It was Peterman’s strong performance in OTAs and June minicamp that led to my prediction in June that Peterman should be considered a serious contender to start, and Peterman’s statistics this preseason did little to slow that momentum. He finished the preseason 33-of-41 passing for 431 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, including a 9-of-10 stat line when leading the Bills’ first-team offense against the Carolina Panthers’ first-team defense.
From OTAs in May through Peterman’s final preseason appearance Aug. 26, there were no meltdowns and few errant passes that would suggest he has not recovered from what was one of the worst starting quarterback debuts in NFL history.
That steadiness made Peterman the best choice to at least begin to navigate a schedule for the Bills that includes five out of their first eight games on the road before Buffalo hosts the New England Patriots on “Monday Night Football” in Week 8.
McDermott’s mistake in starting Peterman last season on the road against the Chargers should be reason for McDermott to turn to Peterman again to start this season instead of Allen, a rookie.
While McDermott’s call to bench Taylor for Peterman might have come out of the blue to some outside of Buffalo, the idea had been hotly debated around town since Peterman showed flashes of potential last preseason and in leading the Bills on a touchdown drive late during a blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints a week prior to starting in Los Angeles.
McDermott faced pressure from some segments of the fan base in turning to Peterman last year, much like some Bills fans will be upset Allen is not the opening-day starter after he wowed fans with his arm strength and pocket presence at times this preseason.
But overall, Allen’s body of work from spring practices through the preseason was not nearly as consistent as Peterman’s. Throwing Allen into the fire during a road-heavy first-half schedule and behind an offensive line that allowed Allen to be sacked five times during his lone preseason start Aug. 26 would be a recipe for trouble and, perhaps, grumbling in the locker room.
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