Sean McDermott dropped a bombshell Wednesday: Nathan Peterman will be the Buffalo Bills' starting quarterback Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Tyrod Taylor isn't injured. But McDermott clearly wants more out of the offense. Over the last two weeks, the Taylor-led unit hasn't delivered. Take away the garbage time scores against the Jets and Saints and this team has scored 10 points in the last two weeks. You aren't going to win in the NFL with that kind of offensive output.
This isn't to excuse the defensive play. The defense has been terrible over the last two weeks. The unit gave up 298 rushing yards against the Saints and 194 against the Jets. What was one of the team's strengths is now a glaring weakness. Opposing teams should just run it up the middle. The Bills won't stop them.
But the move to install Peterman as the starter could provide a spark. Maybe that's what McDermott is looking for. After all, he insisted that Taylor was the guy one day ago. Twenty-four hours later, the Bills turn to the rookie.
Maybe reality set in for McDermott. Under Taylor, the Bills are 28th in yards, 30th in passing yards and 21st in points. The Bills' passing offense has never been the team's strong suit with Taylor at quarterback. He has one 300-yard passing game in his career.
With Peterman, the Bills have a guy who is a pocket passer. He should be able to open up more opportunities in the passing game. That will benefit the team's rushing attack, which has struggled this season. Opposing teams haven't been shy about their strategy. They dared Tyrod to beat them through the air. It didn't happen, at least not consistently. The games against the Jets and Saints are proof of that.
There will be fans who question this move. After Peterman entered the game Sunday against the Saints, some on social media dismissed the switch and declared that the rookie isn't "the guy." How do we know? He hasn't started an NFL game. Give him a chance to show us what he can do.
It's unheard of for a team to make a quarterback switch in this position. The Bills are 5-4 and if the season ended today, they would have the sixth and final AFC playoff spot. Given how the rest of the AFC looks, the Bills have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs.
That's why the switch to Peterman comes with a risk. You know what you're getting with Taylor. He has his flaws, but he is a playmaker. With Peterman, you don't know how he's going to perform, especially in the clutch.
We're about to find out.