Rookie QB Peterman throws 5 INTs in Bills loss

CARSON, Calif. — Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half of his starting debut in Sunday’s 54-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The five interceptions are the most thrown by any NFL quarterback in the first half of a game since at least 2001. His three interceptions in the first quarter were the most since then-New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith was picked three times against the Bills in an October 2014 game.

A fifth-round pick from Pittsburgh, Peterman became the Bills starter when first-year coach Sean McDermott benched Tyrod Taylor this week despite Buffalo holding a 5-4 record.

Peterman was booed by the Bills fans in the crowd at the StubHub Center when he came onto the field with the offense late in the second quarter. The crowd also chanted “We want Tyrod” shortly before halftime.

Taylor, who has thrown three interceptions in nine games this season for the Bills, took over in the second half. He finished 15-for-25 with 158 yards and a touchdown.

Along with his five picks, Peterman went 6-for-14 for 66 yards.

McDermott defended the quarterback switch by saying he believed his team was better than its 5-4 record and Peterman would give them a better chance to win. However, players in the locker room did not know what to expect with a rookie under center.

“You never know,” running back LeSean McCoy said Wednesday. “He’s a guy that’s never played in the NFL in a real game, so you never know. It can be good or bad. You just never know. That’s why I really can’t give you an honest answer. Like, he’s going to go out there and he’s going to [be] dominant, he’s going to throw for four or five touchdowns, or is he going to go for five picks? I don’t know. We’ll see how it works, and we’re going to support him; we want him to do well. We want him to do good, so we’ll see if the switch was right.”

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, currently on injured reserve, took to Twitter following Peterman’s first-half fiasco to address the Bills’ quarterback saga.

The Bills trailed 37-7 at halftime. Their 37 points were the most allowed by the franchise in a first half of a game since giving up 42 points in 1977 against the Seahawks, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information.

Peterman’s top receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, was ruled out for the game after injuring his right knee following a 20-yard catch on the opening drive. Benjamin was carted to the locker room.

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