We’ve seen quarterbacks like Nathan Peterman in the past. They ball out in practice and convince you with their preseason prowess they are ready for the big stage. And then they fall flat on their face.
I’m not sure there’s been a quarterback criticized as much who I wanted to succeed more than Peterman. However, that isn’t how it played out when the Bills and Peterman were annihilated by the Ravens 47-3 on Sunday in Baltimore.
Josh Allen didn’t fare much better in the stat column, but by the time he entered the game there was little doubt about the outcome. While many people were focused on how Allen operated the offense, of course my barely functioning brain was totally focused on assessing his psychological state.
I leave “all-22” analysis to experts like Erik Turner (@Cover_1) and his excellent crew. They do a terrific job analyzing the x’s and o’s – even a thud-head like me is slowly learning more about the game from a physical perspective because of their great teaching skills. They are the best.
My expertise lies in the area of drilling down on the behavioral aspects of players, coaches as well as other aspects of the game as a whole.
So when Allen entered the game, I immediately put my eyeballs and antenna out and zoned in on what differences I might see as a result. Once again my eyes confirmed the immediate change in temperament by the team when Allen walked on the field.
John Murphy even pointed out the difference he saw in the body language of players on the bench when Allen entered the game. It happened enough times throughout the preseason when Allen was inserted in the game to confirm in my eyes the difference seen is NOT due to chance or some extraneous variable.
The other observation I made was that veterans and fellow Bills’ rookies seem to have already placed their hope and passion in Josh Allen as the future of the Bills franchise at the quarterback position. Let’s get real for a minute about why players who don’t play quarterback have so much invested in sizing up anyone playing that position.
Winning usually equates to money and fame, and losing… not so much. And since the effectiveness of a quarterback on the success or failure of any given NFL team IS tightly correlated to stability at the quarterback position, the concerns by players at other positions about how the quarterback is doing are probably well-placed.
For those of you who enjoy research methodology as much as I do, here is a fabulously done research study by Jeffrey Wittke from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville showing how success at the quarterback position affects the overall performance and success of NFL teams. If success = money, it makes sense players at other positions would focus their attention and arguably even their support behind the guy they think is more likely to bring success.
So perhaps it should come as little or no surprise the body language of this Bills team suggests the players may believe Josh Allen brings them the greatest chance for success despite his inexperience.
And here is where things become very dangerous for Sean McDermott should he decide to start Nathan Peterman against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday at New Era Field. If the players feel Josh Allen gives them the best chance to win, it won’t matter a fig what their head coach thinks is the best decision about who to start on Sunday.
Furthermore, after watching Sam Darnold throw a pick-six on his first NFL play and then recovering nicely for the Jets on Monday night, Bills fans may erupt like a volcano if Peterman is announced as the starter against the Chargers on Sunday. We’ve been down this treacherous road too many times in the past with quarterback controversies, so no need to elaborate here.
And if that’s not enough, there’s also a couple of other “x-factors” Allen has working in his favor as far as working behind a suspect offensive line – he’s used to being surrounded by inferior talent. The University of Wyoming program he attended was often overmatched by opponents and Allen ran for his life during much of his collegiate career.
Heck, I would even argue at this point there may be more harm done to Josh Allen’s development by NOT starting him moving forward. The coaches may need to look at tape, but most Bills fans have good quarterback assessment skills because we’ve seen so many come and go, especially over the last 20 years.
In the end, it’s impossible to miss how much more physically gifted Josh Allen is in comparison to Nathan Peterman.
There’s no joy on my part (unlike some in the media) watching Peterman wilt under pressure. My heart actually aches when I think about what the many sharks in the water have done to this man with seemingly sadistic pleasure.
Finally, without question the argument about whether or not Nathan Peterman gives the Bills the best chance to win on Sunday has been thrown over Niagara Falls at this point.
So, if Peterman doesn’t give you the best chance to win the next game, why WOULD’NT you put in the rookie quarterback in and let him take his lumps and learn?
Please help me understand, because from this old bird’s perspective – I’m struggling to find solid ground for any argument in favor of starting Nathan Peterman on Sunday.
What say ye?
Editor’s babble: #NeverForget
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