Nathan Peterman has begun his pro football career by playing very well overall. A fifth-round pick of the Buffalo Bills out of Pittsburgh, Peterman has impressed throughout training camp. He started out as the third-team quarterback, but through his own solid play and T.J. Yates continuing to struggle, he was elevated to second-string for Buffalo’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. While he performed admirable in what was otherwise a poor showing for Buffalo overall, he struggled against pressure.
Through two preseason games, Peterman’s performance against the blitz and against 3 or 4-man rushes has been night and day.
If you were a defensive coordinator, how would you attack a Nathan Peterman quarterbacked offense?— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) August 19, 2017
While the difference between his completion percentage under pressure versus his percentage when not pressured looks jarring, let’s be honest—every NFL quarterback is going to be worse when under duress than when he has time to sit and dissect the defense. The drop-off when blitzed, however, is something that the rookie will have to work on as he continues to mature. A 40% completion rate with 4 yards per attempt is not going to cut it.
Even with the disparity in statistics based on game situation, Peterman has put together a strong preseason overall, completing 51% of his passes (23/45) for 279 yards and a touchdown. Of course, preseason statistics should be taken with a silo’s worth of salt, but the benefit to analyzing such things early on in a rookie’s career is that he has the opportunity to work and correct his early mistakes. Hopefully, Peterman can take these early struggles against the blitz and turn them into successes later on when the game slows down for him a bit.