This might sound ridiculous, but the New England Patriots actually were dealt a bad hand when the Buffalo Bills named Derek Anderson their starting quarterback this week.
The Patriots play the Bills in Buffalo on Monday night
Anderson was out of football for nine months before the Bills dragged him off the scrap heap and onto their roster earlier this month. Despite completing 20-of-31 passes for 175 yards with three interceptions, calculating to a 39.8 passer rating, Sunday in the Bills’ 37-5 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7, Anderson is far from the worst passer on Buffalo’s roster.
Even former Patriots punter, rookie Corey Bojorquez, who’s now on the Bills, isn’t Buffalo’s worst passer. And he’s 0-for-1 for a passer rating of 39.6.
Second-year-pro Nathan Peterman is 11-of-30 for 85 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions in two games this season. He has a passer rating of 16.7. Had the Patriots been more fortunate, Peterman, not Anderson, would be getting the call Monday night.
Peterman has played in six regular season games and one playoff contest. He’s never thrown for more than 79 yards in a game. He has interceptions in four of those seven games. He has just three touchdowns to 10 interceptions in his NFL career.
Peterman has the fourth-lowest passer rating of any quarterback who played at least six games since 1999. He only ranks above Henry Burris, Steve Walsh and Cody Pickett. And if Anderson can’t make it through Monday night’s game, then Peterman (still employed) will come off the bench.
The Bills are partially in this mess because rookie Josh Allen is out with an elbow injury. And it’s not as if Allen was tearing it up either. He went 2-3 as a starter but completed just 54 percent of his passes for 832 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions. His 61.8 passer rating looks prodigious comparatively speaking, however.
The Bills traded away two quarterbacks over the offseason. They signed A.J. McCarron in March then traded him to the Oakland Raiders for a fifth-round pick. It’s tough to imagine McCarron would have been worse than Peterman or Anderson.
They also traded Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns for a 2018 third-round pick. Taylor was benched for rookie Baker Mayfield and still has a better passer rating (63.7) than anyone on the Bills.
It’s tough to criticize the Bills for trading Taylor and McCarron for third- and fifth-round picks, but their decision to deal those two quarterbacks will make the Patriots’ jobs incredibly easy Monday night at New Era Field.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been known to give some hilariously glowing quotes about very poor opponents over the years.
“Anderson’s obviously a really experienced guy that both Brian (Daboll) and Sean (McDermott) have a lot of experience with. I’m sure he’ll be able to handle things the way they want it done,” was all Belichick could muster Wednesday.
If the Patriots’ defense can’t get its groove back Monday night against Anderson, then it’s time to be seriously concerned.
Thumbnail photo via Thomas J. Russo/USA TODAY Sports Images