The Bills' quarterback situation is so bad they're turning to a 35-year-old backup they signed off the street 2 weeks ago

  • The Buffalo Bills' quarterback situation is an absolute mess, and they will turn to 35-year-old career backup Derek Anderson as their starter on Sunday.
  • Anderson appears to be the Bills' best option available, with rookie quarterback Josh Allen dealing with an elbow sprain and backup Nathan Peterman notorious for his turnovers.
  • Anderson has been with the team for just 10 days.


Coming into the 2018 NFL season, the Buffalo Bills were already looking at a tough year ahead.

Buffalo had the worst quarterback room in all of the NFL, and despite hopes of developing rookie Josh Allen into a franchise player, he was certainly more of a project than other rookie signal callers.

Six weeks into the season and things are exponentially worse for the Bills, so much so that the team is now turning to 35-year-old career backup Derek Anderson as their starter after signing him just days ago.

"Derek is a guy that I've been around in Carolina," McDermott said after making the decision public. "He brings experience, leadership presence to the table and he's worked hard the last week, week and a half, to get up to speed."

The road here was a long one for the Bills.

First, while many thought Allen would start the year under center for the Bills, head coach Sean McDermott gave the first team duties to Nathan Peterman. Peterman was best known for throwing five interceptions in a single half during his debut as a starter in 2017 and then coming in as a backup in the playoffs to throw another game-sealing interception.

Opening the 2018 season, Peterman completed just 5-of-18 in the Bills first game, prompting McDermott to hand the reins over the Allen almost immediately.

Since then, Allen has been pretty awful as well, ranking last among qualified quarterbacks in rating and yards per game, and second to last in completion percentage and yards per attempt.

Then on Sunday, Allen went down with an elbow sprain, bringing Peterman back under center for the Bills. Peterman would lead the Bills down the field for a go-ahead touchdown score, only to then throw two more interceptions including a game-losing pick-six with under two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

With Allen now feared to be out for multiple weeks, McDermott announced on Wednesday that this Sunday, the Bills will turn to Derek Anderson as their starting quarterback, despite the fact that he's been with the team for just 10 days. Anderson has started in just four NFL games since 2011.

It's a bold move, but likely McDermott's only one to make, having watched Peterman throw 10 interceptions on 82 pass attempts over his seven career appearances.

Making the whole situation worse is that this is a problem entirely of the Bills' creation.

Tyrod Taylor was the team's starter last year, and led Buffalo to an improbable playoff appearance, only for the team to trade him away to Cleveland for a third-round pick. The Bills made a play for A.J. McCarron in the offseason, but would later send him away to Oakland in order to save a roster spot. There was plenty of time to avoid this situation, and yet here the Bills are.

And so with no other options, the Bills will turn to Anderson, who McDermott is at least familiar with from their time together with the Carolina Panthers.

The Bills travel to Indianapolis on Sunday where they will be +7.5-point underdogs to Andrew Luck and the Colts.

If only there was a marquee free agent quarterback on the market capable of stepping into the job.

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