Though Taylor had turned in his worst outing of the season in a blowout loss to New Orleans in Week 10, it was still surprising when McDermott elected to bench the veteran last week in favor of untested rookie Nathan Peterman for a road matchup with the Chargers. The decision quickly proved to be ill advised, as Peterman threw five first-half interceptions before being replaced by Taylor, who completed 15 of 25 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown in relief. While Taylor will get the chance to get the 5-5 Bills back into the win column Sunday, McDermott said that the team will continue to "evaluate every position every week," according to Chris Brown of the Bills' official site, suggesting that Taylor isn't necessarily a lock to remain the starter the rest of the way.
Nathan Peterman made McDermott look bad, throwing five interceptions on 14 pass attempts before giving way to Taylor for the start of the second half. Taylor made things worse in the third quarter when he lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown, but he bounced back strong in garbage time to finish 15-of-25 passing for 158 yards and a touchdown, adding four carries for 38 yards and another score. Common sense dictates he'll get the start Week 12 in Kansas City, but the Bills apparently are in no rush to make a decision.
With the Bills dropping to 5-4 following back-to-back embarrassing losses to the Jets and Saints, McDermott has decided to shake things in an effort to preserve the team's narrow edge on the final wild-card spot in the AFC. Though Taylor's season-long numbers (10:3 TD:INT, 64 percent completion rate, 6.6 yards per attempt) haven't differed much on a per-game basis from what he posted over his 14 starts in 2016, the 28-year-old submitted his worst showing of the season in the Week 10 loss, completing just nine of 18 passes for 56 yards and an interception. The unproven Peterman, who made his NFL debut in relief of Taylor in the loss to New Orleans, will get at least one opportunity to see if he can provide better production behind center, but if the rookie falters Sunday, it wouldn't be surprising if McDermott turned the reins of the offense back over to Taylor. Taylor's benching seemingly increases the odds that he'll be released this offseason, however, which would clear up $9.4 million in cap space for the Bills in 2018.
Although Taylor struggled in Sunday's drubbing at the hands of the Saints, coach Sean McDermott insisted Taylor will remain the starting quarterback, Chris Brown of the Bills' official site reports. "Because I believe in Tyrod," said McDermott. "Tyrod is our starter. That's what I said [Sunday]. I know what Tyrod has done and I also know what Nate [Peterman] has done. Tyrod is our starter."
Taylor may not be an elite quarterback, but he's done enough good things this season -- not to mention his 10:3 TD:INT ratio -- with a questionable offense that he'll be given some leash. The Bills are also in the thick of the wild-card battle, so while switching to rookie Nathan Peterman might appease some portion of the fan base, it seems prudent to stick with the guy that's performed at least capably for three seasons. That said, if the Bills keep losing games and stop playing for this season, they may opt to get an extensive look at Peterman.
Taylor completed nine of 18 pass attempts for 56 yards and an interception Sunday against the Saints. He also gained 27 yards on three carries in the 47-10 loss.
Taylor endured perhaps the roughest outing of his career in this one, managing a miserable 3.1 yards per attempt while posting the lowest yardage total of his career as a starter. He finished as the team's second-leading rusher on the day, but even that wasn't enough to amount to anything noteworthy from a fantasy perspective. Taylor came into Sunday on the back of three consecutive productive outings and will look to bounce back next week against the Chargers.
|12||11/26/17||@ KC||1:00 pm|
|16||12/24/17||@ NE||1:00 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|