QB Josh Freeman - Free Agent
|6-2, 248||Born: 1-13-1988||College: Kansas State||Drafted: Round 1, pick 2009|
2015 Week 17 vs TEN (15 / 28 / 149 / 1 / 1 pass, 8 / 24 / 0 rush)
Expectations for Josh Freeman were as low as could be before Sunday's game, after playing in the Fall Experimental Football League earlier this year. But Freeman was surprisingly effective in Sunday's game, at least on a limited basis, but it was mostly on well-designed short passes. Freeman missed open receivers on countless occasions, though he did make a nice throw downfield to an open Coby Fleener for a 57-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, one that may have been the difference in the game. The rest of his throws resulted in just 3.4 yards per attempt. Freeman was able to convert seven first downs on 16 attempts, a decent conversion percentage which was partially a function of a horrific Tennessee defense and strong short-passing gameplan. Freeman's accuracy and pocket presence could still use some work, but he did show enough poise and mobility to potentially warrant another tryout somewhere next year.
2013 Week 1 vs NYJ (15 / 31 / 210 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / 0 / 0 rush)
Freeman turned in an another inconsistent performance against the Jets on opening weekend. At times, he looked in command of the offense, while making correct reads. However, he forced bad passes and often failed to communicate with receivers and lineman on several occasions. While backed up against their own endzone, Freeman received an unexpected snap as he was still making checks at the line of scrimmage. The ball bounced around in the back of the endzone before Freeman kicked it through the endzone for the safety. Despite only being sacked three times, Freeman was pressured often. The offensive line struggled mightily, especially left tackle Donald Penn. Freeman's lack of trust in the line became apparent on a zone blitz when the Jets brought both the corner and nickel corner from the left side. Freeman panicked, then immediately sailed the ball over the head of Vincent Jackson, who was running a skinny post, and into the waiting arms of Dawan Landry. Freeman did succeed at certain moments. Early in the game, he completed his lone touchdown pass to Mike Williams. Williams beat bump and run coverage down the left sideline and the offensive line allowed Freeman just enough time to sling a sidearm throw between a trailing corner and converging safety. Freeman's main target on the afternoon was Vincent Jackson. He targeted Jackson 13 times, including a hot route in which Jackson intelligently cut his route off after his man blitzed. Freeman hit Jackson on a 5 yard hitch which Jackson turned into a huge gain. Freeman again hit Jackson for a 40-yard gain when he made a double move on a post pattern in single coverage. Freeman's success depended heavily on the offensive line. When they picked up blitzers and gave him time to make his reads, Jackson and Williams broke free and made plays, but he was often hurried into erratic throws. Freeman had trouble rolling left, including a pass intended for Jackson that bounced five yards before the target. Freeman had issues with pretty much every type of throw, however. He sailed slants, overthrew sideline routes, and missed Martin on swing passes. The inability of the offensive line to keep the Jets from getting penetration hindered the entire offenses ability to gel from the get go.
2013 Week 2 vs NO (9 / 22 / 125 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 16 / 0 rush)
Raymond James Stadium was the setting for another Josh Freeman debacle. Severe weather delayed the game for about an hour and I'd bet Schiano and Freeman wish is was cancelled all together. Freeman again turned in an erratic performance with passes skipping in the dirt and sailing over receivers' heads. He threw a very costly interception in the second half. From a single back set, Freeman faked a stretch run and set up in the pocket to go through his reads. The Saints defense broke through the line and pressured Freeman which cause a mechanical error from Freeman. He threw from his back foot for Vincent Jackson running a deep cross over the middle, but the lack of zing on the ball allowed Malcom Jenkins to cut off the throw for an easy interception. Freeman's turnover problems didn't end there. Early in the third quarter, Freeman's internal clock failed to alert him he had been patting the ball in the pocket for a solid five seconds. As a result, Cameron Jordan eventually beat Donald Penn around the left end for the strip sack. Both turnovers killed somewhat promising drives. Freeman's body language and enthusiasm lacked any type of emotion. He seemed to have difficulty in checking plays at the line of scrimmage. Many of the audibles didn't pan out. Only completing 9 passes on the day, there wasn't much good about Freeman's day, but he did show a few flashes. The Buccaneers lined up in a Trips Right formation inside the Saints ten. At the snap, the two inside receivers both ran square outs to create traffic. It worked as Kevin Ogletree came free on a drag route towards the middle of the field because his defender got caught in the bunch up of Bucs' receivers. Freeman also showed the ability to create when the play breaks down. As he dropped back against man coverage, he noticed all defensive backs had their backs turned running with receivers and he took off straight up the gut for 13 yards before sliding safely for the first down. Overall, Freeman's struggle with accuracy and going through his progressions continue to plague him. However, in fairness, he did lead the Bucs down the field for a game winning drive. He hit Jackson twice for 18 yards and 22 yards to set up a go ahead field goal, which Rian Lindell ultimately shanked.
2013 Week 3 vs NE (19 / 41 / 236 / 0 / 1 pass, 1 / 4 / 0 rush)
Freeman delivered more of the same week 3 in Foxboro. Freeman appears hesitant to trust what he sees developing in front of him. Freeman is playing very conservative, like a guy afraid to make a mistake. Freeman turned in a dreadful 5.75 yards per pass attempt. Quarterbacks are coached to put the ball where only their guy can get it, whether that be on the back shoulder to avoid an inside corner, a low ball in the dirt to a sliding receiver, or a lob to a tall tight end like Jimmy Graham. Freeman has consistently placed his throws where nobody can catch it. Another week of sailed out routes and skipped comebacks fill Freeman's pass chart. He doesn't want to trust his reads and make throws with anticipation, instead he ends up just avoiding every player on the field all together with de facto throw aways. His lone turnover came on from under-center on a trips right formation. The Patriots were playing Cover 2 with straight man underneath. Vincent Jackson matched up with CB Talib from the slot. Freeman locked in on Jackson the entire way as he ran a 10-yard out route. Talib undercut the route as Jackson broke to the sideline for the easy pick. Freeman may have found a target to add to his weaponry in Eric Page. His nicest completion of the day came on a 30-yard gain to Page. From the shotgun in a twins right formation, Freeman lofted a floater to Page who had beat press man coverage down the sideline. Page then rumbled for yards after the catch. The Bucs' game plan seemed to be to pick on Pats' CB Dennard. They often threw away from Talib. On the first drive, Freeman placed a nice ball over the defensive backs reach, dropping into the hands of Mike Williams down the left side line. He also hit Williams on a slant from a quick 3-step drop. Freeman had some nice timing on a square in to Jackson on the first play of the third quarter as well. He recognized the Pats' were playing soft coverage and slung the ball into Jackson as soon as he broke inside. The receivers struggled for most of the day beating the press man-to-man coverage from the Patriots. Overall, Freeman played conservative throwing the ball away or throwing uncatchable passes when pressured. The Patriots' strategy worked well. They left their corners man-to-man with safety help over the top and basically kept everything infront of them all day, while allowing Wilfork to eat up the middle and the linebackers to make plays in the running game. Freeman didn't have an answer.
