NFL Week Three First Half Takeaways: Josh Freeman is Done


Sep 22, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) is sacked by New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo (51) during the first quarter of a game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The first half of the noon games in week three of the NFL is full of revelations for a lot of teams.  Who stood out the most?

Eli Manning has lost control of the New York Giants offense

One can say this about the New York Giants.  When things go wrong, they go really wrong in a hurry.  After throwing seven interceptions in two weeks, it was hoped Eli Manning could get on track against the Carolina Panthers.  Instead he has been sacked six times in one half, three of them coming courtesy of defensive end Greg Hardy.  Carolina leads 17-0 at the half and Manning has just 37 yards passing.  Never mind the atrocious garbage heap that is the Giants run game (17 yards, 14 on a Manning scramble).  If there wasn’t panic after two weeks, that button is about to get hit big time.

Aaron Rodgers is still taking too many hits

The Green Bay Packers are leading their game in Cincinnati but not because of Aaron Rodgers.  That comes courtesy of four turnovers forced by the defense.  Rodgers has had his hands full with the Bengals defense.  He’s already been sacked three times and hit a number of others including an ugly shot he took trying to score on a scramble.  Given what the Packers have behind him if he goes down, they have to do whatever they can to get him better protected because at the rate they’re going one of those hits will seal the deal for his season.

 Josh Freeman failing in final chance for Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Meanwhile, the problem with Josh Freeman is that he’s lost whatever competitive edge he had.  After going over 4,000 yards last year, his ongoing feud with Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano seems to have take the life out him.  New England has held his offense to three points in the first half with him throwing for 124 yards, an interception and completing just 9 of 20 passes.  If TampaBay loses, and it seems they are headed that way, Freeman likely has played his last NFL down in a Buccaneers uniform.  Fans should expect to see rookie Mike Glennon next week, or even in the second half if the pitfall continues.

The New Orleans Saints have lost their running game

While not a glaring concern because they’re 2-0, New Orleans Saints fans have to wonder what happened to their running game.  In the first half against Arizona it hasn’t just been bad, it’s gone for -6 yards.  The Saints do lead the game 14-7 thanks to Drew Brees but this running problem is becoming acute.  Sean Payton likes to keep his offenses balanced.  With Mark Ingram going nowhere and Chris Ivory gone, this is a problem that doesn’t figure to go away anytime soon.