8:30 PM ET, October 21, 2013
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Back when Josh Freeman was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ starting quarterback he appeared to be safe after receiving a vote of confidence from his former coach two days before being benched.
However, not the starting QB for the Minnesota Vikings seems to be able to count on coach Leslie Frazier’s promises.
The 25 year-old Freeman was named the starter for the Vikings’ game away from home tonight versus the winless New York Giants, which comes less than two weeks after he signed with Minnesota.
Tampa Bay’s coach Greg Schiano publicly stated Sept. 23 that Freeman, who completed an NFL-low 45.7 percent of his passes with a dismal passer rating of 59.3 as the Bucs dropped their first three games, would be the team’s starting quarterback even with his difficulties.
However, Freeman was told soon after he would be benched and replaced by rookie Mike Glennon. He was granted his release Oct. 3 and signed a one-year contract with the Vikings (1-4) on Oct. 8.
The Missouri native now will be tasked with helping to improve a Minnesota offense that gained 290 yards in last week’s 35-10 home defeat versus the Carolina Panthers and has committed 12 turnovers on the NFL season.
Frazier is hoping Freeman can overcome this season’s problems and revert back to 2012’s form, when he threw for career highs of 4,065 yards and 27 touchdowns.
The QB also should have the benefit of having Adrian Peterson in the backfield. Peterson did not aatend Wednesday’s practice to attend the funeral of his 2-year-old son, but he said he plans to play this week after rushing for 62 yards on 10 carries versus the Panthers.
According to YouWager experts, the Giants (0-6) are off to their worst start since they lost a franchise-worst nine straight to open the 1976 season. Eli Manning finished 14 of 26 for 239 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in last Thursday’s 27-21 defeat versus the Chicago Bears, with one pick being returned for a touchdown.
The 32 year-old has thrown a league-worst 15 interceptions to match his total from all of last season, and his 64.0 passer rating is third-worst in the NFL — one spot ahead of Freeman.
Even when Manning will be facing a Vikings defense that ranks 29th against the pass allowing an average of 308.0 yards, the live football lines show that New York has committed a league-high 23 turnovers and have lost 11 of their last 14 games after missing 2012’s playoffs despite a 6-2 start.