2013 Week 7 vs NYG (20 / 53 / 190 / 0 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
It didn't take long for the truth to become abundantly clear--Josh Freeman was not ready to play. Having just been signed 15 days ago and with a handful of practices with the first offense, Freeman had zero chemistry with his receivers, resulting in wildly inaccurate, often ludicrously high, overthrown passes. Even when he threw a good pass, bad things happened, such as with a Jerome Simpson drop on a 40-yard pass which would have been a touchdown. Freeman also caused his own problems with great frequency, such as when he threw an interception to safety Antrel Rolle early in the third quarter. On that play, tight end Kyle Rudolph was well covered on an intermediate route but Freeman heaved the ball in his general direction anyway to avoid taking the sack. The ball was overthrown and Rolle made a spectacular one-handed interception. It was a poor decision all the way around, because while Freeman might have been sacked, he would have lost minimal yards, still had a down to work with and, at worst, been forced to kick a field goal from a reasonable length. Instead he turned the ball over and was lucky the Giants offense couldn't convert it to any points. The gameplan didn't help Freeman's cause as the Vikings inexplicably abandoned the run with Adrian Peterson carrying the ball just five times in the second half (13 times total). To ask a new quarterback with just a handful of classes under his belt to throw 53 times is asking too much of almost any quarterback, much less a guy who hadn't thrown a ball in about a month. As icing on the cake the Vikings kept making horrible mistakes on special teams as well, fumbling two kicks away to the Giants and generally doing the offense and defense no favors in terms of field position. It's hard to know how much of the awfulness was because of Freeman and how much was Freeman not being placed in a situation where he could succeed.
2012 Week 1 vs CAR (16 / 24 / 138 / 1 / 0 pass, 7 / 13 / 0 rush)
Josh Freeman played the role of game manager against the Panthers on Sunday, but he managed it fantastically. From the off, Freeman was in control of his game; he knew exactly where to go with the football, was crisp in his play-action fakes and executed the offense to a tee. On his first drive, he completed seven of seven passes and did not put a foot wrong. Throwing mainly short to intermediate patterns like hitches and digs, Freeman consistently found his big targets Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, the running game proving a potent complement to his rhythmic passing. Freeman tossed a touchdown pass to Mike Williams on a post route in the red zone as his receiver ghosted behind the linebackers sucked up by the play fake. His second-half display was not as impressive, but the Bucs relied heavily on the ground game and Freeman was not asked to do much as long as the team led. Regardless, he had a terrific game and will be a serviceable back-up QB in fantasy leagues who will earn 15-20 points a week if he continues this kind of play.
2012 Week 2 vs NYG (15 / 28 / 243 / 2 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Josh Freeman started the day off with a big pass to Vincent Jackson that set the tone early for the first half. Freeman took advantage of 1 on 1 coverage and heaved a deep sideline pass to Jackson, who hauled it in for a big play early in the game. Freeman did overthrow Jackson minutes later however, missing him deep near the endzone for the potential touchdown. The duo finally connected on a deep touchdown as Freeman lofted a pass towards the pilon, with just enough air and accuracy to let the tall WR make a play on the ball. Freeman and Jackson also showed their new found chemistry/timing on a perfectly executed back shoulder fade for a first down. Freeman was not perfect on the day however and forced a pass over the middle of the field that was picked off by CB Webster. Freeman did not feel the pass rush well at times during the game and took some sacks as he was trying to make a play down the field. Freeman connected to WR Williams on a deep pass down the field as he chucked the ball 50 yards to his WR, who simply outleapt the NYG DB and make a big catch for his QB which displayed Freemans elite arm talent/strength. Freeman also had a big time throw on the sideline for a big gain but the catch was ruled incomplete as the receiver lost control of the ball as he went out of bounds. Freeman simply ran out of time towards the end of the game and had to chuck another wild pass in desperation late in the game that was easily picked off to seal the win for the Giants.
2012 Week 3 vs DAL (10 / 28 / 110 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)
Freeman was awful against the Cowboys in week 3. Outside of Tampa Bay's first drive, which resulted in a touchdown, the fourth-year signal caller was woefully inaccurate. Freeman locked in on one side of the field and held the ball much too long as he waited for his receivers to get open. In the event a receiver did find some room to work, Freeman rewarded their efforts by throwing the ball in places that they could not catch it. For example, in the third quarter Freeman had Vincent Jackson open 15 yards downfield on a crossing pattern but threw the ball three feet behind him. Even when Luke Stocker was wide open on a play-action play from the one yard line, Freeman nearly overthrew him. Just as alarming as Freeman's inaccuracy were his tunnel-vision to one side of the field and his tendency to hang on to the ball for far too long. The Cowboys pass-rush had very little trouble disrupting the pocket and kept Freeman on edge the entire game. While Josh Freeman has had good games in the past, he has clearly regressed and needs a lot of work if he is ever going to be a top-tier signal caller in the NFL.
2012 Week 4 vs WAS (24 / 39 / 299 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 8 / 0 rush)
The third-year quarterback had two different games on Sunday. In the first half, Freeman looked every bit of the erratic mess of a signal-caller he was in his forgettable 2011 season. The Buccaneers did a great job of keeping the pocket clean - Freeman only took one sack for a loss of six yards - yet Freeman looked skittish and indecisive in the first half. He threw behind Mike Williams, into the stomach of Doug Martin, and one of his passes intended for Vincent Jackson met the turf before any human hands touched it. Quite simply, Freeman was wild, inaccurate, and looked totally lost on a day in which the Redskins pass rush could not touch him. His only interception came in the second quarter. It was a tough call to determine if it was Freeman's or receiver Vincent Jackson's fault. Jackson, in man coverage against Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall, allowed Freeman's pass to be picked off easily. Freeman was a man reborn in the second half, beginning with a third-quarter deep ball to Mike Williams, who turned a sideline go route into a sixty-five yard gain. Williams' reception seemed to energize Freeman. Two plays later, with the Buccaneers inside the red zone, Freeman threw a pass to Vincent Jackson in double coverage and let his big-bodied receiver overpower the Washington secondary for his first touchdown pass of the game. Freeman found Jackson again on the Buccaneers' next offensive possession - their first in the fourth quarter - hitting Jackson in stride on an exquisite pass that landed right in the receiver's hands for a fifty yard gain. Again, Freeman's complete turnaround in the second half cannot be understated. He possessed incredible patience and field vision in letting plays develop, skills that were completely absent in an abysmal first half. Freeman's third most impressive pass of the day came in the Redskins' red zone, a tight throw between two defensive backs to Vincent Jackson for a twenty-two gain. Unfortunately, for Freeman and the Buccaneers, Jackson got tackled two yards short of the goal line. Regardless of his first half follies, Freeman proved to be a capable leader of the Buccaneers offense, orchestrating a comeback in which the Buccaneers were down fifteen at the half, and brought them to a one point lead with less than two minutes to spare. While it did not prove to be enough to stop the Redskins, Freeman did exhibit a certain amount of mental toughness and willingness to adjust to his circumstances, turning a potential blowout into a tight contest. He finished the day twenty-four of thirty-nine for two hundred and ninety-nine passing yards.
