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Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

I don't even know where to start with this decision. I don't know why the Bills have been so intent on getting rid of Tyrod Taylor, but the time to do it is the offseason not the midseason. The guy is the most underrated quarterback in the game, he's been average this season according to DVOA, and you're going to bench him for a fifth-round rookie? A lot of Bills fans complain that the problem is too many third-down checkdowns to Mike Tolbert. Well, Taylor's ALEX on third down was 4.0 in 2015, 2.6 in 2016, and then 0.1 this year. Maybe the checkdown problem isn't about Taylor himself.

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92 comments, Last at 19 Nov 2017, 9:54pm

1 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

I agree they haven't given him the chance to succeed that they should have. However, since they're hell-bent on making sure the QB has the ball out of his hand quickly (something Tyrod is definitely *not* good at), and since Tyrod has grown more and more reluctant to take chances, well...

62 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

As long as the D forces turnovers and gives him a short field, they're OK. Since that hasn't happened the last two weeks, well, the results have been pretty dismal.

For an interesting analysis of Peterman and the Saints game, check this out:


I'm not totally sold on the idea of the switch, but after Romo's commentary (while trying to be nice) during the Jets and having watched all of the last 3 seasons, I've reached the conclusion that Tyrod is like a very conservative poor man's Cam Newton. Other teams have realized this and are keeping him in the pocket (the Jets did it the best, but NO did a good job, too). Unlike Cam, he won't make risky throws (I'm sure receiver trust has something to do with this, but even as bad as Jones as been until the Jets game it's not like Matthews completely sucks), so the offense take a lot of three and outs.

With no running game, I don't think they can continue to win without an unsustainable number of turnovers from the defense. Maybe this works, maybe it doesn't, but it's not as foolish or unwarranted as some seem to think.

75 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

Small sample size and all, but I got to see Kessler for several series when Kizer got hurt against the Lions. He looked terrible (Kizer looked like DeShaun Watson by comparison). He probably doesn't throw interceptions because he holds the ball for eons and takes sacks instead. He's also terribly inaccurate. Missed several throws, including missing a 75 yard touchdown because he overthrew the receiver by 10 yards. The Browns were moving the ball fairly well with Kizer in. Once Kessler came in, they ground to a complete stop.

77 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

Good stuff. I think the only time I really saw him play was when he nearly led the Browns to victory over Miami last season. He was a rookie, and looked OK, but seemed to make stuff happen. Far from securing a job, but I was just surprised they totally gave up on him this year.

2 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

you obviously dont watch any bills games aaron. i mean, they lost a game 9-3 this year because tyrod couldnt hit the broad side of a barn when zay jones was wide open for what should have been a GW td!!

hes been TERRIBLE, just ABSOLUTELY AWFUL, the last two weeks, and the bills are still in the playoff hunt, it's time to see if peterman can manage wins over the chargers, dolphins, colts, and maybe the chiefs to go 9-7 or 10-6 and sneak into the wildcard spot,

besides throwing short of the sticks tyrod takes off and runs for 5 yards on 3rd-and 10 way too many times for the team to win.

5 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

The Saints have somehow magically become an excellent pass defense, and, while I didn't watch it, both his standard stats and FO stats (18th in DYAR) for week 9 look pretty good. 70%+ completion, around 7 YPA, 2 TD, zero picks. Got sacked 7 times against the Jets, but that's not a horrible game. The Saints game was utterly terrible, but that happens on occasion.

They're 5-4, and three of their remaining games are Chiefs and Patriots twice. This actually feels to me that McDermott is worried the team is going to not be quite good enough to get into the playoffs and is seeking a scapegoat ahead of time for that. Dumping Taylor and starting a rookie is an easy way to blame somebody else for failure.

10 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

It seemed blatantly clear in the last offseason the Bills wanted to dump Taylor and it's not like ownership was jumping up to try to force the team to keep him. This basically seems like accepting they're moving on from Taylor and giving the rookie a shot instead. It's basically putting Taylor into free agency effectively right now, and "we knew he was leaving and wanted to see what Peterman could do" is a way to justify that losing record.

The Bills are clearly indicating they're dumping Taylor in the offseason. Throwing Peterman out there is a "let's see if we need to draft a QB next year" kind of move.

12 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

Logically I can't see that. The Bills are still in with a chance of a wildcard. If you're going to roadtest the backup, you at least wait until the team's out of contention. They've got 5 wins so if they're doing it to tank, they already won too many.

