Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Giants Prepare for Reeling Freeman


Who knows what to expect from Josh Freeman in his Vikings debut? Not this guy. Not because he’s been sitting for three weeks or because he’s being tossed into a new offense; but because Josh Freeman, to rather simplify matters, is an enigma. Freeman is a mentally fragile quarterback (and person) at the moment, much diminished in quality from the version last seen by the Giants on September 16, 2012.

On that day, Freeman completed 15 passes for 243 yards, including 29-yard and 41-yard touchdown passes to Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams respectively. He wasn’t hesitant to put his cannon-arm to use, burning the Giants with deep shots down the field. For all intents and purposes, the 2013 version of Freeman doesn’t seem equipped with the same gun slinger mentality. During his three starts for Tampa, Freeman’s 6.1 yards per pass attempt ranked him near the bottom of the league – yet he still managed to complete only 46% of his passes. Startlingly, his completion percentage dips to 42% when under NO PRESSURE (Pro Football Focus). He is gun shy, late with throws and overall struggling to read coverage. If the statistics above weren’t evidence enough, behold a pair of moving pictures:

Josh Freeman

Week 1 at New York Jets
GIF Credit: NFL Game Rewind

 

Josh Freeman

Week 2 vs. New Orleans
GIF Credit: NFL Game Rewind

Of course having Adrian Peterson in the backfield ups his stock substantially, but the level of talent in Minnesota’s wide receiver corps is a major step back from the size/speed he’s become accustomed to. Greg Jennings primarily works the inside of defenses at this stage of his career; Jerome Simpson, despite a trio of long receptions, is far from dependable on the outside; tight end Kyle Rudolph came to life last week, but he was a relative non-factor outside of the red zone for five weeks. The wild-card among their receivers is rookie Cordarrelle Patterson who is slowly working his way into enhanced snap count. He’s been more dynamic as a kick returner (105-yard TD return) than he has a receiver, but the bottom line is that Patterson is incredibly dangerous in space.

It will be interesting to see how Freeman handles the multiple required adjustments in his new setting. Nobody has ever doubted his talent as a thrower. Unfortunately, football is 90% mental and the other half is physical. And in this league, off-field struggles make you reprove yourself on it.

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Tags: Josh Freeman Minnesota Vikings New York Giants

  • Daniel Laxen

    In Freeman’s defense he had the 1st game of the season won. Then a horrible penalty call gave the Jets a chance at a FG…The Giants shouldn’t be favored (-3.5) vs. anyone at this point!…Schiano is no head coach, either. Look at his dreadful record at Rutgers and you’ll see what I mean. His record in the rough and tumble Big East is laughable at best! Then he drafts a QB this year to plant more of a seed in Freeman’s mind. He calls in Revis to “clear the air.”…Should Freeman light the Giants up ,as could very well happen, don’t say it was unexpected.

    • Adam Ganeles

      At this point nothing is unexpected. I’m sure he’ll throw some pretty balls, but a game manager role is ‘likely’ in the cards. Your points on the Giants laying points and Schiano failing to win with talent — won’t get an argument from me.

      • Daniel Laxen

        I don’t see the guy being a game manager here? Just my opinion…Think he goes out and connects with some deep throws to open the offense up like it was with former Packer #4 at the helm. Sure he’s got to limit INTs, but by hitting on some deep passes, something every other Viking QB since #4, he also clears the underneath stuff, and the beast that is AP…I expect this game to be a barn burner. Lots of points with 2 struggling defenses. The over nuked by the half…

        • Adam Ganeles

          My question is: who is he going deep to? Patterson and Wright and their fastest wideouts, and both have seen limited action. Jennings is not that guy anymore. Of course the PA could open opportunities for shot plays..

          Total is a higher than expected 47.5, so perhaps you’re onto something. We’ll find out soon enough.

          • Daniel Laxen

            I look for Simpson and Patterson to be the deep threats. I would have already moved to 3 WR sets more. Putting Jennings in the slot. This along with the threat of AP moves that safety. BOMBS AWAY! They try way too much 2 TE sets and Carlson is just terrible…Send Jennings across and follow him with Rudolph on the clear out…The 1 on 1 matchups would be there almost every time. Then there’s always the Rudolph safety valve. Might be unstoppable?…Eli has been under way too much pressure. Brandon Jacobs could find some running room this week? The secondary for the Vikings is in disarray, so he could well have his best game this season. The over for sure!

          • Adam Ganeles

            Patterson’s season snap count: 5, 6, 20, 13, 19. I agree he is extremely dangerous if Frazier actually puts him on the field. Simpson may very well burn the Jints, but he’s been an inefficient player throughout his strange career. Not a WR1 or WR2 on many other teams in this league.

          • Daniel Laxen

            Yeah, Simpson leads the team in receiving and everyone is all, “they have to play Patterson more!” The only problem is who do you bench for the reps? Simpson, leading the team in yards and receptions, or Jennings, the guy you just emptied the bank on? Most people don’t understand that though…The Vikings may well develop into a totally different animal with the addition of Freeman. Then again, like the Giants, poor offensive line play limits the entire offense…If, and I know it’s a big IF, the Vikings turn into a machine on offense the whole league could well be on notice with AP playing in the backfield?…We’ve all seen how fast things can change this season. The Chiefs may well be the only unbeaten team in the league half a year after the debacle that was 2012. We’ve also seen how a team gets hot entering the playoffs and run the table to get the crown…Seems like the Giants have done that very thing, huh?

  • Thomas

    As a Giant fan. This game makes me nervous. Giants defense can make QB’s look like Joe Montana. They made Foles look like a true blue NFL QB.

    • Adam Ganeles

      Every game should make you nervous… Foles is a solid QB though when given time.