The Minnesota Vikings lost to the previously winless New York Giants using a unique formula of stupidity and poor play. With the best running back in the game in Adrian Peterson, Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave decided it would be better off to let Josh Freeman, signed off the street last week, throw the football 53 times.
It wasn’t as if the Vikings were trailing by a large margin that would necessitate the ball being thrown that many times as the Giants held a 10-7 lead going into halftime and the Giants offense struggled as it has all season long. However, Peterson was given just 13 carries.
Granted, Peterson only had 28 yards and his longest rush was for eight yards. However, Peterson is the Vikings’ best player and has the ability to score any time he touches the ball. Despite that fact, Musgrave kept calling passing plays. He called pass play after pass play and went entire series’ without allowing his best player to touch the football. That is inexcusable.
Freeman was dreadful from start to finish and the Vikings kept calling for pass plays. Freeman would end the night with a 37 percent completion percentage as only 20 of his 53 passes found their targets. He continuously overthrew his receivers and looked as bad, or worse, than he did with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
People can say that Freeman was just not on the same page with his receivers but he was missing wide open receivers and failing to make plays a man who has “professional football quarterback” on his resume should make.
Despite the struggles, Musgrave kept calling pass plays as if at any moment Freeman would find an open receiver for a score. That never happened. In fact, the Freeman-led Vikings failed to score one offensive touchdown against a team that had not allowed fewer than 27 points in a game this season. The Vikings weren’t even able to score a field goal as their only score came in the first quarter on an 86-yard punt return by Marcus Sherels.
This loss can’t fall on the shoulders of Josh Freeman despite his poor play. This loss falls squarely on the play-calling of Bill Musgrave and on the shoulders of Leslie Frazier who didn’t stop Musgrave from making asinine play call after asinine play call.
It is time the Vikings did the right thing and fire Musgrave immediately. Frazier is already on the hot seat and if the team can end the season on a high note he might save his job but he won’t be able to do that by allowing Musgrave to call the offensive plays.