2012 Week 6 vs KC (15 / 26 / 328 / 3 / 1 pass, 3 / 5 / 0 rush)
Josh Freeman's stat line benefitted greatly from two outstanding plays by his receivers, and atrocious secondary play from the Chiefs. Freeman's first two drives were disastrous. On his first drive he overthrew Vincent Jackson by a good ten yards on a post route on the first drive and badly underthrew a short out. The underthrow cost him as Justin Houston made a nice play to pick off the pace and thwart the Buccaneers first scoring opportunity. The second drive ended with Freeman overshooting Jackson again, this time Jackson got a hand on the ball and is bounced through the arms of two Chiefs' defenders. The third drive consisted of just one play, an amazing one by Mike Williams. Freeman threw a deep ball to the left sideline into near perfect coverage. The defender looked to have an interception when Williams leapt over the defender's shoulder and stole the ball away. Incredibly he stayed on his feet and raced to the end zone for a 62 yard touchdown. Williams made another leaping catch later in the quarter for a 36 yard gain, on one of the few catchable balls Freeman threw over the remainder of the half. On the first drive of the second half, Freeman picked up 42 yards on a screen pass after Doug Martin made a great move in the open field and then hit Jackson wide open on a post route for a touchdown. Freeman was again fortunate in the 4th quarter when a deep pass was deflected and not picked off. Tiquan Underwood caught the deflection and ran downfield for the second 62 yard pass play of the day. Freeman would throw one more touchdown to Jackson, who made an excellent effort to get into the end zone after catching the ball inside the ten. It was probably Freeman's best throw of the day, between two defenders. The touchdown pass to Williams, bomb to Underwood, and screen pass to Martin accounted for 166 yards and a score and all had little to do with Freeman's performance. On the rest of the day he was 12/23 for 162 yards.
2012 Week 7 vs NO (24 / 42 / 420 / 3 / 0 pass, 2 / 9 / 0 rush)
Freeman had one of the most underwhelming 400 yard passing days a player could have at this level. He started off the day with a simple touchdown. After taking the ball from the center, Freeman hit Tiquan Underwood wide open underneath and he carried the ball into the endzone on a slant. The Saints were playing an off defense even though it was the first quarter and the Buccaneers were in the redzone. He followed that up with two bad plays however. Roman Harper thought he had intercepted Freeman when he forced a difficult throw over the middle in the first quarter. Freeman overshot his intended receiver running a crossing route and Harper looked to snatch the ball before it hit the ground. The play was called incomplete and the challenge from Tampa Bay resulted in a "stand" decision opposed to a "confirmed" which means there wasn't enough evidence to overturn the call even though it looked like an interception. Freeman was let off, because it was a bad throw on his part. He then should have been intercepted for the second time on the same drive when he threw a pass directly to Jonathan Vilma. Freeman was trying to throw a slant pass off of play-action so never saw Vilma step into the passing lane. Vilma tipped the ball in the air but dropped it as he tried to coral it. Another bad throw from Freeman. Because of Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams' size advantages over the Saints' cornerbacks, and their lack of a pass rush threat, Freeman was able to put up big numbers without really playing that well. His second touchdown of the day was almost as simple as his first. Vincent Jackson was matched up in single coverage with Patrick Robinson. Jackson shook Robinson before using his size and speed to run free towards the endzone. Freeman had a huge window to throw into and hit Jackson in stride. Freeman's biggest completion of the day was also his best throw of the game when he fit the ball into a very tight window between two Saints defenders. Vincent Jackson caught the ball, after bobbling it, and sprinted down the sideline when he was stopped just short by Malcolm Jenkins. Two late fourth quarter drives, including one nice touchdown pass to Dallas Clark, weren't enough to win the game.
2012 Week 8 vs MIN (19 / 36 / 262 / 3 / 0 pass, 3 / -1 / 0 rush)
While Freeman's fantasy output looks impressive, it was a very up-and-down performance against Minnesota. On the positive side, Freeman made a great pre-snap read at the goal line to target Mike Williams with a clear advantage in a 1-on-1 matchup for a touchdown. Freeman also led a tremendous 9-minute, 16 play drive when Tampa Bay was up by 13 points in the second half, killing any comeback hopes. On the downside, Freeman was largely inaccurate this week. He short-armed multiple passes to Vincent Jackson, which should have been easy completions with even moderate accuracy. Freeman also misfired on a pass into the turf, a Donovan McNabb-like throw, when targeting Mike Williams down the field. In addition, there were three batted passes at the line-of-scrimmage in the first half alone. Doug Martin's breakout game combined with Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams making big plays when the ball was in the air were the main contributors to Freeman's big day.
2012 Week 9 vs OAK (18 / 30 / 247 / 2 / 0 pass, 5 / 22 / 0 rush)
Even though Freeman threw for over 400 yards a few weeks ago, this performance was actually more impressive. He did have two notable bad plays. Very early in the game, Freeman fumbled the football when he failed to step up and away from a heavy pass rush in the pocket. The Raiders sent an overload blitz to one side, the quarterback should have been able to shift his weight to the side to escape it. He also should have been intercepted in the third quarter, when he overshot Mike Williams down the left sideline and Matt Giordano couldn't catch the ball because of the sun in his eyes. Outside of those two moments however, Freeman took excellent care of the football, showed good poise and made the right decisions all day long. His first big play came at the start of the second quarter when he unleashed a deep ball to Vincent Jackson. The ball may have slightly hung on Jackson, forcing him to come back, but it travelled a huge distance in the air and showed off very impressive arm strength from the quarterback. Many passers wouldn't have been able to make the play. After two runs, Freeman then finished off the drive with an accurate touchdown pass to an open Jackson in the endzone. Freeman finished the day with two touchdowns and both were relatively easy. His second pass went to an open Mike Williams in the corner of the endzone after a drive in the third quarter. Freeman did have a nervous moment late in the game when he fumbled the football on a handoff to LeGarrette Blount, but the Buccaneers managed to hold out for the victory.
2012 Week 10 vs SD (14 / 20 / 210 / 2 / 0 pass, 1 / 4 / 0 rush)
Freeman didn't post the massive stats he has been putting up with regularity, but he did play an efficient and mistake-free game. He completed 70% of his passes and averaged over ten yards per pass, and more importantly he didn't make any obvious mistakes. Freeman was only close to turning the ball over once (one a dual possession play where WR Vincent Jackson wrestled it away from the defender), and he ran the offense with a precision rarely seen from him the past two seasons. As usual, he did a very good job of eluding the pass rush. While he threw off of his back foot on a couple of occasions, he didn't float any passes up where there were defenders in the area. Neither of Freeman's touchdown passes were particularly difficult, but he made the correct reads nonetheless. The first was a short pass to TE Dallas Clark where Freeman ran a fake handoff to RB Doug Martin before finding the wide open Clark in the flat for the walk-in score. His other score was the eventual game-winner and was a simple crossing route over the middle to WR Tiquan Underwood for another untouched score. The Chargers never got any real pressure on Freeman, so he was afforded plenty of time to let plays develop and find the best read and not just the first one. That was apparently on his two longest passes in the air of the game. The first was a 54-yard bomb down the seam to WR Mike Williams on third and long where he got a perfect pocket to work in. The next was a big pass play to his favorite target WR Vincent Jackson down to the 10-yard line. He did have another long pass play, but it didn't need to travel quite as far in the air - he stepped up in the pocket and found Martin on the short screen. The running back did the rest, racing down the right side for 42 yards. Perhaps Freeman's most impressive pass of the game came late in the contest on a second down pass to Martin. There was pressure right in his face, but he took one step back and lobbed a perfect floater over everyone to Martin in the flat for the first down.
