Good luck finding a third-string quarterback whose brand is stronger than Nathan Peterman’s. Due to injuries to both Josh Allen (elbow) and Derek Anderson (concussion), the Buffalo Bills started Peterman under center against the Bears on Sunday. Naturally, his name remained a Twitter trending topic throughout the game, and Peterman finished the afternoon with 189 passing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, and 3 interceptions. It was one of his better performances. The Bills lost, 41–9.
You can choose to feel bad for Peterman, or you can be inspired by him. People are mean to the second-year quarterback. I know I’ve taken my shots. But Peterman just puts on his pads, keeps his head up, and plays when his coaches ask him to (though they should probably stop doing that). Press conferences can’t be easy for him because they come either before or after games, which is when the Bad Things happen, but he never sounds bitter or down on himself. “You just gotta keep your confidence high,” Peterman told reporters this week. “Be the same player that you’ve been all along and go out there and rip it.”
Peterman didn’t exactly rip it against the Bears, but his teammates weren’t much help, either. The Buffalo offensive line didn’t seem too bothered with keeping him upright, and his receivers had roles in both of his first-half interceptions.
Deserved or not, Peterman is making history. He is putting up numbers we simply shouldn’t see in the modern, quarterback-friendly NFL.
For that last statistic, I checked to make sure the other three quarterbacks in question weren’t Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees (they weren’t). Colin Kaepernick is not included in that stat, either, and his collusion case gets stronger with every Peterman snap. We could eventually get a ruling on whether interceptions qualify as free speech. At least we know evidence is not being supplied mala fide by Buffalo’s persistent quarterback.
I hope Peterman remains confident, and, judging by the fact that his online apparel store is still up and running, he probably will. It’s not his fault the Bills have gone to him multiple times over the past two years. He’s just doing his job, and that might as well be inspiring.