The Los Angeles Chargers’ playoff hopes are on life support. But there is still a chance.
For those chances to continue any further into the 2017 season, the Chargers will have to get a win over the Buffalo Bills, a team that would be in the playoffs if the season were to end today.
Coming off a devastating overtime defeat in Jacksonville last Sunday, the Chargers are going to need to catch some breaks. They may have caught one heading into this weekend’s game.
On Wednesday, the Bills made the announcement that quarterback Tyrod Taylor has been benched in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman. It’s a surprising move for a team looking to end the longest playoff drought in the NFL, but the Chargers shouldn’t feel bad.
For his first career start, Peterman, a fifth-round pick out of Pittsburgh, will have to travel to the other side of the country to face the Chargers at StubHub Center. That’s a challenge in itself, but the Chargers also boast the No. 11 pass defense in the NFL.
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Peterman won’t have the most threatening wide receiver corps at hos disposal either as fellow rookie Zay Jones is banged up and Kelvin Benjamin is still working on fitting into his new team’s offense.
Throw in the fact that the Chargers have Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa attacking on the outside and they could (and should) make it a long day for the rookie.
On the year, Taylor threw 10 touchdown passes to just three interceptions. He added another two on the ground. Unless the coaching staff in Buffalo knows something that no one else in the world does about Peterman, it’s hard to imagine him being better than that, at least not right away.
The Chargers’ defense should take advantage and make life miserable for this kid in his first game. This is the kind of win that could send the Chargers trending up toward the end of the season, so they must make the most of what almost seems like a gift from Buffalo.
That’s no to say that Peterman will never make it in the NFL, but it is to say that he has no business going into StubHub Center and winning this game at this stage of his career.