1 – McDermott to review game before deciding on Week 2 QB
Nathan Peterman provided an answer for head coach Sean McDermott going into the season as to who the starting quarterback would be for Week 1. Unfortunately, his performance in Sunday’s season opener led to him getting lifted from the game just four minutes into the third quarter as Josh Allen finished what wound up being a lopsided defeat.
It’s left McDermott in a position to consider both as options going forward.
“I’m going to look at everything. It’s too early to go one way or the other,” he said after the loss to the Ravens. “I’m going to look at everything and be objective and make sure we put ourselves in position to win games.”
Peterman was pulled from the game with just over 11 minutes left in the third quarter. He went 5-18 passing for 24 yards with a pair of interceptions. He was sacked three times.
“Obviously, it wasn’t a good showing. We’ve got to do a lot of things better, starting with me,” Peterman said. “There were a lot of plays I wish I could have back, but that’s football. It’s about going back tonight and tomorrow and this whole week is moving on and learning. Taking a hard look at yourself and learning from these mistakes and then moving on and trying to go win another game.”
Josh Allen, seeing his first regular season action, did not fare much better when he entered the game. He too was sacked three times as he went 6-15 passing for 64 yards.
“It was a situation where it wasn’t the most desirable situation, but I was going in just trying to make plays and help this offense move the ball,” said Allen. “We didn’t put many points on the board. It was a tough game to start out with. Fortunately, in the NFL it’s just one game and one loss. We have 15 more opportunities to play well.”
When asked whether he was concerned about not getting the opportunity to start in Week 2, Peterman offered the following.
“I’m going to take the same approach I have been all camp and all offseason and my whole life, which is controlling what I can control,” said Peterman. “Stay in my lane and try to be my best for this team wherever that is and just going and working hard again.”
Allen echoed Peterman’s comments on the decision making to be done at the QB position.
“That’s not my call. That’s the coach’s call,” said Allen. “We’re trying to learn from this game and try to focus on the next one. That’s all I’m really worried about.”
Photos from Buffalo's 2018 Week 1 game against the Baltimore Ravens.
2 - Offense needs work
It was a widely known fact that the Baltimore Ravens had a formidable defense. Coming off a season in which they led the league in takeaways and were second in passer rating allowed, the Bills were going to have a challenging matchup. Seeing the offense struggle to the degree that they did was still surprising.
“I thought the game got away from us really early, just from a series of plays,” said McDermott. “Give credit to the Ravens and coach Harbaugh, but the game got away from us from a series of plays early in the game. The first and second quarter and right before half as well.”
Though the Bills defense had trouble holding Baltimore off the board early, with the Ravens scoring on three of their first four possessions, Buffalo’s offense had little success with anything they called.
They could not get a running game established with the team managing just 20 rushing yards in the first half. Nathan Peterman appeared as though he wasn’t trusting what he was seeing and hesitated at times to deliver the football.
There were also three holding penalties and a false start up front that put the offense in unfavorable down and distance situations in the first half.
“Penalties – you can’t have penalties,” said McDermott. “I thought offensively that was hurting us, lack of first down success, and then when we did have success we had penalties. You can’t do that and play winning football.”
Buffalo failed to register a first down on offense until the start of the third quarter. The only time they were in Baltimore’s half of the field in the first half was off a fumble recovery at the Ravens 35-yard line. The offense however, could only gain a yard on the drive and then Stephen Hauschka was short on a 52-yard field goal attempt.
The Bills would not reach the Ravens territory again until Josh Allen was in the game late in the third quarter. They moved the ball as far as the Baltimore 17, but Allen was sacked on third-and-goal forcing Buffalo to settle for a field goal for what proved to be their only points of the game.
The day finished with just 153 total net yards for the Bills on offense. Bills return man Marcus Murphy had more yards on five kick returns (165) than Buffalo’s attack.
3 – Edmunds flashes
Buffalo’s performance on defense wasn’t all that much better, but there was a bright spot on that side of the ball for the Bills.
Rookie MLB Tremaine Edmunds flashed in the first half when on one series, he registered a sack, a tackle and a pass breakup to force a punt. After an offsides penalty gave the Ravens a fresh set of downs, Edmunds came back on the field with the defense and forced a fumble that was recovered by Matt Milano.
“He looked like he was flying around. He made some plays,” said McDermott. “He got us in and out of the huddle on defense. They went no huddle some and he looked like he managed that and communicated well. We’ve got some young players out there playing and this is their first taste of a regular season NFL game, so there’s a lot to learn from the film and improve and get back to work as soon as we leave the locker room.”
In the early stages of the fourth quarter, Edmunds also had a near interception when he dropped into coverage.
He finished the game with seven tackles and a quarterback hit as well.