This reminds me of Mike Shanahan in 2006 when the Broncos benched Jake Plummer with the team at 7-5 but having lost 3 games in a row. And started the rookie Jay Cutler in the hope it would kickstart the season. Result was they went 1-3, finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.

29 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

Don't forget about the 1999 Bills benching Doug Flutie in week 17, and then losing in the first round of the playoffs (Music City Miracle), and failing to return to the playoffs since.

Maybe this is the move to reverse the jinx from that mistake 18 years ago. (Geez, 18 years!?!?!)

31 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

With Manning and Cutler, their teams were looking at 1st round draft picks. So there's pressure and expectation on them to be able to produce.

Peterman is a 5th round pick. Even the god of lowly drafted QBs, Tom Brady, only played because Bledsoe got injured.

34 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

That's just it. It's possible that this 5th round draft pick has shown so much in practice, that this move is warranted, but that isn't the way to bet.

Gosh, if they were going to tank the season, which several moves gives indication to, you hope they had at least tried to shop Taylor before the trade deadline. Anybody hear any rumors of that?

11 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

This comment obviously comes from someone with little experience "managing up" in a giant faceless corporation. The basic premise is that it's much easier to claim your QB wasn't good enough if you tried something else (like benching him). The Bills also play the Pats twice, the Dolphins twice, and Indy once in the last 5 weeks of the season; whoever starts those games is very likely going to rack up a lot of yards, if your goal is to manipulate circumstance to show that Tyrod isn't the right guy this is the perfect way to do it. The assumption is that ownership is too stupid to realize that the 300+ yard game you put up on the Pats where you lost 35-21 isn't actually indicative of future good QB play. You also get to show how much better the rate stats look under Peterman, justifying your position that a timing and quick-release offense really was the right way to go all along.

It's been pretty clear from pre-season that Bills management doesn't think much of the style of offense you need to run to maximize Tyrod, but doesn't want to be seen as "giving up" by starting Peterman. They have systematically undermined Tyrod's chances of success through scheme and person (think BB, but backwards, minimizing your players strengths); I can only assume this is cynical ploy to get buy in from ownership and the fan base to what they wanted to do in the first place (start over with a new QB in an offense they think has better long-term prospects), if it's anything else than it really raises the bar for front office stupidity in football.

4 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

Hey, he had one really bad game, and benching an at-worst average starter when that happens is totally the logical move.

Let's see, I'd take Taylor in a heartbeat over:

McCown, Cutler, Kizer, Flacco, Brissett, Bortles, Savage, Siemian, Manning, Hundley, Gabbert (OH GOD IT'S BACK), Beathard.

Sure, lots of those are bench-warmers or injury replacements, but those are the easy ones. I'd think about guys like Rivers just due to age or Andy Dalton just due to him being Andy Dalton.

If the Bills wanted to tank the season, shouldn't they have done this weeks ago? The team has a legitimate playoff shot for the first time in years.

41 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

I freely admit my Patriots bias, but I think I'd take Brissett over Taylor - he played decently with the Patriots, he's played not-terrible on an awful team, and he's still on a rookie deal for two more years.

I'd also relist Kizer as "QB Browns" since I'm pretty sure Hue doesn't realize there's more than one person there.

79 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

As a Jets fan, I'd rather have Brissett now than Taylor, but Taylor is a better quarterback. Brissett had a terrible interception against the Steelers that Taylor would never have done. Hopefully Brissett can grow, but Indy's current situation will probably give him some bad habits. Liked him coming out, and I still do.

6 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

These are the same Bills who have tried to bench or trade away any player who seems to increase their chances of winning.

They're trying to tank, but doing it poorly.

14 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

Peterman's starting for the Bills? At least they'll be able to dress for the winter in style, with lovely cashmere cardigans with a four-ply Turkish cotton weave that announce a certain devil-may-care attitude.

16 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

If I was a Buffalo fan, I'd be rummaging around in the garage and yelling to my wife to ask where we put that torch and pitchfork. Its been how many years since the Bills have been to the post-season. And they pull this in a year where that was a real possibility?

27 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

What's the hit rate on 5th round QB's? The Bills have a 45% chance to make the playoffs with TT. Do you think this move pushes that number up, or down? It doesn't matter how bad TT is or is not. This is the analysis to make. "TT is bad so do *something.* This is *something.* Therefore, lets do this," is not rational.

This is a move that tanks a potential playoff team in order to settle a petty personal grudge. Bills fans deserve better.

