Josh Freeman Will Struggle in Debut Performance with Minnesota Vikings

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IOctober 21, 2013

Oct 13, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman (12) sits on the sidelines in the game against the Carolina Panthers at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Panthers win 35-10. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Less than two weeks after signing with the Minnesota Vikings, veteran quarterback Josh Freeman will make his debut for the NFC North basement dwellers on Monday Night Football.

But despite a favorable matchup against the winless New York Giants, Freeman is sure to struggle as he attempts to juggle his new playbook, adapt to his new teammates and build up his confidence, which has taken a major hit after being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this month.

Sure, the Vikings are 0-0 with Freeman as the starter, but Minnesota is 1-4 overall and has failed to deliver in various aspects beyond the quarterback position. Therefore, tossing Freeman into the huddle doesn't guarantee Leslie Frazier's club will turn things around in Week 7.

On top of other issues plaguing the Vikings at the moment, including a suspect defense (31st in fewest yards allowed and 30th in fewest points allowed) and a banged-up Adrian Peterson, Freeman is playing the worst football of his young career, per ESPN Stats & Info on Twitter:

In three games with the Bucs this season, Freeman completed just 45.7 percent of his passes for 571 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. With a total quarterback rating of 26.8 and a passer rating of 59.3, the 25-year-old ranks lower than Vikings backup Christian Ponder and third-string quarterback Matt Cassel.

Both Ponder and Cassel have struggled immensely this season, and Freeman doesn't project to fare much better. 

It certainly doesn't help that he will make his debut on the road in prime time. Freeman will not only take the wheel that steers the league's 28th-ranked offense in terms of total yards per game, but he'll do so in a lose-lose situation in front of a national audience.

With the Giants coming in 0-6, anything less than a victory will be devastating for the Vikings and their new quarterback, who won't have a better shot at picking up a win the rest of the way. That level of added pressure will only cloud Freeman's thinking and get in his way on Monday night.

As a result, if the Vikings emerge with their second win of the season in Week 7, it won't be because of Freeman.


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