CARSON, Calif. – Nathan Peterman said after Sunday’s debacle that his coach tells him teams don’t lose, they learn.
After the last three weeks, the Bills should be ready for Mensa, then, because they’ve been doing a whole lot of learning.
Peterman’s first NFL start was nothing short of a disaster, as he threw one, two, three, four, five interceptions in the first half of what became a 54-24 rout by the Los Angeles Chargers at the StubHub Center.
“I’m going to learn from it,” Peterman said. “I can’t say that enough. I’ve never experienced something like this. This is a good learning experience for me.”
The Bills mercifully pulled the plug on Peterman at halftime, but not before he became the first quarterback since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to throw five interceptions in the first half of a game.
“As things start to happen I have to let them go,” Peterman said. “I have to put more on myself.
“From the start I felt good. I felt very confident going into the game, but things just got away from us.”
That would be an understatement.
“Once we got the first one or two, then it kind of shook him a little,” said Chargers star pass rusher Joey Bosa. Melvin Ingram and “I both knew that if we were able to build pressure and got in his face, that he would make some bad decisions with the football. I mean, we didn’t expect five, but we have to cut him a break. He’s a rookie, he got thrown in there out of the blue, and it’s not like we were taking it easy on him.”
Peterman’s first pick wasn’t his fault. His pass to Patrick DiMarco was on the money, but bounced off the fullback’s hands right to Chargers linebacker Korey Toomer.
On his second and third interceptions, Peterman was hit while he attempted to throw.
“We studied all the preseason film and every time he was under pressure, his completion percentage was a lot lower,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. “ We didn’t have to manufacture the pressure. We have guys that can apply it.”
Peterman’s final stat line read 6 of 14 for 66 yards and those five interceptions, “good” for a passer rating of 17.9.
Bills coach Sean McDermott said the decision on who will start next week against the Kansas City Chiefs won’t be made until he has time to evaluate Sunday’s performance.
“I’m going to make the decision that I feel is right for this football team,” he said.
Putting Peterman in Sunday was definitely not that.
“It’s not indicative of who he is as a player,” McDermott said. “He’s going to go through some of this. All good players do.”