Bills not certain of starting QB after Matt Barkley beats Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- After Matt Barkley led the Buffalo Bills to an unexpected 41-10 win Sunday over the New York Jets, coach Sean McDermott did not commit to a starting quarterback when his team returns from its upcoming bye week.

"Give me some time here," McDermott said. "We'll reassess (Monday) when we get in (and) look at the film."

The Bills have time to decide on their next starting quarterback before they host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Nov. 25. Barkley started Sunday in place of injured rookie first-round pick Josh Allen (elbow) and veteran Derek Anderson (concussion), as well as over Nathan Peterman, who threw three interceptions in his Week 9 start.

A source told ESPN's Adam Schefter before Sunday's win that Allen is expected to be ready to return after the Bills' bye week from a sprained elbow he suffered Oct. 14. Allen had been pushing to play and felt ready to go against the Jets before the team opted to hold him out, according to the source.

The Bills, who improved Sunday to 3-7, entered the weekend with less than a 0.1 percent chance of making the postseason, according to ESPN's Football Power Index.

Barkley completed 15-of-25 passes Sunday for 232 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. His 117.4 passer rating was the highest of his career and the best for Buffalo since Tyrod Taylor posted a 126.0 rating in Week 3 of last season.

"I had seen him practice well," McDermott said. "The biggest thing I really appreciated about Matt is that he led the football team. He had good energy during the week. The look in his eye today was a good one. He brought good energy to our offense. He gave the receivers a chance to make plays on the ball and at the end of the day he took care of the football, which we haven't done to this point of late. When you take care of the football, you give yourself a chance to win."

Peterman and Anderson had combined for one touchdown and nine interceptions, including three returned for touchdowns, in the four games before Barkley started Sunday. The Bills scored a total of 33 points over those four games before scoring 31 by halftime Sunday.

The Bills' 313 yards and four offensive touchdowns in the first half against the Jets were their most since Doug Flutie led Buffalo to 332 first-half yards in a season-ending win in 2000.

Sunday was Barkley's first game since the 2016 finale, when he started his sixth and final game of that season for the Chicago Bears. The Bills signed Barkley on Oct. 31 after he was medically cleared from a knee injury that led to his release in September by the Cincinnati Bengals.

"I knew that I can play in this league," Barkley said. "To get back out there after two years, it was -- I don't want to be cliché by saying it was like riding a bike -- but I've done this for years. I feel like I was made to play football and tonight was just an example of doing what I was made to do."

Barkley completed a 47-yard pass to undrafted rookie wide receiver Robert Foster on the first play of the game and connected with Foster again in the third quarter for 43 yards on third-and-20. Barkley also completed a 7-yard touchdown pass to left tackle Dion Dawkins, who had reported as eligible on the play, in the second quarter.

Barkley did not know after the game if the performance would lead to him keeping the starting job.

"That's a question I don't have the answer to, nor the authority to answer, I think," he said. "I'll be ready to play. This QB situation seems fluctuating. In whatever way I can help this team, that's my goal."