2012 Week 11 vs CAR (25 / 46 / 248 / 3 / 2 pass, 5 / 27 / 0 rush)
Josh Freeman was harried and hassled by the Panthers' pass rush for the majority of this game, resulting in mistimed throws, poor reads and a couple of picks, including one that was returned for a touchdown. Freeman did a decent job standing up to pressure in the pocket, but it started to fluster him. As the pass rush bore down on him, he threw a pass up for grabs into the right flat that was picked off by Captain Munnerlyn and taken to the house. It was a poor decision on his part. Later in the game, a corner route intended for Vincent Jackson was thrown far too short of where it had to be, making it an easy read for the FS. Freeman more than made up for his errors, however. Facing a free rusher up the middle and in his grill, Freeman fired a pass to the back line of the end zone for his first touchdown pass to back-up TE Nate Byham. Freeman knew he would take the hit, but held strong anyway. His second touchdown was an amazing throw down the seam to Vincent Jackson in crunch time. The pass was so well-placed that there was nothing the three defenders in the vicinity could do to stop it. Freeman continued to click with his receivers as the game went into overtime, clearly in a groove. In the final act, Freeman found his TE Dallas Clark wide open at the front pylon of the end zone after the trailing LB fell down in coverage. It was a great performance by Freeman, who overcame a poor first half riddled with miscommunication and pressure to deliver in the final moments.
2012 Week 12 vs ATL (19 / 30 / 256 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
At times, Josh Freeman threw the ball well and moved his team up the field during this game, but there were many errant throws and mistakes that ultimately cost his team victory. In the third quarter, after hitting Jackson for their first connection of the day down the left sideline, Freeman completely missed him wide open in the endzone and didn't even throw the ball his way. Two plays later he did see Mike Williams wide open in the endzone, but drastically overthrew him and gave his receiver no chance at all of making the reception. In a one point loss, those two plays could have been the difference. After Julio Jones caught an 80 yard touchdown in the third quarter, Freeman tried to reply instantly with a deep pass to Vincent Jackson. Freeman underthrew him down the right sideline however and the Falcons' Asante Samuel dropped what should have been an easy interception. With his team down by a point, Freeman was nearly intercepted again in the fourth quarter on an underthrown pass to Tiquan Underwood over the middle. When under pressure, Freeman lofted a high pass to a receiver underneath that should have been intercepted again by Samuel. That play forced the Buccaneers to attempt a long field goal with three minutes left in the game, a field goal which was out of Connar Barth's range. Statistically Freeman didn't have a good day, but he should have had an even worse day if the Falcons' defensive backs had shown up at all with their ability to catch the football.
2012 Week 13 vs DEN (18 / 39 / 242 / 2 / 1 pass, 2 / 7 / 0 rush)
It was a tale of two halves for Freeman and the Buc's offense. After a quick three and out to start the game off, Freeman connected with Doug Martin on a screen on 3rd down for 26 yards to extend Tampa Bay's second drive. Two plays later, Freeman booted right before throwing back across the field to Luke Stocker for 11 yards. After an incompletion to Tiquan Underwood on a dump underneath, Freeman was forced to go short again to Williams for 2 yards on a crosser, settling for a FG on the drive. Freeman went right back to play action on the first play of the 3rd drive, throwing a 40-yard deep post to Williams. Still going heavy with play action, Freeman booted right again and found Dallas Clark on a corner route for an 11-yard TD. Starting deep in their own territory, Freeman continued to do a nice job spreading the ball around, hitting Stocker for eight before sneaking up the middle for two yards and a 1st down. Three plays later, again facing 3rd down, Freeman faked the quick screen before throwing to Vincent Jackson down the sideline (who had used the feign of blocking for the screen to get up field) for 18 yards. The throw was a little high, exposing Jackson to a blow from S Rahim Moore, but Jackson did a nice job completing the catch despite the hit. Freeman threw an INT three plays later, but the pick was called back due to a roughing the passer penalty. The drive ultimately stalled with three straight incompletions, but helped in keeping the Bronco offense off the field and taking a lead into halftime. Freeman could not continue the strong first half showing, however, as the Tampa offense had back-to-back three and outs. Freeman missed on his final four throws of the first half and first four of the second, with it finally coming to an end when Freeman hit Von Miller who returned the INT for a TD. It wasn't until Freeman's next throw that he found one of his own, a 12-yard out to Underwood. The struggles continued despite the completion as Freeman missed his five of his next six throws, with a 12-yard curl to Jackson the lone completion. After a screen to Martin picked up 16, Freeman nearly threw another INT to Champ Bailey. The throw sailed right into Bailey's body, but fell incomplete as Bailey failed to control the throw. Two more incompletions doomed the drive as the Bucs turned it over on downs. With the game at hand, the coverage softened a bit and Freeman was able to hit Jackson for 24 yards to open the next drive. After a sack and another incompletion, Freeman hit Clark for eight yards to get into FG range. Facing that same soft coverage on the Bucs' final drive, Freeman targeted Williams on four straight throws, connecting on the final three. After picking up 15 yards on an out, Freeman delivered a beautiful ball to Williams between the coverage down the sideline for 28 yards. The two would connect one more time as Freeman went right back to Williams on the quick slant for the five-yard TD. After looking very comfortable early, Freeman lacked the same confidence in the 2nd half. His throws were off target, often nowhere near his intended receiver, as a three-point lead quickly became an 18-point deficit.
2012 Week 14 vs PHI (14 / 34 / 189 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / 13 / 0 rush)
Freeman did more to hinder Tampa Bay's chances to beat Philadelphia than win the game. He led the offense to just 45 total yards on their first 29 plays and finished the first half 5/16 for 61 yards. Freeman could have been responsible for four turnovers in the first half alone. Freeman and Martin fumbled a handoff exchange, which Tampa Bay was fortunate to recover in the first quarter. On three occasions, Freeman made bad decisions that could have easily been interceptions. He also missed Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams on passes that would have led to potential scoring drives. Even into the third quarter, Freeman and the passing game struggled. At one point, they were one-for-nine on third downs with eight punts. Freeman came to life after a muffed punt by Philadelphia that staked Tampa Bay in the red zone. Freeman converted that opportunity into an easy touchdown to Mike Williams. Doug Martin was the sustaining force for Tampa Bay in the second half as Freeman still contributed misfires to Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams. After a hot start to the season, this was Freeman's second straight game with a less than 50% completion rate and third time this year with less than 200 passing yards. The Saints present a great matchup for the Buccaneers next week.
