I’m going to keep growing and I have full confidence I can be a franchise quarterback when the opportunity presents itself. I’ll continue to keep doing the things I know how to do.”
Taylor has a passer rating of 91.4 this season and has thrown 10 touchdowns compared to just three interceptions. If the Bills were out of playoff contention, you could understand them wanting to develop a rookie. Given the situation they find themselves in, benching Taylor seems like a huge mistake.
After losing to the New York Jets and being blown out by the New Orleans Saints, the Buffalo Bills have decided to make a major change to their starting lineup.
On Wednesday, Bills head coach Sean McDermott announced that he is benching quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Nathan Peterman, a fifth-round draft pick out of Pittsburgh, will start against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
#Bills HC Sean McDermott: Tyrod and I met yesterday. Tyrod is a competitor. He is a professional, and he was certainly disappointed, yet professional.
— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) November 15, 2017
#Bills HC Sean McDermott: I'm here to win games and win a championship. Once in a while you have to take calculated risks to get where you want to go.
— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) November 15, 2017
McDermott said the decision to start Peterman was made on Tuesday morning. It’s unclear what changed in a 24-hour period, as the coach emphatically stated on Monday that Taylor would remain Buffalo’s starting QB going forward.
— Jon Scott (@JonScottTV) November 13, 2017
Despite losing back-to-back games, the Bills are 5-4 and still in the playoff hunt. Taylor has not been bad this season, as he has a passer rating of 91.4 and has thrown 10 touchdown passes compared to just three interceptions. He struggled against the Saints, but the entire team looked horrible and it was the first time Taylor got to play with newly-acquired wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin.
McDermott would not commit to naming Peterman the starter for the rest of the season, which means we could see Taylor again. After McDermott had thrown his weight behind Taylor several times this year, it’s very surprising to see him make a change.