Free-kicks are broken. If you've somehow scored "tons" of free-kicks, you are seriously in a minority. I have multiple saves showing that the total number of DFKs scored across all divisions and many countries and multiple seasons is around 1 per team per season on average. That's clearly broken.
In fact someone from SI even said they were broken in another thread, but that since the fault was due to the ball physics engine, it was too big a problem to fix in a patch and wouild need to wait til the next edition. I wasn't sure this was true, but apparently it was true. A shame.