-- The Buffalo Bills have benched quarterback Tyrod Taylor, and Nathan Peterman will start on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, coach Sean McDermott said Wednesday.
Peterman, a rookie fifth-round pick, replaced Taylor with less than five minutes remaining in Sunday's 47-10 loss to the Saints. Taylor completed nine of 18 passes for 56 yards before being benched.
"We are in the playoff hunt, and we are always focused on becoming the best team possible," McDermott said. "We were made for better than 5-4."
Peterman went 7 of 19 for 79 yards and a touchdown over the final two drives for the Bills, who have lost two straight.
McDermott said he remains confident in Taylor, but he?decided to make the move to see if Peterman can make Buffalo a better team.
"I've been impressed with the maturity from Nathan Peterman," said McDermott, who on Monday maintained Taylor would continue to start. "I'm comfortable making a calculated risk to try and get us where we need to go."
The Bills, led by veteran offensive coordinator Rick Dennison in his first year with the team, rank 28th in yards per game (292.0) and 19th in points per game (18.9). Against a Saints defense that ranked 15th in yards allowed per game entering Sunday (326.6), there was a clear problem Sunday for Buffalo's offense.
Taylor's 56 passing yards and 33.6 passer rating were both the lowest in his 38-game career as Buffalo's starter. His career-worst outing came despite the Bills debut of wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, acquired in a trade last month, and the return of tight end Charles Clay from a month-long absence because of a knee injury.
Peterman led the Bills on a six-play, 75-yard drive ending in a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Nick O'Leary before the Saints ran out the clock to end the game.
"I thought he did some good things," McDermott said of Peterman after Sunday's game. "Moved the offense there. Obviously, got us into the end zone, so that was a positive."
Peterman was selected in the fifth round of the draft after splitting his college career at Pittsburgh and Tennessee.
ESPN's Mike Rodak contributed to this report.