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Video Analysis: Buffalo Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman, preseason Week 1

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A breakdown of Nathan Peterman’s game against the Carolina Panthers.

The Buffalo Bills entered Week 1 of the 2018 preseason hoping one of their three quarterbacks would begin to separate from the pack against the Carolina Panthers. That didn’t exactly happen and now the team is in the unfamiliar territory of having multiple quarterbacks that look promising. While this might be a one week dilemma only, it’s still exciting news for a team that’s looking to upgrade at the most important position. For this dive let’s look at Nathan Peterman.

Play 1

As a heads up, since I assume we all know where to find the quarterback, it’s the target that’s circled. The big story for Nathan Peterman is time. Brian Daboll dialed up quick strikes and took advantage of Peterman’s ability to get the ball out fast. This pass was out in just under two seconds. The ball placement is arguable, but personally I feel it was a little behind. This was one of the worst passes for Peterman all night though and it wasn’t terrible by any means. As a side note, all times are estimated based on the recording speed used (25 frames per second).

Play 2

This ball is out even quicker, with a mere one-and-a-half seconds between snap and release. With the big cushion between the defender and Andre Holmes this play is incredibly difficult to defend. Peterman reads the match up well and had the same situation on the right side. Not only is the ball complete, but the zero hesitation gives Holmes a chance at some YAC, which this play design isn’t typically well-suited for.

Play 3

This is very similar to the last play, with a release time about one-and-three-quarter seconds. Just like above, the coverage is soft enough where this kind of match up would lead to chunks all day.

Play 4

The play goes to the right this time, but we see a very similar situation. The Panthers are starting to catch on already and there’s no YAC for Kelvin Benjamin. Peterman’s arm seemed a little more wild to the right side on Thursday. There’s no real need to make this a jump ball. It’s not a perfect pass, but still good. This pass was out in 39 frames, or just over 1.5 seconds.

Play 5

Peterman attempts his first pass that wasn’t meant to be thrown in under two seconds and the line fails. Peterman is right on it, handling the pressure well. The pass isn’t particularly accurate, but it’s in a spot where it’s either Kelvin Benjamin’s or no one’s and therefore a good outcome based on circumstances. Benjamin is showing off on this catch, and you can check out the other angle here as I strive to promote my Twitter account.

Play 6

The play pauses to show you that the defense is in Peterman’s face very rapidly. The quick passes allow him to get the throw out there and accurately to boot. Rod Streater is flagged for offensive pass interference on a push that wasn’t necessary to make the catch. A roughing the passer call forces a repeat of downs and negates this from the stat line. All that aside, this could be argued to have been Peterman’s best pass of the game.

Play 7

This looks underwhelming. When a quarterback’s claim to fame is throwing five interceptions in the first 30 minutes of his debut, it does make one curious as to how he’ll handle pressure. In this case, he backpedals nicely and finds his safety valve.

Play 8

We’re used to seeing Peterman get the ball out fast on shorter routes. Here they test something a little more lethal to the defense but with the same speed. Trusting Kelvin Benjamin to be where he needs to be, Peterman gets this one out in about a second-and-a-half. The throw is nearly perfect and Benjamin is off to paydirt.

Play 9

I know this one has been debated quite a bit and here’s my take, with fun visuals. The ball would be a little more catchable in front of Ivory than where it was placed. Peterman has the lane to throw it, and there’s no added risk of a pass breakup if thrown in front of the running back. For the visuals, the red “X” is where the pass was thrown. The green check mark would be better placement.

On the flip side though, it was very clear that the goal with Peterman was a quick strike approach. With most plays depending on what happens within the first two seconds, it’s more likely this is a timing problem which could be on either player. Frankly, it’s surprising the team didn’t have more problems of this kind. It’s not a perfect pass, but it’s by no means a bad one either. With Peterman under center, the Buffalo Bills’ offense lived on the edge of a knife known as “timing” and navigated it very well.