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Mid-day talker: Element of surprise at QB for Vikings should include Freeman, other offensive mandates

Posted by: Michael Rand under Vikings Updated: October 30, 2013 - 12:56 PM

Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier declined to name his starting quarterback Wednesday even though he said he has a pretty good idea who it is going to be Sunday when the Vikings play at Dallas.

If he's counting on the element of surprise, we're guessing that you are laughing and the Cowboys aren't exactly threatened.

Matt Cassel has been ruled out. It’s between Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman. Frazier reiterated that Freeman has been cleared to play health-wise.

Since that’s the case, here is where we are: Assuming Freeman has had a chance to grasp the offense and practice enough – and that’s still an if since he missed time with concussion-like symptoms after the Giants disaster – he should be the starter for the rest of the season (as long as he stays healthy).

As a matter of fact, here are three things the Vikings need to commit to on offense for the rest of the year, even if this is a fan base that thinks Minnesota should be committed to tanking for a draft pick.

1 – Playing Freeman. We already know what Cassel can do, and he is not the long-term answer. He was a one-year stopgap in case Ponder was ineffective, but now that the team is out of contention it makes no sense to play him (even if it is not entirely fair to Cassel). Freeman is the only unknown commodity in purple (MBT fans remember, that ship has sailed off to San Francisco).

2 – Giving Adrian Peterson the [redacted] ball. The reigning MVP hasn’t topped 13 carries in any of his past three games. A tiny bit of that is a function of the Vikings falling behind, but the Giants game was always within two scores and the Packers game was close in the second half for a while as well. He is your best offensive weapon by far. Find less predictable ways to hand him the ball and let him go to work.

3 – Throwing the [redacted] ball to Cordarrelle Patterson, who was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after his 109-yard kickoff return TD against Green Bay. That was his second kickoff return TD in just seven games. He obviously has talent when he gets the ball in space. Even if he is not yet a polished route runner, this is the time to let him work out his kinks in game situations and reap the benefits of the skills he does have.

The best part about these notions if you are somehow a fan of losing is that 1 and 3 aren’t anti-tanking mandates. You either find out if Freeman is possibly your guy, or he is so hideous that he helps you draft a top QB. You live with mistakes Patterson makes in a lost season and hope it bears fruit in better times ahead. As for Peterson, it’s just common sense. Don’t waste the prime of one of the best RBs ever. This is entertainment and this is sports. Give him the ball.

Your thoughts, as always, in the comments.

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