2012 Week 15 vs NO (26 / 47 / 279 / 0 / 4 pass, 2 / 8 / 0 rush)
Like Brees, Freeman appeared to have a favorable matchup, but his results could have been further from Brees'. Of Tampa's first seven drives, four were four plays or less and ended in punts. Somehow the other three managed to be worse, however, as they ended in Freeman INTs. After opening with a three and out, Freeman appeared to find some sort of groove on the 2nd drive. Freeman hit D.J. Ware on 3rd down for 23 yards, taking advantage of the LB coverage. After a short toss to Dallas Clark underneath for four yards, Freeman threw a perfect back shoulder throw to Mike Williams for 24 yards. The success was short-lived, however, as Freeman targeted Clark again on a shorter route, but was way off target. The coverage wasn't great, but the throw was worse and it was easily picked off. After another three and out, Freeman just missed a TD on his next throw the following drive. Williams put a nice double move on the corner and was well behind the coverage, but Freeman badly overthrew him. The following play was even more disastrous, as miscommunication between Freeman and Vincent Jackson led to another INT. It appeared Freeman expected Jackson to break his route into a deep post while Jackson continued up the seam. Again, the throw was well off and easily intercepted. Frazzled from the INTs, Freeman never recovered as the offense sputtered under the shaken QB with consecutive punts. With a mounting deficit and snowballing pressure, Freeman began to press. Getting possession right out of halftime and appearing to get some momentum after a successful fake punt, Freeman pressed a bit too much. With two tremendously athletic WRs on the outside, Freeman chose to target his TE deep down the field. The ball was not only underthrown, but to TE who has never been known for his athleticism. The ball was easily intercepted, squashing any potential momentum gained from the fake punt. Rattled and with no threat from the running game because of the scoreboard, Freeman and the passing offense had nowhere to hide. Freeman was able to dink and dump down the New Orleans' 25-yard line, but drive ended after an incompletion on 4th down. Freeman finally connected with Jackson on the following drive, but it was late in the 3rd quarter and the game was well at hand. Another drive deep into Saints' territory, with four connections to Jackson ended with another incompletion on 4th down. Two more drives, but both just as disappointing. After getting back into Saints' territory for a 3rd consecutive drive, Freeman threw up a prayer into the end zone and Jabari Greer posted his 2nd INT. Freeman got one more chance to get Tampa Bay on the board, but was stripped at midfield to end his day. An abhorrent day, Freeman turned the ball over five times and even more damning, put zero points on the board. Freeman really struggled with his accuracy and when it was on target, it was often to the Saints' defense.
2012 Week 16 vs STL (30 / 54 / 372 / 1 / 4 pass, 4 / 18 / 0 rush)
About as dismal of a day as Josh Freeman could have, as the quarterback was unable to do much of anything beyond deep throws to no one. His high yardage total was the result of a game plan that got away from the run as St. Louis pulled away, and St. Louis only pulled away because of the turnovers by Freeman. The first drive of the game was one of the most successful for Tampa Bay, as Freeman had enough time to stand tall in the pocket and deliver short balls to open targets. But the drive fell apart in the red zone as St. Louis began to generate a lot of pressure on the quarterback, collapsing the pocket and sacking Freeman. From then on, St. Louis had incredible success destroying the Tampa Bay pocket, forcing Freeman in to poor decisions and inaccurate throws. When Freeman had time, he often chose to bomb the ball downfield to Mike Williams or Vincent Jackson, and only rarely was Freeman able to put the ball in a catchable location. In fact, Freeman's long touchdown pass of 61 yards came on a broken play as opposed to a long route. Flushed out of the collapsing pocket yet again, Freeman stepped up and delivered a good throw to a wide open Mike Williams, who had broken off his curl route and ran across the middle to space. Williams caught this medium-length pass and did the rest of the working, sprinting his way down field for the score. That was the most successful of Freeman's throws to Williams, as the quarterback targeted the receiver over and over again, and on two separate occasions that decision heavily cost Tampa. On one play in the 2nd quarter, Freeman threw a timed curl route to Williams on the left side. Freeman released the ball before Williams made his break, and the receiver ended up falling down in the process of turning. This allowed Janoris Jenkins to catch the uncontested ball and run for a pick-six. In the 3rd quarter, Williams was covered on a slant route and Freeman threw the ball in a location where the receiver could make an aggressive play, but Williams put almost no effort in to fighting for the ball. This allowed the corner to just push Williams out of the way and catch the ball for Freeman's 3rd interception. Though the 1st and 3rd interceptions could be placed on Williams, the 2nd interception rested solely on Freeman's shoulders. In the 2nd quarter, Freeman locked on to Jackson in the middle of the field and threw it to him even though Jackson was triple covered. With all the traffic, the ball had no chance of completion and the defense was able to pick it off easily. Freeman's 4th interception was more of a good defensive play, as Freeman's pass was tipped at the line and the defender was able to get under the ball to record the final pick of the game. Freeman was able to make some nice throws when given both time and an open man, but more often than not Freeman was under heavy duress, forcing the quarterback in to sailing balls over the heads of just about everyone.
2012 Week 17 vs ATL (19 / 35 / 222 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)
In what was a very competitive game between divisional rivals, it was a tale of two halves for Josh Freeman. He missed Vincent Jackson by underthrowing a deep route early, but his 11-for-14, 128 yards, and a touchdown through a quarter and a half was efficient enough to build a lead. His touchdown pass early was his best throw of the game. On third down in the red zone, Freeman spun away from pressure and fired a dart to Mike Williams in the back of the end zone. For all the times that Freeman looks to be thinking too much as a play develops, he was playing street ball there and showed that Ben Roethlisberger-type playmaking ability. In addition to leaning on the run game in the second half, Freeman let Atlanta back in the game on numerous occasions down the stretch. With a chance to go up by three scores, Freeman missed Mike Williams on an easy crossing route high and behind him to pick up a third-and-long. That led to a field goal instead of a possible touchdown drive, which likely would have slammed the door shut on the playoff-bound Falcons. Freeman stared down Tiquan Underwood on a hitch route, which Asante Samuel read like a book for the interception. Those are just a microcosm of Josh Freeman's season: inconsistent from play-to-play that leads to keeping opponents in the game and even fueling a comeback with mistakes. After a statistically-impressive first 10 games of the season, Freeman had six touchdowns and 10 interceptions over the final six games, two of which were against Atlanta. Freeman's few solid throws and Doug Martin's impressive game on the ground were enough to beat Atlanta, who played their starters for the entire 60 minutes.
2011 Week 1 vs DET (28 / 43 / 259 / 1 / 1 pass, 4 / 26 / 0 rush)
Freeman struggled to move the ball against a very tough Detroit defense. In the first and third quarters, Freeman had just two completions for eight yards total. He also left the game briefly in the third quarter to have additional passing added to his ribs. Despite struggling for most of the game though, Freeman kept his team focused and he nearly led them back to tie the game in the fourth quarter. Freeman struggled to find the open man for most of the game and his receivers were frequently well covered. However, in the fourth quarter, Freeman was able to settle down and keep his team focused. His longest pass came at the start of the quarter, a 22 yard crossing route to Kellen Winslow. However, it wasn't until there was under two minutes to play that Freeman finally was able to get the ball into the end zone. On 4th and 3, Mike Williams ran a crossing route to the back of the end zone, and Freeman threw a pass high and to the back of the end zone. Williams made a great catch, and toe-tapped into the back of the end zone for the score. It was the only time the Bucs reached the end zone on offense. Freeman racked up a bunch of stats in garbage time late in the game, on short check-down passes and sideline routes as Tampa tried to tie the game. Unfortunately they fell a little short.
2011 Week 2 vs MIN (22 / 31 / 243 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 16 / 0 rush)
Coming into the game, seven of Freeman's 13 career wins had come on fourth quarter comebacks. This would be #8. Despite having just 39 total passing yards in the first half, and only two receptions by his top receivers Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn, Freeman led his team to victory after it looked like they were going to be blown out. Freeman maintained his composure and came out in the second half, spreading the ball around more and getting everyone involved. He completed passes to seven different receivers in the second half of the game, and the 25 yard TD pass to Benn with 6:45 to play marked his 15th straight game with a TD pass. The play came after a big 19 yard reception by Dezmon Briscoe and a 15 yard roughing the passer penalty tacked on to the end of it. Freeman faked to Blount and when the defense bit, he launched a perfect strike to Benn down the left side of the field, dropping it right into his hands in the end zone. It made up for the TD pass that he threw to Mike Williams earlier that was called back because Benn was flagged for an illegal shift. Freeman embodied the 'whatever it takes' attitude, dumping the ball over the middle to Earnest Graham or Preston Parker when the deep routes were covered, or even scrambling and diving head first for a 12 yard first down when the pass protection broke down. Freeman may not put up Brady-like fantasy numbers, but he keeps his team close and likes the pressure of the 4th quarter comeback.
