Matthews: Josh Allen Or Nathan Peterman?


With inured veteran AJ McCarron likely temporarily out of the picture, who’ll start at quarterback for the Buffalo Bills in this season’s NFL opener September 9 at the Baltimore Ravens?

The case for Nathan Peterman

***He has more NFL experience than rookie Josh Allen – and some of it has been sort of good.

***He obviously has impressed head coach Sean McDermott, who infamously benched Tarod-formerly-Tyrod Taylor in favor of giving Peterman his first NFL start last Nov. 19 in a disastrous 54-24 road loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

***The Bills will start the season against four good-to-very good teams – at Baltimore, home against the Chargers Sept. 16 (a shot at redemption for Peterman after his five INTs in the first half last season?), at Minnesota Sept. 23 and at Green Bay Sept. 30. It would be asking a lot of Allen to begin his NFL career against that string of teams.

***The Bills need to find out if Peterman is good enough to be Allen’s long-term backup. Taking on the Ravens (Joe Flacco), Chargers (Philip Rivers), Vikings (Kirk Cousins) and Packers (Aaron Rodgers) would be a very tough test.

The case for Josh Allen

***We’ve seen enough of Allen in two pre-season games to recognize that he has better size and more raw talent than Peterman and McCarron. He runs better and throws the deep ball with more velocity. His accuracy – so far – has been better than advertised.

***He has shown decent poise in the pocket.

***The best-case scenario for Peterman and McCarron is NFL mediocrity at best. Allen has the much better upside and a chance to become really good.

***This isn’t high on McDermott’s priority list, but the majority of the team’s fan base probably wants to see Allen start immediately.

My thoughts on who should start Week 1:

If I thought the Bills were a playoff team, I’d want Allen to start Week 1 because I think if he got hot he’d give the Bills a better chance to win one or maybe even two of the first four games.

But – since I don’t believe Buffalo is a playoff-caliber team this season, I’d start Peterman or McCarron  for as long as they did a respectable job and let Allen watch and learn. When McDermott thinks Allen is ready, he’d be better prepared to play.

If McDermott thinks Allen is ready to start at the Ravens, I’d like to see it. If Peterman and/or McCarron both struggle in the first four games, I’d be disappointed if Allen were not starting Week 5 at home against Tennessee at the latest.

What do you think? We’ll be talking sports tonight 6 to 8 on News Radio WHAM 1180.


For two-thirds of this baseball season, New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres appeared to be a lock for American League Rookie of the Year.

A Yankees infielder figures to win the Award – but not Torres. He got hurt and has struggled since returning to the lineup. Third baseman Miguel Andujar has picked up the slack:

Torres – 86 games; .265 batting average (80-of-302); 40 runs; 12 doubles; 1 triple; 18 HRs; 53 RBI; 148 total bases; .8206 OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage).

Andujar – 113 games; .299 batting average (129-of-432); 63 runs; 36 doubles; 2 triples; 20 HRs; 65 RBI; 229 total bases; .860 OPS.

Andujar would be the 10th Yankees Rookie of the Year since the award began in 1947: Gil McDougald 1954...Bob Grim 1954...Tony Kubek 1957...Tom Tresh 1962...Stan Bahnsen 1968...Thurman Munson 1970...Dave Righetti 1981...Derek Jeter 1996...Aaron Judge 2017.


The American League’s Most Valuable Player probably will be a Boston Red Sox, but which one? Mookie Betts has been the favorite most of this season but teammate J.D. Martinez is closing fast. Betts rates an edge for being a Gold Glove in right field but Martinez, mostly a DH, would be tough to beat if he wins the MLB Triple Crown:

Betts -- .343 batting average (141-of-411), 27 HRs, 64 RBI, 1.082 OPS...105 games played

Martinez -- .331 (149-of-450), 38 HRs, 106 RBI, 1.064 OPS...113 games played.

Boston ace pitcher Chris Sale is back on the DL with another bout with shoulder inflammation. He’s probably already clinched the AL Cy Young Award (12-4 record, 1.97 ERA, 146 innings pitched, 91 hits allowed, 33 walks, 219 strikeouts, 0.85 WHIP and .175 opposing batting average), but if he remains sidelined, the other playoff teams would have a much better chance...Houston’s Justin Verlander won his 200th game and the Astros hit five HRs in a 9-4 road win Sunday at Oakland to regain sole possession of first place in the AL West. Verlander is a cinch future Hall of Famer...Javy Baez is the first Chicago Cubs player to have a 20-20 season (at least 20 HRS and 20 stolen bases) since Corey Patterson in 2004. He’s going to finish very high in NL MVP balloting...The Cleveland Indians will retire new Hall-of-Famer Jim Thome’s No. 25.

Tampa Bay beat Boston 2-0 on Sunday. The Rays are 5-11 versus Boston this season but six of those losses were by one run...Boston is 17-4 in its last 21 games...The Chicago Cubs have lost two straight games for the first time since July 27-28...Starlin Castro was a career-best 5-for-5 Sunday in Miami’s 12-1 win in Washington...Colorado is 30-16 since June 26 and all opponents had winning records at the time...The Mets beat Philadelphia 8-2 in the Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa., Sunday night. The Phillies are 4-7 in their last 11 games. Next year’s Little League Classic will be August 18, Cubs vs. Pirates...The Minnesota Twins hit 13 HRs in a 3-1 series win over Detroit. Stephen Gonsalves, 9-3, 2.96 ERA with the Red Wings this season, will make his MLB debut Monday night versus the White Sox.


The Rochester Red Wings lost 4-3 in 10 innings at Toledo on Sunday. They’re 56-68 (12 games under .500) and need to go 15-1 in their remaining 16 games to finish 71-69 and extend their International League-best streak to six straight winning seasons.

