Wednesday, October 16, 2013
QB Watch: Vikings' Cassel, Freeman
By Ben Goessling
A weekly analysis of the Minnesota Vikings' quarterback play:
Rewind: Matt Cassel didn't play terribly in the Vikings' 35-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers, but two interceptions marred his day and might have hindered his chances to hold off Josh Freeman for the starting job. He completed 32 of his 44 passes for 241 yards, but overshot Greg Jennings on both interceptions and was unable to complete anything longer than 23 yards as the Panthers put consistent pressure on him.
Fast-forward: The Vikings will have to decide who is going to start at quarterback on Monday night against the New York Giants, but it wouldn't be surprising for Freeman to get the call. Coach Leslie Frazier said he wanted to have the team's starting quarterback named by Wednesday, adding he didn't have any interest in keeping the Giants in the dark about the starter because the team's need to develop a game plan was more important. If Freeman is starting, the Vikings will need a lot of advance planning, and at 1-4, they might as well see what they have after signing the 25-year-old to a one-year, $2 million deal.
Freeman versus Giants: When Tampa Bay traveled to MetLife Stadium in Week 2 last season, Freeman completed 15 of his 28 passes for 243 yards, a pair of touchdowns and two interceptions. The Buccaneers were up 27-16 when Freeman threw his first interception in the third quarter, triggering a Giants comeback that eventually led to a 41-31 New York win. He hit Mike Williams on a 41-yard touchdown pass to tie the game with 2:08 left, but after the Giants scored a touchdown with 34 seconds left, Freeman was picked off on a pass over the middle at the Giants' 24, sealing New York's win.
Prediction: Freeman gets the call against the Giants, and gets off to a respectable start against their porous defense. He'll throw for around 225 yards, a pair of touchdowns and an interception.