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Bills on pace to finish the season with 6 TD passes, 26 interceptions

With Nathan Peterman returning as starting quarterback, it's going to be difficult for the Buffalo Bills to stay competitive with the Chicago Bears.

A quarterback’s touchdown-interception ratio has long been used as a shorthand for how well he’s playing. There was a time when any quarterback in positive territory was said to be playing well: In the 1970s, interceptions were more common than touchdown passes, and so if you were a quarterback who had more touchdown passes than interceptions, you were probably better than average.

But times change, the NFL is much more pass-friendly now, and being in positive territory on the touchdown-interception ratio is just considered the bare minimum for competent quarterback play. In fact, if you even want to be considered an average NFL quarterback, you should be throwing at least twice as many touchdown passes as interceptions. So far this NFL season, there have been 432 touchdown passes and 209 interceptions across the NFL, through Thursday night’s 49ers-Raiders game.

All of that is a preamble to say this: The Buffalo Bills are setting back offensive football, with passing statistics that would have looked terrible even in the 1970s.

So far this season, the Bills’ three quarterbacks have combined to throw just three touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. The season is half over, so the Bills are on pace to finish with six touchdown passes and 26 interceptions. That is simply, unbelievably, awful.

There are only four quarterbacks in the NFL this season who have thrown at least three more interceptions than touchdowns, and three of those four quarterbacks play for the Bills. Here’s the full list:

-4 Jameis Winston (6 TD, 10 INT)
-4 Derek Anderson (0 TD, 4 INT)
-3 Josh Allen (2 TD, 5 INT)
-3 Nathan Peterman (1 TD, 4 INT)

Winston has been benched by the Buccaneers, but the Bills are already out of players to bench. They benched Peterman for Allen, who got hurt and was replaced by Anderson, who got hurt and is now expected to be replaced by Peterman on Sunday. The Bills have batted around and still can’t find a good quarterback.

The Bills’ job won’t get any easier on Sunday when they face a Bears defense that is second in the NFL with 11 interceptions this season. It’s hard to imagine Peterman doing anything to put his touchdown-interception differential into positive territory.