2011 Week 3 vs ATL (22 / 32 / 180 / 0 / 2 pass, 10 / 35 / 1 rush)
Freeman is a mix of good leadership and poor decision making. While he makes some bad throws and poor decisions at very inopportune times he also has the tenacity to bounce back form it and lead his team. He started off the game by throwing a terrible interception into double coverage on a play where his intended receiver had almost zero chance of making a play. He cost his team at least 3 points on a drive that was set up by the Barber fumble recovery. Case in point on his 3rd drive of the game he badly missed a wide open Mike Williams but then he comes right back on the next play and hits him up the left seam for 16 yards and a first down. He has the ability to shake off mistakes and come right back to the same guy and create a first down. It's obvious he has the support of his team form the top to the bottom. Late in the 1st half Freeman drove the Bucs on their only touchdown drive of the day as he hit Earnest Graham on a little short pass but the touchdown was called back as Graham did not break the plane of the end zone. Very next play Freeman used hos 250 pound frame to take it in and give the Bucs a 10-3 lead before halftime. From a fantasy standpoint it was not a good day for Freeman who had his touchdown offset with 2 interceptions and his passing yards were well below the league average right now. Freeman was not pretty to watch on Sunday and he overthrew everyone throughout the game. The field conditions were wet but he practices in the rain in Florida all the time so this should not have been a problem for him. Give the Falcons defense some credit as they had a good game plan to take away his outside receivers.
2011 Week 4 vs IND (25 / 39 / 287 / 1 / 0 pass, 6 / 27 / 1 rush)
Early on the Bucs offense looked pretty bad and a continuation of what many of us saw in the Atlanta game a week ago. Freeman did wake up and actually found Arrelious Benn for a 62 yard strike and a touchdown late in the 1st quarter however Benn was ruled out of bounds and then came back in the field of play to be the first person to touch the football so it was called back. Then midway thru the 2nd quarter Freeman engineered a drive that ended with him running the football in from 1 yard out. The offense does not look smooth right now and Freeman discussed that in his post game interviews. Freeman is so talented though that even when he has an off night or his surrounding cast isn't keeping up with their end of the deal he can still find a lot of points for his owners. The Bucs offense did do plenty of damage in the 2nd quarter and they controlled the clock much of the way. In fact the Bucs offense from 8:30 minutes left in the 2nd quarter went on a 13 minute stretch overlapping to the 3rd quarter where they had the ball for over 11 minutes spanning 3 different drives. And the point of all that is even when they are not running smooth they still can be effective and it shows that they are going to get better. Penalties really hurt them early on and throughout the game as well. Freeman went on another long drive about midway thru the 3rd quarter to answer the touchdown by the Colts to tie the game 17-17. Freeman was hitting his targets, and he capped the drive with a 13 yard touchdown where he ht Parker on a short pass and then Parker did the rest. Josh didn't make any mistakes and that probably more than anything is why the Bucs are winning games; he doesn't throw a lot of interceptions and make stupid mistakes.
2011 Week 5 vs SF (17 / 33 / 187 / 0 / 2 pass, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)
For Freeman it was a game he would soon like to forget just like all the Buccaneers who didn't bother to get off the bus in this 48-3 blowout. Let's take a look at how Josh progressed throughout the game and eventually started making a lot of mistakes. Early on he had a hard time finding any receivers who were open down field so it wasn't all Freeman's fault. Freeman threw into double coverage multiple times and eventually that is going to catch up with him. He had a chance to cash in early but on 3rd and goal his receivers ran the wrong routes in the end zone and crisscrossed causing the incompletion. His 1st interception was all Carlos Rogers who was tailing on the outside WR but instead let Mike Williams go and sat on the Winslow out route at the last second and baited Freeman, then undercut the route for an easy interception which ended up going back as a pick 6 for the Niners. It was an outstanding play by Rogers. The 2nd interception was a ricochet off the hands of Michael Spurlock and into the hands of rookie DB Chris Culliver who played college ball at South Carolina and did a terrific job in coverage on all the Bucs receivers. Freeman threw 2 other passes that were much worse but those were not intercepted so he could have had 4 of them in the 1st half. The Niners must have watched a lot of film because they jumped all over the Bucs routes. Josh Freeman did not have good field position all day. All of the Bucs drives seemed to start deep in their own territory. An awful day for Freeman but his teammates didn't do a lot to help him out either.
2011 Week 6 vs NO (23 / 41 / 303 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 3 / 0 rush)
The Bucs are fortunate they won the game this weekend and at times Freeman looked better than he has in other games this season but the reality is he is still making a lot of mistakes and he is not making the same plays he did a year ago that had everyone thinking he was a future top10 QB in the NFL. That's not to say he won't eventually grow into that but he was off the mark early on this past weekend. The Bucs were fortunate to have a short field to work out of and Freeman ends up missing both pass attempts and the Bucs settled for 3 points when they should have taken it down into the end zone. Freeman was 2 for 5 for 16 yards in the 1st quarter early on. Later he went on a tear going 9 out of 10 for 132 yards and a touchdown. He found Arrelious Benn on a long touchdown pass but Benn was wide open and you would assume almost all starting NFL QBs could make that throw. The Bucs do not sustain drives and the reason they won the football game this weekend was not really due to Freeman but more about the fact they were able to run the football. After he helped engineer two TD drives, Freeman threw a terrible pass on a 3rd and 6 in the 2nd half and luckily the Bucs were able to salvage the drive and put 3 points on the board. Freeman was just over 50% completion rate on his passes for the day and largely he was off target although he is not being helped with a lot of separation by his receivers.
2011 Week 7 vs CHI (29 / 51 / 264 / 2 / 4 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Freeman showed little signs of life before the fourth quarter and couldn't get the team over the hump in the final minute despite a gutsy performance by a few of his receivers late. Freeman had four picks, although one was clearly Mike Williams fault for letting Chris Conte take the ball away from him. The other three came on a throw Freeman short-armed, a throw to a covered and unaware Kellen Winslow in the red zone that Brian Urlacher caught with an athletic leap, and the game-ender into good coverage by DJ Moore. Freeman was off early and seemed to especially have trouble on intermediate throws. He didn't have any deep shots to Arrelious Benn or Mike Williams, and Freeman never really made an impact as a scrambler or eluding the sometimes significant pressure from the Bears front four. He was most at ease in the two minute-drill in the first half and playing comeback football in the fourth quarter. Freeman had good timing with Mike Williams in the red zone on one TD drive capped by a nice short throw to Kellen Winslow. His other TD pass was a good patient throw to Dezmon Briscoe breaking open inside the five. Freeman held on to the ball too long at times and in general had inconsistent accuracy, field vision, and decision-making. He is only a backup fantasy QB in a season that Freeman carried high expectations into.
