Share this article

Open for business
Find out the latest updates from local businesses as our region reopens.
print logo

Sully's Mailbag: Nathan Peterman's meltdown the most surreal

Jerry Sullivan

It might not come across all the time, but I'm grateful to anyone who bothers to sit down and write to the Mailbag. Even the guy who calls me a clown and tells me to retire on a weekly basis has a place in my heart.

I'd like to give everyone who contributes a participation trophy, like they do in little kids' sports.

So I've decided to award Questions of the Year. I'll review the year after Christmas and pick a top five, with honorable mentions. I'll announce the winners in early January. The first one in today's column will be tough to beat:

@ThomasHPullano asks: Which was more incredible to witness in person: The first half of EJ Manuel in London, or Nathan Peterman experience in LA?

Sully: Great question. You could make the argument that Manuel's meltdown was more stunning because it came in a national TV game in London, after Doug Whaley made the decision to trade Matt Cassel and pave the way for EJ to start when Tyrod Taylor got hurt.

Manuel coughed up a sack-fumble touchdown and a pick six on CONSECUTIVE plays in that 34-31 loss to the Jags in Wembley in 2015. Four plays into the next possession, after running for negative yards on successive plays, EJ was picked off by ex-Bill Paul Posluszny.

It was amazing to watch. Manuel recovered to pass for 298 yards and the Bills eventually took the lead, but it was  a memorably wretched performance, one that cost the Bills a chance to finish above .500.

Still, I give the nod to Peterman's five-interception horror in the first half against the Chargers. It was a surreal performance, and historically bad. Peterman became the first player since 1950 to throw five interceptions with no TDs in a game in which he threw fewer than 20 passes. .

But it wasn't the lowest-rated QB game I've witnessed. Geno Smith went 2-for-8 for 5 yards with three interceptions for the Jets in the first 10 minutes of a 43-23 loss to the Bills at MetLife Stadium in 2014. Smith had a 0.0 rating and gave way to Michael Vick.

The worst QB performance I've seen in Buffalo was by the Browns' Derek Anderson, who went 2-for-17 passing for 23 yards in Cleveland's unforgettable 6-3 victory over the Bills in 2009.


Will Klimowicz asks: If the Bills end the playoff drought, do they move on from Tyrod? If so, do they cut Taylor or trade him? Would they then acquire a pocket-passer veteran as a placeholder for a drafted rookie?

Sully: It's hard to imagine Taylor staying after the benching at LA, even if they make the playoffs. McDermott has made up his mind; they're almost surely going to get a franchise quarterback high in the draft.

They'd probably bring in a veteran, though it'll probably be a marginal journeyman. They like Peterman, so the plan would be for Peterman or the rookie to take over as the starter as soon as possible.

Taylor will likely be cut after the season. He has a base salary of $10 million next year, plus a $6 million roster bonus. The Bills can't trade him until trade season opens on March 4, two days before the roster bonus would be due.

The Bills could hold on to Taylor and try to deal him during that window. But it's not likely any team would trade for him, knowing he'd probably be cut and they could sign him for less money.


William Conley asks: What do you think of Rex saying he was told to bench Tyrod? Do you think that same person told McDermott to do the same?

Sully: They were two different situations. The Bills were out of the playoffs last year and were taking a potentially huge financial risk if Tyrod played and got seriously injured in a meaningless finale. Rex refused and said they might as well fire him. It was a classic case of Rex grandstanding to the end.

I doubt Terry Pegula was involved in the Peterman decision. He has given McDermott wide latitude, and it's too early for him to start meddling. McDermott said it was his decision, but he said later that he and Brandon Beane discussed the "big picture" before the switch was made.

McDermott and Beane both talk about winning now while building for the future. They were ready to move on from Taylor and take a look at Peterman. Whether it was a prudent time, of course, is another matter.


@SperanzaLou asks: Has Cordy Glenn been cleared by medical staff to play? If so, is it a pain management issue? Is he on his way out either way?

Sully: Glenn, the starting left tackle, was ruled out for the Pats game on Friday. He's been labeled as "week-to-week" for the last three weeks or so, which suggests that the team is waiting for the pain in his injured foot to be bearable enough for him to compete.

Glenn is the highest-paid player on the team with a $9 million salary and $14 million cap hit. Next year it's $9.25 million and $14.4 million. He has three more years on his contract after this one. They'd have an $11.1 million dead cap hit if they got rid of him after this year.

So they'd like Glenn to get healthy and produce. But with rookie tackle Dion Dawkins looking good, it wouldn't be a shock if they bit the bullet and moved on after this season.


@LarryLundin37 asks: After what you've seen from Tiger Woods in the Hero World Challenge, do you think he will win on the tour this season?

Sully: Woods shot 68 on Friday and was tied for fifth at 7-under par in the Bahamas after two rounds, five shots off the lead. It's only an 18- man field, and wouldn't count on his official win total. Still, it's good to see Woods playing at this level in his first comeback event.

After all his injuries, I wondered if Tiger would ever be competitive on tour again, never mind win a major. But when he briefly took the lead with an eagle Friday, I was reminded of his enormous talent.

He's not likely to win this year. There's no guarantee his health will hold up. But I've learned over the years never to sell him short.


Dan Meyer asks: Ben Simmons is putting up some impressive stats for the 76ers. Who are three other first-year players who may give Simmons some competition for NBA Rookie of the Year honors?

Sully: I'll start with Boston's Jayson Tatum, because it's rare for rookies to make a big impact on a top team. Tatum, a 6-8 small forward out of Duke, is starting and averaging 13.7 points and 5.3 rebounds in 30 minutes for a Celtics team with the best record in the league.

Tatum, who was the third pick of the draft, is also said to be defensively wise beyond his years.

Donovan Mitchell, a 6-3 shooting guard, has been a revelation for Utah, averaging 15.3 points for a .500 team. Mitchell, the 13th overall pick from Louisville, is shooting 36 percent from three-point range and 82 percent from the line. He's fourth among rookies in steals.

Lonzo Ball gets most of the attention, but he's not even the best rookie on the Lakers. That would be Kyle Kuzma, who was the 27th overall choice but is playing like a lottery pick. Kuzma, a 6-9 power forward, is averaging 16.7 points and 6.1 rebounds.

Kuzma, a Utah product, is shooting 50 percent from the field and 38 percent from behind the arc, making nearly two a game. He was the Western Conference rookie of the month for October and November.

There are no comments - be the first to comment