The Buffalo Bills made the switch to rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman for Sunday's tilt versus the Los Angeles Chargers in Carson, Calif. Despite the QB change, the Chargers are preparing to face Tyrod Taylor, just in case.
Coach Anthony Lynn, who was offensive coordinator and interim head coach for Buffalo last season, said the Chargers must keep in mind the differences between the elusive Taylor and pocket-passer Peterman if a change happens.
"They made the decision to bench Tyrod, so if they go with the other guy, I'm pretty sure they're doing the best thing for their team," Lynn said, via ESPN.com. "But we're still looking at it like, if he [Taylor] suits up, we have to be ready for him. Because if he comes in in the second half -- if the other guy struggles and he comes in -- we've got to be ready. He can present a lot of problems for a defense."
Lynn's point is prudent. We've seen Peterman for a total of 11 plays this regular season. While the rookie performed well in the preseason versus vanilla defenses, it's a much different game when going against Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram off the edge. Playing on the road, against a Chargers pass defense ranked sixth in the NFL in DVOA by Football Outsiders, could lead to struggles out of the gate for Peterman.
It's not inconceivable Sean McDermott could be forced to revert to Taylor if Peterman implodes with a bevy of turnovers or an unfortunate injury strikes.
"I think you still have to be prepared for the possibility of Tyrod going in," Chargers outside linebacker Kyle Emanuel said. "We don't know their mindset going into it. If this new guy struggles a little bit, are they going to bring [Taylor] back in? So we need to be prepared for both. I don't think it will change too much, but obviously we're thinking a little less quarterback run."
Without the threat of Taylor taking off to run, the Bills' offensive line will be under pressure to protect Peterman from Bosa and Ingram. Leaning on LeSean McCoy is the obvious answer, but the Chargers did shut down Leonard Fournette last week (1.9 yards per carry). Expect a quick-pass approach, which will help Peterman avoid the pass rush and build confidence on the road.