When the dust settled on the first half of Sunday’s third consecutive debacle for the Buffalo Bills, this time at the hands of the Los Angeles Chargers, rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman had himself a very, very bad day.
The rookie completed nearly as many passes to the opposition (5) as he did to his own teammates (6). To be fair, one of the interceptions glanced off the hands of fullback Patrick DiMarco, two came when Peterman had a defensive lineman in his lap, and another came on a throw where he expected Deonte Thompson to zig, but Thompson zagged. Any way you slice it, however, it was a tremendously disheartening debut.
In fact, Peterman’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad half qualified as the worst fantasy football output by a quarterback over the last fifteen years. ESPN’s Matthew Berry tweeted the dubious list.
Over the last 15 years, here are the 5 worst QB performances in fantasy:— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) November 20, 2017
5. Alex Smith in Week 5 of 2005 (-6.74)
4. Rex Grossman in Week 17 of 2006 (-6.78)
3. John Skelton in Week 14 of 2012 (-6.84)
2. Rex Grossman in Week 6 of 2006 (-6.94)
1. Nathan Peterman yesterday (-6.96)
I’m not sure what’s more incredible about this list—that Alex Smith was a number one overall pick, a “bust,” and is now a more-than-serviceable quarterback, or that Rex Grossman appears on this list twice in the same season and he was the starting quarterback in the Super Bowl that year.
In Week 5 of the 2005 season, Smith quarterbacked the San Francisco 49ers to a 28-3 loss at home against the Peyton Manning-led Indianapolis Colts. Smith was 9-for-23, throwing for 74 yards and 4 interceptions on the afternoon. Miraculously, his 8.5 quarterback rating that day wasn’t the lowest on that list, either.
That honor belongs to Rex Grossman in Week 17 of the 2006 season. Grossman completed more passes to the Green Bay Packers (3) than he did to his Bears’ teammates (2) in his 12 attempts, totaling 33 yards and a 0 quarterback rating. He was pulled for Brian Griese with the Bears having sewn up the NFC North Division title and a first-round playoff bye. Green Bay won the game 26-7.
John Skelton’s miserable day came in a lost season for the Arizona Cardinals, when they had four men make starts under center (Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley, and Brian Hoyer were the others aside from Skelton). The Fordham product was 11-for-22, tossing 4 interceptions on the day and totaling only 74 yards in a 58-0 drubbing at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks. His 18.2 quarterback rating was the best of the worst performances.
Grossman’s second entry on the list became infamous for Cardinals’ coach Dennis Green’s infamous lament afterwards, noting that the Bears were, indeed, exactly who the Cardinals thought that they were. Grossman threw 4 interceptions in a 14-for-37 overall performance. He had no touchdowns and totaled 137 yards on the evening, and the Bears added 2 fumbles, yet they still won the game, 24-23. His quarterback rating on the day was 10.2, lower than only Skelton’s and Peterman’s (17.9).
If there are any positives to draw from Sunday’s miserable loss, as least the only way to go for Buffalo’s rookie quarterback is up.