Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott's decision to switch quarterbacks backfired.
McDermott benched Tyrod Taylor to give Nathan Peterman his first NFL start, and the rookie tossed five interceptions against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Peterman's five interceptions all came in the first half of what was a 54-24 Chargers victory. The Chargers (4-6) held a 37-7 half-time lead at StubHub Center before Peterman was benched and Taylor was once again under center.
Taylor finished 15 of 25 for 158 yards with a touchdown and zero interceptions, but did fumble on a sack by Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa. The fumble was returned 39 yards by Melvin Ingram for a touchdown. Peterman was just six of 14 for 66 yards with zero touchdowns and the five interceptions.
"I've had tough games before," Peterman said following the loss. "I'm going to learn a lot from this and make sure it never happens again."
Despite the awful performance by Peterman, McDermott was not ready to commit to Taylor for the remainder of the season.
"I don't regret my decision. I regret the result," McDermott told reporters following the game. "This is in part about winning now and in part about winning in the future."
"It wasn't what he had hoped for or what we had hoped for, but young players experience things like this. We have to push through it," McDermott added. "You know when you put a young QB out there, there will be some struggles. I'm going to take my time and evaluate who will be the starting quarterback next week. I'm going to make the decision that I think is right for the team."
The Bills (5-5) will travel to Kansas City (6-4) next week before taking on the AFC East-leading New England Patriots (8-3) on December 3 as they battle to keep their play-off hopes alive. The Bills have two games remaining against both the Patriots and Miami Dolphins (4-6) over the final six weeks with a home game against the Indianapolis Colts (3-7) nestled in on December 10.
"Who's starting at QB next week is neither here nor there today," Taylor said following Sunday's game. "We're 5-5, and as a team, we need to fix this and get back to winning moving forward.
"I knew the situation going into the game. I'll still support Nathan if he's the guy."