Cassel's play, defeat might rush Freeman into duty

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 14, 2013 - 6:29 AM

Matt Cassel was 32-for-44, but the latest uninspiring loss ramped up the outcry for Leslie Frazier to pull the trigger on another QB switch.

hide

Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman looked at the video board to watch the team's 35-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Photo: McKenna Ewen, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Josh Freeman, you’re officially on the clock.

The “what-if” scenario involving the possibility of Matt Cassel continuing to win and play well is off the table after the Vikings’ 35-10 loss to the Panthers at Mall of America Field on Sunday.

“He has to play better, there’s no question about it,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “I want to go back and evaluate what Matt did in this ballgame and make a determination [on next week’s starter] as we go this week.”

With the Vikings 1-4 and having already benched Christian Ponder, all eyes now turn to Freeman, the former Buccaneers first-round pick who signed with the Vikings last Monday. But will he be ready to play when the Vikings travel to play the winless Giants in a “Monday Night Football” game?

“I’m not sure,” Frazier said. “We’ll take a look when we get with him this week and see where he is. We’ve done some things with him in this first week. We’ll see.”

Freeman’s strength is throwing the deep ball with zip and accuracy. That wasn’t Cassel’s strong suit on Sunday.

Although he completed 72.7 percent of his passes, he was only 1-for-4 with two interceptions on passes that traveled at least 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. His first attempt was a 25-yarder that sailed over Greg Jennings’ head and was intercepted by safety Mike Mitchell on the seventh play of the game. The Panthers turned that into a 7-0 lead.

“It just sailed on me,” said Cassel, who was hit as he threw. “We had pressure up the middle and I was trying to finish and I couldn’t do it.”

Cassel’s last pass that traveled at least 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage also overshot Jennings and was intercepted by Mitchell again. That one caused the Metrodome to begin emptying with 10 minutes, 43 seconds left. It also led to another touchdown and a 35-3 deficit.

“We got the coverage that we wanted on that one,” Cassel said. “It was just I tried to throw it a little bit higher and we didn’t connect on that one.”

Cassel, who also threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph with a minute left in the game, said he doesn’t know what to expect this week. Freeman declined to comment.

“I hope I am [the starter],” Cassel said. “I think that if this team is going to turn this around, I’d like to be the starter and compete and do all the things I can do. But at the same time, Coach makes the decisions. We’ll see.”

Of course, one has to wonder if a second change at quarterback will make a difference behind a line that gave up three more sacks and six hurries.

“[Matt] did what he could do,” Ponder said. “[Carolina] got some pressure in the backfield, and he was put in some situations that were tough. … He made some mistakes, but we’ll learn from the film. I know he’s a hard critic on himself.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - B. Colon 6:05 PM
Washington - T. Roark
Baltimore - U. Jimenez 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - B. McCarthy
Kansas City - Y. Ventura 6:05 PM
Cleveland - D. Salazar
Seattle - F. Hernandez 6:07 PM
Toronto - R. Dickey
Chicago WSox - S. Carroll 6:08 PM
Detroit - D. Price
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 6:10 PM
Miami - H. Alvarez
Pittsburgh - G. Cole 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Wood
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - J. Cueto
Tampa Bay - A. Cobb 6:10 PM
Boston - C. Buchholz
Houston - B. Oberholtzer 7:05 PM
Texas - N. Martinez
St. Louis - S. Miller 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
Arizona - A. Chafin 7:10 PM
Minnesota - K. Gibson
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
Chicago 27 FINAL
NY Jets 19
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Carolina 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Pittsburgh 6:00 PM
Columbus
Boston 6:30 PM
Montreal
Nashville 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Toronto
Detroit 7:30 PM
Chicago
San Jose 8:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Vancouver 9:30 PM
San Jose
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Time left for great deals

Bid thru Sept. 29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which struggling team is in the worst shape?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close