Trevor Lawrence had a rough start to his NFL playoff career, with his turnover-heavy first half drawing comparisons to an infamous performance from a former Buffalo Bills quarterback.
By the end of the game, he was earning comparisons to one of the greatest games in Bills’ history.
The Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback threw three interceptions in the first quarter of his team’s Super Wild Card game against the Los Angeles Chargers on January 14 and added another in the second quarter. As ESPN’s Lindsey Thury noted, it was a mark no quarterback has hit since Buffalo’s Nathan Peterman in his rookie season in 2017.
“The last player to throw three interceptions in the first quarter of a game (regular or postseason) was Nathan Peterman in 2017, also against the Chargers, per @ESPNStatsInfo,” Thiry tweeted.
But while Peterman was pulled at halftime of his game, Lawrence stayed in and ended up pulling off one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history, erasing a 27-point deficit and leading his team to a 31-30 victory.
Buffalo Bills Quarterback Trends on Twitter
As Lawrence struggled and the Jaguars fell to a 27-0 deficit, Peterman’s name started trending on Twitter and many pointed out the similarities to what is considered one of the worst quarterback performances in recent memory. In his debut as an NFL starter in 2017, Peterman threw five interceptions in his first 14 attempts against the Chargers — all in the first half.
As Lawrence and the Jaguars fell into what seemed at the time to be an insurmountable hole against the Chargers on Saturday, many recalled Peterman’s infamous game.
“Trevor Lawrence going full Nathan Peterman was not something I foresaw happening in this game. You never go full Peterman,” one fan tweeted.
“Must be nice when Trevor Lawrence is doing his best Nathan Peterman impression against the Chargers,” another tweeted.
Lawrence Draws Different Buffalo Bills Comparison
The similarities between Lawrence and Peterman ended after the fourth interception from the Jaguars quarterback. He shook off the playoff jitters to lead the Jaguars on a seven-play, 47-yard drive late in the second quarter that he capped off with a touchdown pass to tight end Evan Engram.
The score cut the lead to 27-7, and the rally was on. Lawrence led the Jaguars to touchdown drives on each of their first three second-half possessions while the Jacksonville defense held tight. After forcing a Los Angeles punt late in the fourth quarter, Lawrence and the Jaguars drove into range for Riley Patterson to kick a 36-yard field goal as time expired, winning 31-30.
After the game, Lawrence said he had to shake off the rough start.
“I didn’t have a choice,” Lawrence said, via a report from Mark Long of The Associated Press. “If we’re going to win that game, digging ourselves a hole like that, you’ve got to score a lot of points. By doing that, your quarterback’s got to play well. So I clearly didn’t have much of a choice.
“These guys have sacrificed way too much for me to be the reason we lose an opportunity. That’s what I was thinking about. I know I’m going to make the plays. I’ve just got to get back on track. The guys around me made plays. It’s not just me.”
Lawrence’s fantastic finish ended up drawing comparisons to another, much happier moment for Bills fans. Jacksonville’s 27-point comeback was the third-largest in NFL playoff history, with the Bills holding the record with a 32-point comeback over the Houston Oilers in the 1992 season.