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Sean McDermott: Bills will 'evaluate' at QB after Nathan Peterman struggles

CARSON, Calif. -- Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott will "evaluate" his starting quarterback situation for next week's game at the Kansas City Chiefs after rookie Nathan Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half of his starting debut in Sunday's 54-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Peterman was replaced in the second half by Tyrod Taylor, who was benched last week for the rookie fifth-round pick despite Buffalo holding a 5-4 record. Taylor started the first nine games of the season.

"I'm going to take my time and evaluate it," McDermott said of which quarterback will start against the Chiefs. "I'm going to make the decision that I feel is right for this football team."

McDermott said after the game he does not regret his decision to start Peterman over Taylor and does not believe he underestimated Peterman's readiness to make his starting debut on the road.

"I felt like this was the right situation for Nate to come in and play," McDermott said. "I don't regret my decision. I regret the result. We didn't get the result we were looking for. So I don't regret the decision at all."

Explained McDermott: "[The decision] was about not only winning now, but also in the future. These guys work hard, and I felt like every decision I'm making is in the right and best interest of this football team moving forward."

Peterman was the first quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to throw at least five interceptions in a first half, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. His three interceptions in the first quarter were the most since then-New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith was picked three times against the Bills in an October 2014 game.

"It wasn't what he had hoped for or what we had hoped for," McDermott said. "At the same time, you know when you put a young player out there, a young quarterback, that there is going to be some ups and downs. This is part of it. A good part about Nate is I know he's a mentally tough individual, and he's a good football player. So to me, it's not indicative who [he] is as a player. But you know you're going to go through some of this. All good players do."

Peterman was booed by the Bills fans in the crowd at the StubHub Center when he came onto the field with the offense late in the second quarter. The crowd also chanted "We want Tyrod" shortly before halftime.

"You really don't understand why things happen sometimes," Peterman said of his performance. "But I've got to trust in definitely a higher power, and I think my relationship [with God] helps me a lot with that."

After entering the game in the third quarter, Taylor finished 15-for-25 with 158 yards and a touchdown. Along with his five picks, Peterman went 6-for-14 for 66 yards.

"I stay confident in Nate," McDermott said. "I know he's going to learn from this experience."

Added Peterman: "Coach always says, 'We never lose, we learn,' and that will definitely be my mindset moving forward. I'm going to learn a lot from this and make sure it never happens again."

The Bills trailed 37-7 at halftime of Sunday's loss. Their 37 points were the most allowed by the franchise in a first half of a game since giving up 42 points in 1977 against the Seahawks, according to ESPN's Stats & Information. The Bills have been outscored 135-55 over their past three games.

"I'm confident in this football team," McDermott said after Sunday's loss. "We're going through a tough stretch right now. All teams go through this. You look around the league, this is part of it."

Peterman's top receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, was ruled out for the game after injuring his right knee following a 20-yard catch on the opening drive. Benjamin was carted to the locker room.