2011 Week 9 vs NO (27 / 37 / 281 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 8 / 0 rush)
Josh Freeman had to be very light on his feet in this game as he often had to slide away from the Saints relentless pressure. He did not get much help from his offensive tackles, who consistently got beaten on the edge. Freeman did an excellent job to keep his eyes down the field and find his receivers despite the rush. Freeman dinked and dunked down the field for the majority of the game as the Saints played some excellent coverage throughout. His lone touchdown pass came on a nicely designed red zone play. Freeman faked the run, then lofted a pass to the back of the end zone to his TE Kellen Winslow. There is an inconsistency in this Bucs offense that is hard to define right now. It makes Freeman hard to trust on a week to week basis.
2011 Week 10 vs HOU (15 / 33 / 170 / 1 / 3 pass, 3 / 25 / 0 rush)
Playing with a taped thumb that reportedly was affecting his throwing, Josh Freeman did not have his best day as a quarterback. His teammates, however, did not do a lot to help him out either. Freeman faced a lot of pressure and was sacked four times, though the sack total would have been more but for Freemans' mobility. When he did pull the ball down and run, he showed good decision making. But most of the game Freeman spent passing as the team didn't commit to the run and Tampa Bay fell behind. The Bucs faced a lot of man coverage and the receivers had difficulty getting open. Of the three interceptions, only one was fully Freeman's fault as he locked in on his receiver, allowing the corner to undercut him and make the pick. The other two interceptions came when a ball was dislodged by a hit, and when a poor throw by Freeman was tipped by a receiver. Though Freeman did not have a good game with a number of inaccurate throws, the results were a team effort, with frequent penalties making it difficult to keep drives alive.
2011 Week 11 vs GB (28 / 38 / 342 / 2 / 2 pass, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers throw the ball percentage wise more than any other team in the NFL. That has to do with Blount and Graham missing significant time but it should be a calling to owners that Freeman has not had any run support this season which makes things really tough for him to make things happen on the field. Freeman was 12 of 15 in the 1st half for 130 yards but then he threw an interception late in the 1st half trying to move Tampa Bay down the field after they fell behind 21-10. When the Bucs were down 14-0 Freeman did not panic and started hitting his 2nd and 3rd option in the passing game as Mike Williams was having trouble getting open. Freeman hung tough in this game and had the Bucs in a position to swipe this game from the Packers. He was finding the open receivers and he did a good job of keeping his top 3 targets active and getting the football often. His interception towards the end of the game was clearly the fault of Kellen Winslow. He also found Briscoe late to help his stats out but the Packers were ahead by 2 scores at the time. Freeman had one of his highest totals for yards and touchdowns on the season but the Packers were ahead most of the game.
2011 Week 12 vs TEN (18 / 33 / 199 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 10 / 0 rush)
Very rough start for Freeman and his receivers. Josh was not throwing interceptions but he was off target for much of the 1st half. His throws were always way in front or behind his targets. Also the Bucs' coaches specifically the offensive coordinator seemed content to call short routes for the receivers even on 3rd and long situations. He started to get rolling right before the half going 5 out of 6 for 29 yds and a TD to help the Bucs tie the game up 10-10. The 2nd half he was given a lead to nurde by his defense but he never was able to sustain drives and help the Bucs score points when they needed them the most. He threw a terrible interception to former Miami Hurricane Colin McCarthy down the middle of the field. His last play of the game was a 4th and inches after he got the Bucs moving and then he fumbled the ball trying to make extra yards and it was the end of the ballgame. Freeman looked terrible on the day and his coaching staff did little to help him.
2011 Week 14 vs JAX (16 / 30 / 181 / 0 / 2 pass, 4 / 26 / 1 rush)
Josh Freeman- Freeman was rusty at best, especially when it came to decision making. Early in the first quarter he telegraphed a throw over the middle and had the route jumped but the defender had the ball glance off his hands. He made a great throw on a bootleg to Kellen Winslow between 2 defenders for a 28 yard gain to put the Bucs in position for their first TD. He was definitely not in sync with his receiving corps, as evidenced by a back shoulder throw late in the quarter in which the receiver kept running. He did make an excellent decision in the 2nd quarter, recognizing an open lane and scampering 13 yards for a TD run straight up the middle. Freeman found Mike Williams on a deep cross off play action and looked to be starting to find a rhythm, but then everything fell apart. On the next drive he was sacked and fumbled the ball into the end zone for a Jags TD. Going into the 2 minute drill before the half he completed a couple of short passes before looking down the right sideline for Williams. It looked like Williams expected a back shoulder throw and instead the ball went straight into the DB's gut for his first pick of the day. Freeman's very next pas was also picked off, this one a poorly thrown dump to his running back that was well behind the back. Making an attempt to catch the ball, the back tipped the ball into the air and into the arms of diving Jags defender. Freeman completed just 2 more passes over the next 15 minutes, both well short of the marker on 3rd and long. 2nd INT comes on short pass thrown behind RB, tipped in air and nice diving catch made by LB. Finds Williams wide open across middle but well short of marker. By the time he actually got a drive going again the Bucs trailed by 21 points and the Jags had dropped into a prevent defense. Even then, Freeman was unable to lead them to a score. Freeman winced several times in pain with his shoulder that obviously affected him.
2011 Week 15 vs DAL (17 / 27 / 148 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 37 / 0 rush)
When Freeman took his first offensive snap of the third quarter, there was only 6 minutes and 32 seconds left, and his total production to that point was two completions for 14 yards. He opened the game with a nice 25 yard run where he was flushed out of the pocket and took off up the middle of the field. He added another eight yards on the next play in a similar manner but when he was tackled, the ball was chopped out and recovered by Dallas. Freeman struggled for the rest of the first half after that, under constant pressure from the Dallas defense and struggling to get anything going for the Bucs offensively. In the third quarter, when he finally had a chance, Freeman put together a solid drive and put up Tampa's only offensive points of the game. Freeman started the drive by being sacked, but went seven of nine on the drive, including two key third down completions to Kregg Lumpkin. He capped the drive with a quick crossing pass to Dezmon Briscoe, where he was able to run away from the defender and get into the end zone for the score. The Bucs went for two, and Freeman hit Winslow in the back of the end zone for a two point conversion. He finished the day with just 148 yards passing.
2011 Week 16 vs CAR (28 / 38 / 274 / 1 / 1 pass, 6 / 4 / 1 rush)
On a disappointing day for Tampa Bay, they can take some solace in the fact that Josh Freeman is still playing his heart out. He just isn't getting the same commitment from the rest of his offensive teammates. Freeman strung together a couple of very good drives in this game, including one that ended in a beautifully floated touchdown pass to Arrelious Benn. Freeman moved around well in the pocket and found his receivers with relative ease. He played very smart football, not forcing the football into tight windows or trying to be a hero. Freeman made an incredible individual play as he was being sacked, releasing the ball at the last second and completing it. Freeman reached the football over the goal line for a touchdown on a QB sneak late in the contest as well. His lone interception was probably one of the poorest decisions he made on the day as he fired it into tight coverage, had it tipped and land in the safety's hands. With an overhaul on the coaching staff and better execution, Freeman can be a top 12 QB next season.