33 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

Since 1990, there have been 169 QB's drafted in the 5th round or later. Only 88 of them ever attempted a pass. So I think 88 should be the baseline. 88 QB's that a team thought was good enough to give a chance, like Peterman.

12 of the 88 (14%) made a Pro Bowl. 28 (32%) were considered a primary starter for at least one season. 32 of them had double-digit starts. The best of the non-Pro Bowlers were Ryan Fitzpatrick, John Friesz, Craig Erickson, Kent Graham and Trevor Siemian.

I think the only ones who teams were confident with as starters for multiple seasons were: Tom Brady, Matt Hasselbeck, Mark Brunell, Brad Johnson, Trent Green, Marc Bulger, Elvis Grbac and maybe Gus Frerotte and Jeff Blake. I think those guys are really the baseline. If a QB is worse than Frerotte and Blake, then he's really just a placeholder until you find your future QB. So I'll say the hit rate is 9 out of 88 (10%).

51 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

And of course Tony Romo. But quibbling aside, the stats at around 10% are still indicative of Peterman's chance of long term success.

Of course Tyrod Taylor himself is one of those low rounders and he had four years learning in a well-run organisation that won a Super Bowl. Don't think he made any starts in Baltimore but seeing his press conference, I felt he handled himself and the questions very well. The one Bills games I saw last year on TNF with him throwing long bombs and scrambling was very exciting.

67 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

Buffalo fired Doug Marrone, a guy who, over the last 2 years had managed to find a potential franchise QB, put together one of the best defenses in the league, and improve their point differential by 150 points, for Rex Ryan, a guy, who over that same period had his team go 12-20, had one of the worse offenses AND defenses in the league, had their point differential get worse by 100 points in the last 2 years, managed to ruin every young quarterback who has played for him (including 2 first rounders picked under him - if they weren't just terrible in the first place).

The Bills problem isn't Tyrod Taylor - it's that they can't stop shooting themselves in the foot with terrible coaching and management. They keep Brownsing all over themselves.

Tyrod Taylor has visible talent.

80 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

Doug Marrone didn't bring Taylor over from Baltimore, Rex Ryan and Doug Whaley did. Ryan also decided Taylor won the quarterback competition his first year in Buffalo. Not suggesting Marrone isn't a better head coach than Ryan, but that credit must be given where it's due. Jim Schwartz also deserves most of the credit for Buffalo's defense under Marrone.

Also, Ryan only ruined one first rounder (Geno Smith fell to the second round, although Qbase liked him a lot better than Sanchez).

71 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

Yeah, PFR's database is a little sketchy when trying to look up undrafted players. Looks like the best undrafted QB's since 1990 are Tony Romo, Kurt Warner, Jeff Garcia, Jake Delhomme, Jon Kitna, Jay Fiedler and Brian Hoyer. Case Keenum was also undrafted. I think there are probably fewer than 50 undrafted QB's (since 1990) to attempt a pass. So they may have a slightly better hit rate than the late round picks.

59 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

I was a Bills fan (pretty much because they were the only team I could drive to). I was also a Sabres fan. I know what "looking for a particular kind of scapegoat" looks like (has Evander Kane been traded for a bag of pucks and an AHL player yet)?

To quote Mike Tanier and stay out of the sociological aspect of things, it strikes me as a GM/coach wanting to build "their own team", damned the actual reality of things.

20 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

I don't even know where to start. Visit any Bills message board and you will see a 95/5% split in favor of benching Taylor and starting Peterman. This seems like a FO succumbing to media and the hive mind from fans.

The fact that the Bills traded away or didn't resign any of the teams top WR threats is damning in and of itself (Watkins/Woods/Goodwin or even Chris Hogan) and replaced them with Jordan Matthews, Zay Jones, Andre Holmes and a bunch of also rans. There is no explosiveness and a lack of experience in that group.

They also are inserting an offense that is antiquated and letting a guy call it who has NEVER in his 20 year career called actual games. Whose idea was that? Rick Dennison is a clown. The offense is still gonna suck because the offensive line isn't built to run the zone scheme that they currently run and the defense is once again a sieve because they thought it would be a good idea to trade their best run stopper mid season. McDermott has his "out" for the defensive collapse.

5-4 and the current 6 seed. Let's bench our starting QB. Just Bills things.

28 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

The team truly reflects the fanbase then. Makes me feel better about the Bills being a soul crushing fandom. Ya get what ya deserve sometimes.


I'll go a step further. If 95% of Bills fans think X thing should be done, probably better off doing the opposite. All they know is losing and are so cognitively conditioned for it that they'll seek out losing moves instinctively.

