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Peterman will try to buck odds for rookie starter in road debut

The Buffalo Bills' defense better have a rebound performance Sunday in Los Angeles.

That's because history shows rookie quarterbacks don't set the NFL on fire in their first career road start.

Bills rookie Nathan Peterman will try to buck the trend when the Bills play the Chargers.

Rookie QBs are 12-33 in their first start on the road over the past 10 years in the NFL.

Here's the average stats for the rookie QBs in those road starts: 18.5 points scored, 30  attempts, 16.7 completions, 54 percent completions, 197 yards.

Bills veterans say they are looking in the mirror for a spark this week, not putting the burden on Peterman to jump-start the team.

"I think for us on the defensive side, we need to find that spark and we need to find it fast," said defensive end Jerry Hughes. "The season is dwindling down here with seven games. We need to focus on us, focus on getting back to Buffalo Bills football, playing fast, playing physical and playing smart. We understand the past two weeks isn't the kind of football that's going to get us into the playoffs."

Only 11 times in 45 road-game debuts the past decade have the rookie QBs thrown for more than 225 yards (24 percent). However, Tyrod Taylor cracked the 225-yard mark in only 14 of 37 starts for the Bills (38 percent).

The record and production of rookie QBs in their first overall start, home or road, is very similar. Regardless of venue, the rookie first-start record is 14-31.

Peterman will be the fifth rookie to start a game this season, joining Houston's DeShaun Watson, Chicago's Mitch Trubisky, Cleveland's DeShone Kizer and San Francisco's C.J. Beathard. Trubisky and Watson won their first road starts but passed for only 113 and 125 yards, respectively. Kizer and Beathard both lost their first road starts.

The best road-debut performances by rookies the past 10 years? Seven stand out. Dallas' Dak Prescott threw for 292 yards in a win last year. Philadelphia's Jared Goff threw three TDs in a 49-21 win last year. In 2015, Tennessee's Marcus Mariota threw for four TDs in a win over Tampa. Washington had two in 2012. Robert Griffin III threw for 320 in a win at New Orleans and Kirk Cousins threw for 329 in a 38-21 win at Cleveland. In 2011, Carolina's Cam Newton threw for 422 yards in a loss at Arizona and Houston's T.J. Yates threw for 300 in a win at Cincinnati.

The worst showings? Cleveland brings the averages down. The Browns have had six rookies start in the past 10 years and all lost their road debuts. They were: Kizer (2017), Cody Kessler (2016), Johnny Manziel and Connor Shaw (2014), Brandon Weeden (2012) and Colt McCoy (2010).

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