Everything goes wrong for Bills in forgettable 2018 debut
By DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) — One year removed from their first postseason appearance in 17 years, the Buffalo Bills looked nothing like a playoff team in their 2018 debut.
It took exactly one game for the Bills to become embroiled in a quarterback controversy, and it comes after neither of their young QBs played well Sunday in a soggy 47-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Making his third career start, Nathan Peterman didn’t make it out of the third quarter. Backup Josh Allen, the seventh overall pick in the draft, wasn’t much better.
Oh, how the Bills miss Tyrod Taylor, who was traded to Cleveland during the offseason.
Peterman went 5 for 18 for 24 yards with two interceptions, a quarterback rating of 0.0. He was pulled with Buffalo trailing 40-0.
After winning the job from Allen in the preseason, Peterman is once again fighting to be No. 1.
“I’m going to look at everything,” coach Sean McDermott said. “It’s too early to go one way or the other.”
Allen completed six of 15 passes for 74 yards, ran for 26 yards and guided the Bills on their only scoring drive. His numbers weren’t all that much, but they sure beat the ones Peterman put up.
“Really, I thought he made some pretty decisive throws in there, into some tight windows,” McDermott said of the former Wyoming star. “Used his feet at times well. I thought he had pretty good command of the huddle and the offense at the line of scrimmage.”
It was a small positive takeaway from an absolutely brutal start for a team that went 9-7 last year and beat out the Ravens for an AFC playoff spot by virtue of a tiebreaker.
While it appears the Ravens have made progress, the Bills have regressed. The offensive line couldn’t protect the quarterbacks, the running backs couldn’t find space to run and Zay Jones was the leading receiver with three catches for 26 yards.
“There were times where I thought we could have been better up front. There was times where we needed to catch the football. There were times we hurt ourselves with penalties,” McDermott said. “It’s not just one guy. It’s a full, total team effort there.”
Special teams contributed, too, and not in a good way. Stephen Hauschka was woefully short on a 52-yard field goal try, the Ravens used a 51-yard punt return to set up a field goal, and Baltimore scored a touchdown after Buffalo punter Corey Bojorquez fumbled a snap.
All in all, it was a performance to forget. If only they could.
“You can allow this to define you,” defensive tackle Kyle Williams said, issuing a warning to his teammates. “Everybody has to look in the mirror and ask, ‘What can I do better?’ and make that choice. The only way we’re going to get better is to get back and learn from it.”
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