As the Colt’s season slides into desperate disappointment, it has become blazingly apparent that a new quarterback is needed if any chance of reaching the playoffs next year is to be made real. After Andrew Luck made a solid start to the season, he succumbed to abdominal/kidney injuries in week 7. In his place was a seemingly overrun 40 year old Matt Hasselbeck, who performed inconsistently, made less yards, and threw less touchdowns than luck despite starting one game more than his fellow QB. Question marks had be raised time after time about Hasselbeck’s likelihood at finishing the season with a clean bill of health. It was finally confirmed that, after just 8 starts, Hasselbeck’s injuries had caught up with him too.
If the Colt’s season was a Hollywood film, what they would need right now is a hero who conquered all before him, single handedly saving the Colt’s dignity and leading them to a finish which would endear him in the hearts and minds of fans far and wide. 27 year old free agent Josh Freeman has a weight of expectation on his shoulders, it seems.
Having being drafted by the Tamba Bay Buccaneers in 2009, he spent the next 4 years as their starting quarterback, throwing brilliantly in 2010 and 2012, with average seasons in 2011 and 2013, both in his plays, and his yard gains. All in all he came up with distinctly above average pass completion rates time after time, After being released 3 games into the 2013 season, his career faded, with short contracts at the Dolphins and the Giants proving fruitless. 2013 was the last time he got a snap in the NFL.
While he is not as much of a renegade quarterback as others before him, his risky plays have let to a big number of interceptions, and questions constantly raised about the consistency of his snaps, and his state of fitness. Both interceptions and injuries have come in bulk over the course of his career, which have caused Miami and New York to lose patience with the Kansas State graduate.
Now, however, he has a shot at redemption. When the Colts need him the most, both parties will be desperate to make the opportunity count. Although the Colts sit 2nd in AFC South, with their playoff hopes all but extinguished at this point, Chuck Pagano may already be thinking about next season. Currently, the breakdown of their plays are not bringing them the success they need, as T.Y Hilton pointed out. The stats suggest he has a point: Kirk Cousins has thrown 26 touchdowns this season, (sitting #13 in passing touchdowns ranking) for 3990 passing yards, placing him #8 in the rankings for passing yards. Between them, Luck and Hasselbeck have thrown 3571 yards in passing, and landed 21 touchdowns. The relatively average ranking of Cousins despite what appears to be very laudable statistics surely underlines the patent failing of the Colts offense. But the matching of Freeman with big Frank Gore and lithe receiver T.Y Hilton may be a recipe for success if, as Hilton suggests, they can amend their offensive strategies in time for next season.
Freeman has the ability to be an incredibly smart player. It wasn’t by fluke that he brought 25 touchdowns, and just 6 interceptions, in 2010. He has a keen eagle eye,and a sniper for a right arm. His consistency is to be questioned, but with no choice, Pagano has thrown the dice. If it comes up snake eyes, it will epitomise the term ‘rejuvenation’ for both the ailing Colts, and their risky QB.