INDIANAPOLIS – Was this better than Nathan Peterman?
Buffalo Bills quarterback Derek Anderson, pressed into starting duty less than two weeks after signing with the team because of rookie Josh Allen’s injury and Peterman’s ineffectiveness, committed four of the Bills’ five turnovers in a 37-5 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Anderson completed 20 of 31 pass attempts for 175 yards, three interceptions and a 39.8 passer rating. He also lost a fumble and was sacked twice.
The Colts scored 24 points off turnovers.
“I’ve got to be very conscientious of the facts,” Anderson said after the loss, his first start in two years. “You know Coach talks about controlling the football and not giving them points. I gave them points before the half and then came right back out in the second half and turned it over again and they get seven points. I've just got to be better with the ball, better awareness. Can’t turn the ball over four times and expect to win a football game.”
Anderson was named the Bills’ starting quarterback on Wednesday after Peterman threw two interceptions, including a game-losing pick-six, in the final 90 seconds of last Sunday's loss at Houston.
Peterman has thrown 10 interceptions in 82 career passes, including playoffs.
Anderson said he felt prepared for the game.
“I think mentally, I was good,” Anderson said. “I went into it and I had a very good grasp of what we were trying to do, what they were trying to do to us. I put a lot of time into it and that’s the most frustrating thing about it. You know I was here for 10 days and the way these guys just kind of jumped in and grabbed onto me and the way our week went. ...
“I spent extra hours trying to just make sure that I was comfortable with what we were doing. I probably watched their games, every single one of their games, four or five times, just trying to get a feel for it. I know a lot of guys who worked their tails off.”
Kelvin Benjamin, who spent time with Anderson in Carolina when the quarterback backed up Cam Newton, finished the game with a season-high 71 yards on four catches. Zay Jones added three catches for 27 yards.
Running back Marcus Murphy had a team-high five catches for 17 yards.
“Derek did his job probably the best that he could," Jones said. "I’m sure that he would want to do better, everybody wants to do better. ... It’s just frustrating when things just don’t go your way.”
While the Bills have said Allen is week to week, it's possible Anderson will be the starter for next Monday's game against the New England Patriots.
“Going forward, we’ve got to keep grinding,” Anderson said. “We’ve got to take the positives, learn from our negatives. And then come back on Wednesday or Thursday and we’ll just go on the practice field and continue to communicate and continue to work. I only know one way to do it and that’s work. This week, I’ve only had 10 days with these guys, but I know they’re going to work and we got a bunch of good dudes in our locker room.”