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Bills' McDermott still evaluating on who will start at QB

Sean McDermott Sean McDermott

November 20, 2017 03:57 PM

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Bills coach Sean McDermott isn't going to be rushed into naming a starting quarterback a day after his decision to go with rookie Nathan Peterman backfired.
    
McDermott on Monday said he's still evaluating whether to give Peterman another start or return to Tyrod Taylor for Buffalo's game at Kansas City this weekend. Peterman unraveled in a 54-24 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
    
Peterman he threw five interceptions in the first half before being replaced by Taylor with the Bills down 40-7.
    
Buffalo (5-5) has lost three straight with McDermott being roundly criticized for taking what he called "a calculated risk" to switch starters while his team is in the playoff race.
    
"I own the decision and as I said yesterday, I don't regret the decision. I do regret the result, and there's other hands also in the result," he said. "You go back and you learn from it. I learn from it as a head coach and I expect all to learn from and we grow and we move forward."
    
McDermott won't be swayed by the criticism even when acknowledging the quarterback switch failed to provide much spark to what had been a sputtering offense. And he maintained his confidence in Peterman, a fifth-round draft pick who split his college career at Pittsburgh and Tennessee.
    
"One game is not going to define Nathan or Nathan's career," McDermott said. "Young players go through it. And you saw some of it yesterday and I put that back on myself."
    
Peterman completed 6 of 14 attempts for 66 yards over seven first-half possessions and became the first quarterback since 1970 to throw at least five interceptions in the first half of a game, according to Elias Sports Bureau. He did oversee one touchdown drive, which had him hand the ball off twice to running back LeSean McCoy for a 37-yard gain followed by a 27-yard touchdown run up the left sideline.
    
Otherwise, Peterman threw interceptions on four of Buffalo's first five drives, and then another one to close the half. The turnovers accounted for the Chargers scoring 24 points, including Korey Toomer returning one 59 yards for a touchdown to open the scoring.
    
The Chargers' pass rush rattled Peterman into throwing at least two interceptions. The first one, however, wasn't entirely the quarterback's fault. His pass hit off the hands off fullback Patrick DiMarco and deflected into Toomer's hands.
    
"I did not play very well," Peterman acknowledged after the game. "As things start to happen, I have to let them go. I have to put more on myself."
    
Taylor mopped up, going 15 of 25 for 158 yards with a touchdown passing and rushing, while also losing a fumble that was returned for a score.
    
Taylor was abruptly benched after he went 9 of 15 for 56 yards and the Bills managed four first downs through 55 minutes in a 47-10 loss to New Orleans on Nov. 12.
    
In updating injuries, McDermott said tests showed starting receiver Kelvin Benjamin did not sustain any ligament damage to his right knee after being hurt while making a 20-yard catch on Buffalo's opening drive. McDermott did not say whether Benjamin would be cleared for practice this week.
    
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(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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