ESPN recently profiled NFL quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The article described his complex place in the NFL. Although not a star he is a clearly competent player. Coming into week 11 Taylor hadn't played stellar this year, but was still not hurting his team. He had 10 TD to only 3 INT. The Bills were 5-4 and coming off two consecutive losses. In the first loss the Bills fell to the Jets 34-21. Taylor went 29/40 for 285 yards and 2 TD. During the second loss, against the Saints, Taylor struggled going only 9/18 for 56 yards and an INT. In the teams two most recent losses prior to week 11 Taylor had one good game and one bad game. However, both losses clearly had more to do with the Bills defense's inability to stop the opposing run. In those two games they gave up 194 and 298 yards rushing respectively.
Leading up to the Bills week 11 matchup against the Chargers, Bills head coach Sean McDermott analyzed his teams recent struggles and decided to make a change at QB and let rookie Quarterback Nathan Peterman start. The outcome of the decision was terrible. Peterman managed to throw 5 interceptions in just one half, letting the Chargers get ahead 37-7. He did so poorly that McDermott was forced to make a change and put Taylor back in at quarterback for the second half. To put this all in comparison, Peterman threw more interceptions in a half then Taylor has thrown all year. He threw the same number of interceptions as Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees, and Carson Wentz have all year. Those guys have started all ten games their teams have played. Peterson has an interception rate of 20.8%. Throwing five INT in a half is really bad.
I am not normally one to call for the firing of coaches after a small sample size, but I think McDermott is a special kind of dumb. The Bills head coach decided that this above average ball security quarterback on a team that was 5-4 needed to be benched. His backup plan was starting a rookie QB with 10 career attempts. This is not a strategy for success. Teams with playoff hopes don't switch out their quarterbacks willy-nilly, especially for unproven rookies. They stick with guys way worse than Taylor. The decision to bench Taylor in favor of Peterman was a bad one and it blew up in extraordinary fashion. McDermott needs to be on the hot seat. The Bills ownership needs to let him know that he made a stupid decision and if he wants to stay their head coach he needs to stop making stupid decisions. Finally Tyrod Taylor needs to start the remainder of the games for the Bills.
Sources: Pro Football Reference