The Future's Picks: Examining Freeman's 2009 Interceptions Part II

When last we left Freeman he was just starting his 5-interception game against the Panthers. We'll take a look at how that disastrous game happened, and a few more of his other interceptions. So far, the results have not been as bad as I would've expected: most of the picks to this point were due to receiver mistakes, and not as much due to bad decisions. Unfortunately, that's about to change.

 

#7: Week 13: @Carolina Panthers

Situation: Down 10-6, 1st and goal at the 4-yard line, 12:39 left in the 3rd quarter  

Personnel: 1WR, 2RB, 2TE

Play: The 2 tight ends stay in to drive block, Antonio Bryant releases on a pattern going inside, outside, back inside. Play action fake to Cadillac Williams, Freeman gets plenty of time and the pocket stays clean, then throws the ball to a double covered Antonio Bryant. Jon Beason had moved toward the line of scrimmage at the snap, but backed off a few steps when he recognized the play fake and jumps in front of the throw to pick it off. 

Analysis: Bad decision on several levels. First, Antonio Bryant was not open in the back of the endzone, but was covered by two players, one of which looked to jump the throw and get the pick had Beason not done so. Second, Freeman never saw Beason in coverage because his view was obscured by the mass of linemen in front of him. This ball should never have been thrown. 

 

#8: Week 13: @Carolina Panthers

Situation: Down 13-6, 1st and 10 at the Carolina 20-yard line, 4:25 left in the 3rd quarter

Personnel: 4WR, 1RB

Play: Wide receivers release on patterns, RB stays in to block but quickly leaks out as a checkdown option. Freeman has plenty of time and throws the ball to a well-covered Antonio Bryant, and Jon Beason says "thank you" and steps in front of the throw again. 

Analysis: The Panthers only sent a 4-man rush and played zone coverage, with Jon Beason having the deep middle of the field. He ends up being underneath Antonio Bryant, with a safety helping over the top. Antonio Bryant was never open and this was a really easy interception for Jon Beason. Again: terrible decision, this ball should never have been thrown. Freeman had a couple of receivers open underneath who he could've thrown to instead.

 

#9: Week 13: @Carolina Panthers

Situation: Down 13-6, 4th and Goal from the 3 yard line, 10:10 left in the 4th quarter

Personnel: 4WR, 1RB

Play: Freeman in the shotgun, RB and 4 receivers release on patterns, the pocket stays clean and Freeman has plenty of time but can't find anyone. As pressure on the pocket increases he lofts the ball high toward Stovall, but he was well-covered and the ball gets picked off. 

Analysis: While Stovall was covered on the play, no one else was open anywhere and there was no room to run the ball into the endzone. Giventhat it was 4th and goal, lofting it up and hoping your receiver can make a play is not a bad decision there. However, Freeman threw the ball relatively low and neglected to make it a jump-ball situation where Stovall would've had a better chance of coming down with it. 

 

#10: Week 13: @Carolina Panthers

Situation: Down 16-6, 1st and 10 from the Carolina 24, 0:29 left in the game. 

Personnel: 3WR, 1RB, 1TE

Play: RB stays in to block, everyone else releases on patterns. Freeman tries to fit the ball into a very window to Stovall on the sideline, but Chris Gamble comes up with the diving interception. 

Analysis: This wasn't such a bad decision, but the throw should've been better. Stovall had beaten Gamble, but Gamble still had an angle on the ball and managed to get to it. Still, in the final seconds of the game having to score a touchdown on the play, forcing the ball in there isn't that terrible. 

 

#11: Week 14: New York Jets

Situation: 0-0, 1st and 10 from the Bucs 31, 14:54 left in the first quarter.

Personnel: 2WR, 2RB, 1TE

Play: The receivers and tight end release on downfield routes, while the running backs leak out to create checkdown options. The pocket stays clean and Freeman has plenty of time to throw and tries to hit Antonio Bryant on a crossing route. Linebacker David Harris steps in front of the throw to pick it off. 

Analysis: Just a bad decision to throw. There was room to fit the ball into Antonio Bryant there, but David Harris was sitting underneath and could take a step back to easily intercept the ball. Freeman never saw the linebacker in coverage.

 

#12 Week 14: New York Jets

Situation: Down 19-3, 1st and 10 at the Jets 49-yard line, 9:14 left in the 4th quarter.

Personnel: 3WR, 1RB, 1TE

Play: Shotgun snap, TE and receivers release on routes, RB stays in to block. Pressure on Freeman but he has time to throw cleanly. He throws the ball to Brian Clark who is one on one with Darrelle Revis, but Revis jumps in front of the throw to pick it off. 

Analysis: Throwing the ball to Darrelle Revis is a bad decision, and he had good coverage on Clark. However, the decision to throw isn't all that bad as there was room for Clark to catch the ball had it been thrown better. Unfortunately Freeman threw the ball to Clark's outside shoulder where Revis had positioned himself; had it been thrown to Clark's inside shoulder instead it would likely have been completed.

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