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Josh Freeman gamble costs free-falling Vikings in loss

The Minnesota Vikings made a bold organizational decision when they were sitting at 1-3. They decided to bet the rest of their season on Josh Freeman. That decision might wind up costing a lot of people their jobs.

On Monday night, during one of the worst prime time games in memory, the Vikings' offense didn't score a single point against the last-ranked scoring defense in the NFL. The New York Giants are back in the win column for the first time all season after a 23-7 victory.

The relief in New York will be significant, but the Giants showed nothing to indicate they will make a miraculous return to playoff contention. This game was more about the Vikings, Freeman and Minnesota's desperate search for a quarterback.

This was a game that Matt Cassel or Christian Ponder could have won. We believe they would have won. The Giants gave Minnesota numerous opportunities, but the Vikings' passing attack couldn't take advantage. Freeman routinely sailed passes, often missing by five yards or more. ESPN's Jon Gruden pointed out how limited the offense was, which isn't a surprising considering that Freeman joined the team just 13 days ago.

The Vikings had exactly five first downs heading into the fourth quarter, when they started to move the ball. Freeman entered the game completing 45 percent of his passes, which easily was the lowest mark in the NFL. He completed only 20 of 53 passes in this one for 37.7 percent, the lowest mark for any quarterback throwing 40 passes since Eli Manning in 2007.

We can't be sure who wanted to bring Freeman into Minnesota. It could have been the front office, ownership, the coaching staff or some combination of the group above. We don't know whether coach Leslie Frazier and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave's hands were tied when they chose Freeman to start this game.

We only know that the Vikings prioritized auditioning a quarterback over winning games this season.

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