49 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

Brownies fans watched their organization pack up and leave town, and become a two-time SB winner and perennial playoff contender in another city. They watched their ex-coach become the SB-winningest coach of all time. Over the decades their organization has fired Paul Brown, Marty Schottenheimer and Bill Belichick.
(ONE owner did all that! Modell has to have the record for most wins by fired coaches.)

They are staring at a potential 0-16. And the brain trust in charge of the presumptive #1 overall pick have already proven their chops by declaring that Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson don't have the potential to become top-20 quarterbacks.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that the Factory of Sadness has the more tortured fan base.

53 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

It's really sad, but being a Bills fan my entire life I can smell incompetence from a mile away and I'm already willing to give up on McDermott and Dennison---idk about Beane yet but he doesn't seem to any sort of upgrade from Doug Whaley. Trading Dareus for peanuts looks to be pretty dumb and handicapping Taylor by stupidly giving away Watkins doesn't look good either. I'll reserve final judgment after I see what he does with all these picks he's acquired by giving away tons of talent with a competitive team, the first the Bills have had in a decade, but I'm not optimistic.

Back to the coaches. Apparently McDermott's fragile ego about his defensive acumen just got shredded when the Jets take a dump all over his D and the Saints don't even bother to run a complicated offense and instead feed the ball 100 times to Ingram and Kamara for 47 points. His response? Bench our starting QB. This is a reaction Rex Ryan had when we lost the first 2 games of last year when his D got pummeled by Ryan Fitzpatrick and in response he he fired Roman in favor of Lynn. You don't want your coach to be compared to Rex Ryan in any way, especially in off-the-cuff emotional decision-making.

Speaking of that decision, we don't really know if Lynn-for-Roman was the best decision or just a bad game by Taylor to start the season vs the Ravens. Lynn doesn't seem to be making heads turn for Chargers in any case. But what we do know is the Bills had an excellent offense last year by any measure, and the year before was pretty decent as well. It was tailored (pun intended) for Tyrod and it was effective, plus had the potential for more because of the many injuries we had last year. Of course, the Bills blow it up and actively seek to hinder Taylor in every form, to trading away his best receivers and to operating schematically in a way that lessens his best skills and highlights his worst (see what D2K says). Now we bench him, because it's his fault we didn't even try to provide him with the correct environment or because we can't stop a simple running play. Taylor has shown his worth over and over again and if anything seems to have gotten better this year---he's still an average QB after making up for the schematic and talent deficiencies, which is impressive in its own right. It's just hopelessly counterproductive and infuriating to outright bench him, regardless of how much better a 5th-round rookie fits the "scheme".

61 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

I have wondered lately what the team would look like had the Pegulas kept continuity and hired Anthony Lynn instead of McDermott. If the Bills would have promoted Lynn from interim HC to full time HC the defense would have still made the switch from the awful Rex Ryan 34 Base to the 43 base they employ this year and are better suited for because Lynn and Gus Bradley were a packaged deal.

So what happens is the Bills keep building upon an offense that was 10th last year and 9th the year before in DVOA, while at the same time going back to the 43 base that the players on defense were better suited for. The offensive line continues to run the power scheme that led them to being the number 1 rushing team in the league the previous year and Taylor is allowed to grow in a familiar offense (3 OCs in 3 years for Taylor). Maybe we keep Watkins and Dareus. Strike that reverse it, we certainly keep Watkins and Dareus.

Instead the offense is changed yet again only this time they blow it all up and destroy the continuity along the OLine, intentionally neuter Taylor taking awau his ability to make plays in space and trade their number 1 WR away. All this in favor of bringijg in Rick Dennison, a guy who has NEVER called his own plays in a football game.

He is predictable and antiquated (I'll say it again). From "Sharpe football stats":

Shotgun 52% vs under center 48%
(ok that's balanced this seems fine, here is where he gets predictable)
Run rate Gun: 18% vs UC: 71%
Pass rate Gun: 82% vs UC: 29%

This is on tape and its too easy for a defense/DC to game plan when the differences are that glaring. "If the Bills lineup in shotgun they are passing, if they're under center they are running". Just pathetic.

I, like all Bills fans are gluttons for punishment at this point. Infuriating.

68 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

Lol at those stats, I wasn't aware of that but that's actual statistical evidence that backs up the eye test and watching/reading anecdotally that indicates this coaching staff is bogus (at least offensively). I was neutral on the Lynn/Bradley pairing but it looks like it would have been at the very least the answer to making us competitive this year, since the offense would still likely be potent and the front office wouldn't be stationed by some late-onset GM and exuberant tinkerer like Beane.

