Freeman Had An Eli-like Day

November 19th, 2012

Giants fans were ready to run Eli Manning out of town when he was a young quarterback — his head coach along with him — and it was often for performing a lot like Josh Freeman did yesterday minus the near-miracle victory.

Popcorn-munchingcoffee-slurpingfried-chicken-eatingoatmeal-lovingcircle-jerkingbeer-chugging Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports fame takes note of this in his must-read Monday Morning Quarterback column on, though King seems to not realize that Freeman was just fine for the first 10 minutes against the Panthers yesterday.  

King spoke to Freeman after the win in Carolina and tries to put the QB’s performance into perspective.

6. This Josh Freeman’s pretty good. The game Josh Freeman played in Carolina Sunday reminded me of a few Eli Manning games we’ve seen over the years. Stink it up for the first 50 minutes, dig a hole, then find a way to coolly get out of it. “We were way too sloppy for a long time,” Freeman said from the team bus to the airport after the game. “I was way too sloppy.” The Bucs made up 11 points?a field goal, a touchdown, a two-point conversion pass?in the last five minutes of regulation, then won it on a beautiful Freeman-to-Dallas Clark pass in overtime. The play of the day, though, was the 24-yard dart from Freeman to Vincent Jackson with 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter?with 280-pound defensive end Greg Hardy steaming in on a stunt in Freeman’s face, with two defenders buzzing around Jackson. “You don’t really have many options,” said Freeman, considering the pass rush and the clock and the need for a touchdown and not a field goal and the physicality of Jackson to fight off defenders to make the catch if he needs to. “You just gotta go. It was remarkable.” We forget Freeman is 24 years old. He’s six months younger than Ryan Tannehill. He’s with a new head coach, Greg Schiano; a new quarterback coach, Ron Turner; a new offensive coordinator, Mike Sullivan; with a new franchise receiver in Jackson and a new tight end in the rejuvenated Clark and a new franchise running back in Doug Martin. And here comes Freeman off a terrible 2011, playing the best football of his pro life. “What we’ve learned so far this year,” said Freeman, “is all that matters is battling. Games are 60 minutes, longer sometimes, and we knew we’ve got the players to make sure we can win in the end.” 

King goes on to look at some statistical babble on Freeman, and elightens the nation of Freeman’s greatness throwing deep and struggles throwing short.

Regardless, the Eli Manning analogy is interesting, given that Mike Sullivan was credited for helping Manning mature into the guy who won a Super Bowl last season. It’s comforting to Joe that Freeman’s wild day yesterday won’t faze the offensive coordinator.

13 Responses to “Freeman Had An Eli-like Day”

  1. Snook Says:

    Just read the column before I came here. “Statistical babble” is exactly right. Its like he complimented Freeman but then had to come up with some crap about how he’s got a long way to go still. No shiz, King. No one is saying he’s Manning or Brady but that comeback on Sunday was ridiculous.

    And has anyone else found it odd that the replays aren’t front and center on ESPN or NFL Network? If that was Cam Newton who engineered those comebacks, there’s be a half hour special on it.

    By the way, eat your hear out Cam.

    Freeman is 6 months younger than Tannehill? How’s that even possible???

  2. Ian's Gay Lisp & Ron's Drinking Problem Says:

    Peter King is a Toad

  3. Big Rob Says:

    Didn’t Tannehill go play baseball out of high school or something?

  4. Sneedy16 Says:

    Josh Freeman is young. He is younger than: Sam Bradford, Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, Matthew Stafford, and Jake Locker. He is just months older than: Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, and Blaine Gabbert. It’s just that he has been the league for a while so it seems like he is old.

  5. Gus Says:

    I thought that was Brandon Weedon that played baseball. What’s going on here?

  6. terry4505 Says:

    I am as guilty as anyone about my frustrations with Josh Freeman, but I continually try to remind myself how Jets fans feel about Mark Sanchez and Lions fans feel about Matt Stafford right now.

    Freeman was taken after both of them, and I would rather have #5 any day.

    Look at Matt Ryan’s performance yesterday. Look at how Eli has played the last month. Hell, even Aaron Rogers and his discount double check have sucked this year.

    Every team wants Tom Brady, the guy who goes out and throws for 300+ and 3 TDs every week, there just are not those guys. Every QB in the league is inconsistent in some way. Josh played his worst 3 quarters of the season yesterday (how many balls to Mike Williams were thrown to the ball boy on the sideline?) and yet somehow was able to manufacture those drives at the end of the game.

    I keep saying to myself, “Terry, he is young. He is going to make mistakes. But who in the league would you rather have leading this team?”

    Honest answer, and I know I am a homer, is not one person. I choose #5

  7. Brandon Says:

    Tannehill played WR for 3 years at Texas A+M and then switched to QB as a junior.

  8. Brandon Says:

    I’ve been comparing Freeman to Eli Manning for quite a while now. He’s similar in many ways

  9. Sergio Says:


    i am also feel that we are not getting any respect on the football/sports networks. I believe that they hate that we are so successful.

    On the nfl network, when the announcer was talking about our game, prior to the commerical, the other announcers said that he was on his own with explaining this game.

    Also, the game announcer screaming “panthers win” on the Clark TD

    Everyone wants us to suck and they can’t stand that we are so good.

  10. terry4505 Says:

    All of this talk got me thinking about where Freeman stands in the “Elite” QB discussion:

  11. Yossarian Says:

    Freeman has been playing great, but his short passing game does need work. This isn’t much of a revelation. His long passing game is as good as anyone in the NFL. But he is not as accurate as he needs to be on the 5-10 yard pass plays. I would add that the WRs are playing great football and exploiting their size advantage against DBs. Freeman has been threading the needle on a lot of throws and his WRs have been making plays. On some teams, the WRs don’t have the hands or the size to make those plays.

  12. terry4505 Says:

    Freeman is actually a lot like Joe Flacco. Not bad company that he is being compared to Eli Manning and Joe Flacco. He is clearly ahead of the development of Mark Sanchez and Matt Stafford (the two guys taken before him)

  13. princespanky Says:

    With all due respect I am starting to hate the comparisons.

    I hope Freeman plays like Josh Freeman. His style is different then any of those QB’s and I hope he can make a nice legacy for himself.

    We all know it will make a difference in the amount of rings passing through Tampa anytime soon.