The quarterback changes aren’t stopping for the Minnesota Vikings, and after recovering from a concussion, it seems that Josh Freeman is in line for his second start this season on his new team, hopefully doing a lot better than on his very disappointing debut.
The Vikings are considering starting Christian Ponder if Freeman isn’t ready to go, but the case is pretty simple: Both quarterbacks have been pretty bad this season in the few chances they’ve gotten. However, the Ponder ‘body of work’ is a bit larger and therefor more disappointing: In four starts, the Vikings have lost all four games, including the most recent one against the Packers. He is completing 60.3% of his passes, but has thrown only two touchdowns to five interceptions, putting up a passer rating of 69.4.
Freeman? His only game so far in Minnesota resulted in a very weird decision by Leslie Frazier to simply pass and pass no matter what. Freeman ended up putting up the ball 53 times in the air, completing only 37.7% of his passes, including one interception, as the offense failed to score a single point. When you look back at what he’s done all season, which includes three games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you get worse numbers than Ponder: Completing only 42.9% of his passes, throwing two touchdown passes and four interceptions.
However, the Bucs situation is unique: You find it quite rare when a head coach and his quarterback have a falling out of that magnitude, which results in Freeman being pushed out of the franchise. In Minnesota, he really hasn’t been acquainted with the offensive system, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be playing.
The Vikings aren’t going to make the playoffs, but they aren’t going with Ponder in the future. After enough opportunities to prove he can make it in the NFL, he clearly can’t. Freeman has been up and down in his career, but he’s had more impressive moments than Ponder, and has more of an upside of making something happen this season, and keep a place on the team heading into next year.
While Frazier said he is still undecided about who will be starting on the Vikings’ next game and probably the rest of the season, Freeman seems to be the answer, even if it’s not a very promising one.