I mean I hope for the best. Maybe Peterman is actually Prescott/Brady/Romo 2.0 and is a perfect fit for what Dennison and McDermott want to accomplish and the Bills defense finds their early season form and we still make the playoffs. I'm shocked how much Dareus meant to the run D, he was invisible on film for the first 7 games but I guess his mere presence dictated where teams tried to exploit the Bills D and now that he's gone they know we can be dominated physically and steamrolled in the run game.

I really hope Tyrod goes to the Jaguars next year, I think that's a perfect fit for his talents and I can root for that team as a second favorite with all the Bills castoffs there. I'm really terrified the Pats win another Super Bowl, Brady calls it quits, and Belichick reloads by signing Taylor and using him properly vs us for the next five years or so. I don't think I'd be able to handle that reality.

21 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

This is crazy. While the last two weeks have been incredibly bad and the Bills no longer look like a good team, they are still alone in the AFC's last playoff spot. They also have three games left against some of the worst teams in the league (Dolphins x2, Colts), games in which they should be definite favorites. DVOA playoff odds still have the Bills as nearly a coin flip to make the playoffs. It's not nearly time to be punting on the season.

Anyway, this decision makes the race for that last wild card even more wide open. The Ravens are probably the favorites, and they aren't even at .500. It's also now much harder to imagine the Jags or Titans falling apart and missing the playoffs.

22 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

It's long overdue. Tyrod Taylor did nothing to stop the run these past two weeks. Did you see the Saints and Jets demolish the defensive line? Peterman has got to be better at stuffing the run.

47 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

The Bills last made the playoffs in 1999. Other events from 1999:

Rams unveil Greatest Show on Turf and Mike Martz proclaimed offensive genius
Jaguars are best team in AFC but can't beat Jeff Fisher's Titans
Challenge flags introduced so fans have one more reason to criticize coach's ineptitude
Saints trade entire draft for Ricky Williams and monopolize the QB Billy Joe market
Seattle plays last season in Kingdome so fans no longer need to dodge ceiling tiles
Cleveland gets new Browns expansion team so Buffalo is only second worst football team on Lake Erie
NFL moves opening weekend from Labor Day to second weekend in September
Seemingly insignificant rule change on forward pass rule implemented. This is later called the Tuck Rule.

52 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

The Bills are the gift to Bill Belichick that never stops giving.
Anyone who thinks that Peterson against NO in a prevent defense is indicative of, well, anything, is a great target for a pyramid scheme.
My sense is that they've been looking for a reason to dump Taylor but couldn't do it with the team performing so well. The Bills had no intention of making the post-season this year - note the shucking of talent. Winning actually panicked them as it distorted the master plan acquiring draft capital. The 'brain' trust knew it could lose this season and be protected, so the turnaround was an intense shock. Two bad weeks gives them just enough cover to pull the switch and get back on the program. They very well may lose the rest of their games this way.

56 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

I read what seems to me to be a legitimate analysis for this move:the Bills have two firsts and two seconds in next year's draft, and this move is to give them a large enough sample size to see if they hit a Brady/Romo/Prescott late round jackpot, which would enable them to use those high picks to rebuild the rest of the team.
Seems logical to me.

58 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

What was wrong about developing and building around an already more than adequate starter at QB, who is also relatively young and also likely to be relatively cheap though---especially when the playoffs would have been an incredible achievement for this franchise, even though they would have likely been one and done

60 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

But on this very site, we have an analysis of how many "Brady/Romo/Prescott" hit there's been in reality. The answer is not good: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2017/nfl-draft-round-round-qb-study-1994-2016

The fifth round - the not quite a 'fuck it' choice, not quite a good choice - has been horrendous.

There is only one QB to win a game from that round in the Salary Cap Era. The only decent QB is AJ McCarron who played on a loaded Bengals offense handing off and game-managing in a few games.

74 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

I am all about giving up on QB's who are less than great. I am a Dolphins fan and think the Dolphins should punt on Tannehill.

But I don't understand making that decision in-season when you are in position to make the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. They are currently holding the second wildcard spot and none of the teams below them seem particularly interested in taking it away from them.

86 Re: Bills Bench Taylor, Start Peterman

It's shocking how different Taylor's performance is vs. what the average fan thinks it is, even fans of the team in question.

The idiots in Buffalo probably wish they had Eli Manning at QB or something.