Brian Billick: Josh Allen Should Start For Buffalo Bills

Nathan Peterman can't play in the NFL, Brian Billick said, and after getting pummeled by the Ravens, the Bills have nowhere to go but up

Tiki and Tierney
October 30, 2018 - 7:30 am

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It’s not easy for rookie quarterbacks to play in Week 1 of the NFL season – especially when they’re inserted once their team is down 40-0 in the third quarter.

That, however, was Josh Allen’s fate. 

Yes, the No. 7 overall pick made his NFL debut in Baltimore on Sunday, fishing 6-of-15 for 74 yards in a 47-3 loss to the Ravens.

“I thought they’d start Josh Allen from the get-go,” NFL Network analyst Bill Billick said on Tiki and Tierney, “(but) as I was watching the Ravens defense (in the preseason), I said, ‘You know what? They may very well not start Josh Allen – because the last thing I want to do is expose a rookie to that defense.’ That could leave a mark.”

Instead, the Bills started Nathan Peterman, who finished 5-of-18 for 24 yards and two interceptions.

“How many examples do we need to see that this guy cannot play in the National Football League?” Billick asked. “Let him take the heat of what he was going to face in Baltimore. I’d be shocked if we didn’t see Josh Allen starting now going forward now that they’re past this onslaught of the Ravens defense. I am Mr. Advocate for starting rookies and playing them as much as you can, but I’m not sure I would have started Josh Allen against that defense.”

In the NFC, meanwhile, Tampa Bay stunned the Saints, 48-40, in New Orleans. Even more stunning? Ryan Fitzpatrick led the way, finishing with 417 passing yards and five touchdowns (four pass, one rush) as Jameis Winston serves a three-game suspension.

“This one’s going to be interesting on a number of levels,” “Billick said. This road win by Tampa Bay, putting 48 on what should still be a pretty good Saints defense – (Fitzpatrick) could very well come back and continue to look good. We know he can get hot.”

Still, there’s a reason why Fitzpatrick, 35, has been a backup for much of his career.

“The problem with Fitzpatrick is over a 16-game schedule, you’re going to get it all,” Billick said. “You’re going to get the four-touchdown performances, you’re going to get the three-interception performances. That’s going to be the conundrum of Dirk Koetter. They believe in Jameis Winston, but given the way this thing’s going – they’re on a hot seat – if they continue to play this way offensively and Fitz-Magic continues to happen, I think he could make a real strong case of (letting Fitzpatrick play).”

If Fitzpatrick has an ugly game, then you insert Winston, Billick said. If not, “you just keep riding the hot horse.”

Billick also weighed in on the Browns, who, after tying the Steelers 21-21 on Sunday, are off to their best start since 2004. 

Yes, Cleveland hasn’t won its season-opener in more than a decade.

“Certainly better than a loss,” Billick said. “But when you’re 1-31-1 (as Hue Jackson is), I don’t know if that distinction is real big.”