Josh Freeman's Historically Awful Debut Was Made Worse By The Vikings' Disastrous Game Plan

Just two weeks after signing with the Vikings, Josh Freeman made his first start in what turned out to be a historically disastrous performance. But it might not have been so bad if the Vikings hadn’t decided to ignore one of the best weapons in the NFL, Adrian Peterson.

In the game, Freeman completed just 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.

How bad was it? Consider the following:

  • Freeman was just the fifth quarterback since 1960, and the first since 2007, to throw at least 50 passes and have less than 200 yards passing.
  • Freeman’s 37.7% completion percentage was the lowest for a quarterback with at least 40 attempts since Eli Manning went 18-53 (34.0%) in 2007.
  • Freeman overthrew his receivers 16 times. According to ESPN, that is the most by a quarterback in a single game since they began tracking the statistic eight seasons ago.
  • According to Elias (via ESPN), Freeman is just the second quarterback to have 30 incompletions in his debut with a team.
  • On a scale of 0-100, Freeman had a 6.1 Quarterback Rating (QBR).

That Freeman was bad was not surprising given just two weeks to learn the team’s offence. That Freeman was this bad just emphasised how terrible of a decision it was for the Vikings to rush Freeman into the starter’s role.

But even worse than the decision to start Freeman was the decision to make him the focal point of an offence that already has Adrian Peterson in the backfield. Peterson has struggled against the Giants, averaging just 61 yards per game in his three previous games against Big Blue and he gained just 28 yards in this game.

But when you have a young quarterback making his first start, maybe the Vikings should have given Peterson more than 13 rushing attempts, even if he was struggling.

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