The Red Wings have only 4 remaining road games and 12 home games. That might not be a good thing. Rochester is an IL-worst 22-36 at home and a respectable 34-32 on the road.

Rochester continues to rank last in the 14-team IL in batting average (.227; No. 13 Charlotte is .245), runs (430), total bases (1,378; No. 1 Indianapolis has 1,745) and OPS (.650). The Red Wings have a second-best 3.43 ERA (No. 1 Pawtucket is 3.39).

Could the Red Wings have a player on the season-ending IL All-Star Team? Kennys Vargas has had a disappointing season overall but he’s hot right now, including 11-for-29 with 4 HRs on the just-concluded trip. His batting average is a mere .229 but his 19 HRs are tied for second and his 61 RBI are eighth in the IL. He’s also the only player among the leaders listed as a DH.


The Dallas (formerly Rochester) Rattlers had a Major League Lacrosse-best 11-3 record in the regular season but lost the championship game Saturday evening, 16-12, to the Denver Outlaws in Charlotte, S.C. It was the third title in the last five years for Denver (2014-2016-2018).

Dallas led 9-6 in the second quarter but was outscored 10-3 the rest of the game. Jordan Wolf and Randy Staats each had three goals for the Rattlers – all in the first half. John Galloway, named MLL Co-Goalie of the Year, took the loss. He was 9-1 in the regular season.

Bill Warder of the Rattlers was MLL Coach of the Year. The former Hobart star goalie was Tim Soudan’s assistant coach for seven seasons in Rochester.


Ron DeFrance died Sunday at age 82. He was the perfect host of the immensely popular “Bowling For Dollars”,“Jr. Funtime Bowling” and “Brighton-Panorama Roll-Offs” TV shows. He was always cheerful and smiling. He made everyone feel at ease. And it was genuine. He was TV play-by-by-play man for the NASL Lancers, a WORK-TV sports anchor/sports director for 14 years and a 2001 Frontier Field Walk of Fame inductee. Ron also was a passionate lover of horse racing and a sharp handicapper. RIP my friend.

The National Women’s Soccer League North Carolina Courage, until 2017 the Western New York Flash, defeated the Orlando Pride 3-0 Sunday before 7,606 fans at Sahlen’s Stadium at Wade Med Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. The Courage are 16-1-5 (wins-loss-draws) with two games remaining in the regular season. The Pride have outscored opponents 47-16 (+31). The next-best team has a +8 goal differential.

Former New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda will make his Red Wings debut Tuesday. He was 31-31 with the Yankees from 2014 through 2017. He’s coming off Tommy John surgery. He’ll be the 22nd different starting pitcher for the Wings this season.


Monday, August 20

Mitch Trubisky (24)...Danny Shelton (25)...Chris Drury (42)...Todd Helton (45)...Andy Denes (51)...Greg Jackson (52)...Duffy Waldorf (56)...Mark Langston (58)...Quinn Buckner (64)...Graig Nettles (74)...Don King (87). Amy Adams (44), Al Roker (64), Robert Plant (70) and Connie Chung (72)  are invited to the birthday party.

Tuesday, August 21

Mike Evans (25)...Usain Bolt (32)...Akili Smith (43)...John Wetteland (52)...Chris Burkett (56)...Jim McMahon (59)...Gary Hogeboom (60)...Mickey Schuler (62)...Archie Griffin (64)...Willie Lanier (73). Kenny Goers (80) is invited to the birthday party.


August 20

99 years ago (1919), Wichita Jobbers (Western League) outfielder Joe Wilhoit’s all-time pro baseball hitting streak ended at 69 games. He was 155-of-297 for a .515 batting average during the streak...80 years ago (1938), Lou Gehrig hit his record 23rd and final grand slam home run...70 years ago (1948), the Chicago Cardinals beat the College All-Stars 28-0 before 101,220 fans in the 15th Chicago All-Star Game...61 years ago (1957), Rochester’s Bob Keegan of the Chicago White Sox pitched a 6-0 no-hitter over the Washington Senators...36 years ago (1982), Don Lever became the first captain of the New Jersey Devils...27 years ago (1991), Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino became the NFL’s highest-paid player with a five-year, $25-million contract extension...18 years ago (2000),  Tiger Woods became the first golfer since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win three majors in a calendar year...7 years ago (2011), NBA player Kris Humphries married Kim Kardashian.

August 21

104 years ago (1914). Rochester’s Walter Hagen won the 20th U.S. Open...92 years ago (1926), White Sox Ted Lyons pitched a 6-0 no-hitter over the Red Sox in a 67-minute game at Fenway Park...71 years ago (1947), the Maynard Midgets of Williamsport, Pa., won the first Little League World Series...51 years ago (1967), Ken Harrelson became baseball’s first free agent...14 years ago (2004), Michael Phelps won his sixth gold medal of the Athens Olympics...10 years ago (2008), the United States beat Brazil 1-0 on an extra-time goal by Carli Lloyd to win the Olympic gold medal.


(selected by me...purely subjective)

August 20: Hello, Benjamin Harrison...Fabian Gottlieb von Benningshausen (discovered the continent of Antarctica; it was a big deal to him at the time)...Oliver Hazard Perry (U.S. naval hero in the War of 1812 Battler of Lake Erie)...Good-bye, William Booth (founder Salvation Army)...Phyllis Diller... Jerry Lewis.

 August 21: Hello, Bugsy Moran...Count Basie...Wilt Chamberlain...Good-bye: August 21, Elizabeth Bathory (world’s most prolific serial killer – not a deep list of candidates)...Leon Trotsky...Ernest Thayer (author “Casey At The Bat”).

Bob Matthews' Column

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