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McDermott wants to evaluate before making a call at QB

Posted Nov 20, 2017

Who will Sean McDermott start at quarterback on Sunday at Kansas City? The head coach wants to review the game tape and evaluate both QBs before making a decision.


It was anything but pretty on Sunday at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Buffalo handed the Chargers a total of six turnovers (5 INTs, 1 fumble) all by the Bills quarterbacks that led to 31 points in a 30-point loss.

Nathan Peterman, who made his first NFL start, was benched by halftime. Tyrod Taylor, the man Peterman replaced, made some plays in the second half, but the Bills were down by 30 at the break and the Los Angeles defense was happy to trade yardage for time on the clock.

So, who starts this Sunday on the road at Arrowhead against the reeling Chiefs, who have lost four of their last five after starting the season 5-0?

McDermott has decided to wait on making that call until he can give Sunday’s game film a full review.

“I’m going to evaluate,” he said. “I’m going to take my time and evaluate.”

What McDermott will likely see is an offensive line that had trouble protecting both quarterbacks. Peterman’s fourth interception was probably the most glaring example, when he was hit at the top of a three-step drop by L.A.’s Joey Bosa as he tried to deliver a ball to the right to Deonte Thompson.

Tyrod Taylor was also under duress and was sacked and fumbled at the end of the third quarter. The Chargers recovered the loose ball returning it for a touchdown.

McDermott did not want to provide much in the way of detail in terms of what he’ll rely on to make a decision at quarterback, but it’s clear that functionality of the offense is still top priority.

“It’s about moving the offense and that’s what I’ve got to look at,” said McDermott. “Get a better feel from the offensive coaches of what happened, why it happened. That’s what you do.”

Peterman on eight first half possessions completed six passes for 66 yards and had five interceptions. Not one of Buffalo’s first-half drives lasted more than six plays, though there was a two-play touchdown drive when LeSean McCoy has two carries for 64 yards and a touchdown.

Taylor only got five possessions in the second half, as the Bills defense found it tough to get the ball back for the offense. But coming out at halftime he put together an eight-play, 51-yard drive that resulted in a field goal. Taylor also staged a pair of 75-yard touchdown drives in the fourth quarter and capped one of them with a two-yard touchdown run of his own.

“He stayed focused. He prepared well like he was the starter,” said LeSean McCoy. “He got in there and moved the ball well. He even broke us down before we went out there as if he was starting. That shows the leadership he has. He’s not starting, but he still has confidence in the team and he’s behind Nate 110 percent.”

So who does McCoy think should start this coming Sunday at quarterback?

“That’s not my call. We’ll see what happens,” he said. “It was a tough one because if Nate went out there and did great, he’s the savior. I said this earlier in the week that if he did bad everybody would be down on him. I’m not the person that has to make that call. I’ll let the people that have to make that call make it.”

No matter which decision McDermott makes for who will start on Sunday in Kansas City, Peterman will be hard at work ensuring such a performance doesn’t repeat itself.

"I definitely trust coach McDermott and his decisions,” said Peterman. “I’m going to go back and learn from this as much as I can and be ready for whatever happens. Coach always says we never lose, we learn. That will be my mindset moving forward. I’m going to learn a lot from this and make sure it never happens again.”

As for Taylor, the initial decision had zero impact on his self-confidence, but he’s not going to worry about something he knows he can’t control.

“I’m confident in my ability,” he said. “I’m also confident as far as a leader and being able to talk to the guys, offense, defense and as a team and get everyone the same page.

“I’m still going to support Nathan if he’s the guy. Of course, I believe in my ability and I think I’m a starter. As I said Wednesday I didn’t agree with the decision, but the decision was made.

"That’s not my decision to call, so regardless of what the coach thinks of Nathan or me moving forward I’m going to continue to prepare the way I know how to prepare. If the opportunity presents itself again I’m going to go in and continue to do the things that I know I can do.”

A decision on quarterback is expected to be made on Tuesday at the latest, knowing that’s the day Buffalo’s coaching staff will craft the game plan for the Chiefs.

If an announcement isn’t made on the starting quarterback by coach McDermott on Monday at his 1 pm press conference, it likely won’t be made public until Wednesday.

“I’m going to make the decision that I feel is right for this football team,” McDermott said.