2011 Week 17 vs ATL (31 / 45 / 274 / 2 / 3 pass, 3 / 14 / 0 rush)
His 1st pass attempt he was sacked on 3rd down. 2nd drive of the game he threw a terrible interception under thrown to his receiver. By the time he lines up for the 3rd drive of the game he was down 21-0 already. He then was stripped of the football to set the Falcons up inside Bucs' territory. The next drive with Atlanta ahead 28-0, Freeman threw the ball to the MLB for Atlanta who ran it back into the end zone to put the Falcons ahead 35-0. At that point Freeman was 2 out of 5 for 12 yds, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble lost, 2 sacks, and a scoreboard deficit with over 10 minutes left in the 2nd quarter of 35-0!!! Does that sum up his season pretty well and why the Bucs have lost 10 games in a row? Freeman would go on and dress up the score in the 2nd half, quite frankly I'm surprised the Bucs continued to play Freeman but there is likely to be a new regime soon and maybe a new coach can mold Freeman and bring him to the next level. Freeman managed to make his stats a little better in the 2nd half but when it counted he was terrible as was the entire football team.
2010 Week 1 vs CLE (17 / 28 / 182 / 2 / 1 pass, 2 / 34 / 0 rush)
Freeman came into the game recovering from a broken thumb. At times he looked confused but he has a couple of traits that serve him well. He is assertive on the field and his leadership skills are very obvious when watching the game. Cleveland's defense with Mangini and Ryan coaching them was suffocating Freeman and the offense early on. Certainly the Tampa defense forcing 3 turnovers helped Freeman out plenty but he also is working with a very young group of wide receivers. Freeman did try and get the ball downfield but was unable to hook up on the deep patterns for much of the game. Eventually he is going to complete some of those and that would have lifted his numbers to probably something in the 240-250 yard passing range. Cleveland's defense is not the NFL's best but it is well coached and Freeman did an admirable job of hanging in there and leading his team to victory. Unlike other young QBs around the league that might have veteran backups looming behind them, Freeman is really all Tampa has right now so even when he makes a mistake he is in no real position to be benched. He found Williams in the back of the end zone late in the 1st half and then went to his 3rd wideout later in the game to hurt the Browns and put the Bucs up for good 17-14. For a guy who was just coming off a broken thumb you had to like what he was doing. It's not always pretty but he is efficient. He also can get loose running the ball and is always a threat for 30-40 yards rushing which helps pad his stats. Overall it was a gutsy performance.
2010 Week 2 vs CAR (12 / 24 / 178 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 43 / 0 rush)
The quantum leap in Josh Freeman's play from last season to this was on show for everyone to see on Sunday in Charlotte. His decision making was the most impressive aspect of his performance. When faced with pressure, he would check down to his outlet receiver instead of risking a mistake downfield. When nothing was open downfield, he would simply throw the ball away to keep the drive alive and not hurt his team by forcing something that wasn't there. Freeman has the repertoire of passes to keep any defense honest, and although he was unable to connect on any deep passes, he often went to the rookie Mike Williams and Sammie Stroughter. The coverage was consistently good, but notably Freeman never put the ball in an area that the cornerback could reach. The protection that he was afforded allowed him to survey his options downfield and pick out passes. Even when he was blitzed by Carolina, he kept his poise and continued to complete passes accurately. The real threat from Freeman that can truly muddle defensive schemes is his willingness to use his feet to keep the play alive. On the Buccaneers first TD drive, Freeman scrambled for a 17 yard gain on 3rd and 11, making CB Richard Marshall miss as he ran down the right sideline. Freeman didn't stop there. He converted another 3rd and 11 in the 2nd quarter when he astutely noted the three man rush and eight men dropping back into zone. With no Panthers defenders within ten yards of him, he scrambled upfield in a hurry but cleverly decided to slide to avoid the hit. It was plays like these that capped off a brilliant day from the former Kansas State quarterback. Freeman's mobility and arm strength keep plays alive consistently, making the task of defending this very cool quarterback a difficult one. The chemistry he has with his receivers and the trust that this team and coaching staff have placed in him appears to be well founded. On Sunday we saw this young quarterback take another step in what promises to be a very good career.
2010 Week 3 vs PIT (20 / 31 / 184 / 0 / 1 pass, 6 / 15 / 0 rush)
It was a rough day for the Bucs but they had a chance early on to cash in on Pittsburgh mistakes. Freeman is a young QB still and learning the nuances of the NFL. He took the field to open the game deep in Pittsburgh territory but could not cash in. Was it due to Freeman or the play calling? It's debatable but on 2nd and 9 he found Mike Williams for 6 yards and set up a manageable 3rd and 3 but the play ended with a 2 yd completion to Storughter. On 3rd and 3 you need to go beyond the 1st down marker if you are a WR. Bucs settle for 3 points. Next drive, the Steelers were too good and Freeman was running around on 3rd and long. Freeman put together his best drive in the middle of the 1st quarter where he and the Bucs ate up over 8 and a half minutes on offense. Freeman was 3 of 5 for 40 yards on the drive but also scrambled some too. Bucs again had to settle for the FG but were still in the game 7-6 at that point. Freeman left the game briefly after being sacked on the next drive on a 1st and 20. Unfortunately the Bucs fumbled next play and by the time Freeman came back on the ensuing drive Tampa Bay had fallen behind 21-6. Freeman had some troubles with the exchange from center a couple times too. Freeman did not have time to set up in the pocket and throw the ball deep. Most of his passes were short unlike the first 2 weeks of the season. Freeman will have better days ahead but Sunday the Steelers defense was just too tough for him and his young wide receivers.
2010 Week 5 vs CIN (20 / 33 / 280 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 20 / 0 rush)
I am loving this kid. Every week he seems to show improvement and also has new wrinkles in his game. The stats speak for themselves but if you didn't watch this guy there are some interesting things you missed. One of the first things you notice is Freeman's size. He is 6 foot 6 and I made a note that he threw 2 blocks on defensive ends during the game. It caught up to him as he had to leave the game for a little while but how often do you find a QB throwing blocks for his RBs? Another thing Freeman excels in is play action. When the Bucs can get some running game established Freeman is a piece of art throwing the play action. He drilled a pass off play action to his TE early in the game that was beautiful. His offensive line needs work. At the end of the 1st quarter Freeman suffered 2 hits, 4 hurries, 1 sack, and 3 knockdowns. It's amazing he was able to stay in the game but he's tough as nails. When he was under pressure he did toss a floater for an interception but what you didn't read in the box score or a drive chart is that on that play he was bumped by Cadillac and he jarred football loose so Freeman was bobbling it right before he hit the panic button and floated the ball down for an interception. That makes a big difference in evaluating him. From a fantasy standpoint he is still a QB2 or bye week type but in dynasty I would want to own him because as his young WRs develop he will become a stronger and stronger play. He was making plays late too with his feet and had a key 1st down on a scramble for the Bucs. He had a great game all around and his leadership on the field shows.
2010 Week 6 vs NO (25 / 43 / 219 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 2 / 0 rush)
He struggled early and then he took a real cheap shot from New Orleans during the game that he didn't deserve. The dirty play happened in the 4th quarter when the game was well in hand and Freeman was scrambling and ran out of bounds. Malcolm Jenkins hit him late out of bounds but took a shot at Freeman's knee which was uncalled for. If you are going to take a shot on him hit him high, but of course Freeman is bigger than most middle linebackers around the league so Jenkins would never hit him there. As far as him throwing the ball it was not a good day. Freeman was 4 of 7 for 48 yards in the 1st quarter and then managed to throw 7 of 12 for 71 yards in the 2nd. The Bucs defense didn't do Freeman any favors but the fact is the Bucs struggled on offense all day.
2010 Week 7 vs STL (23 / 40 / 212 / 1 / 0 pass, 5 / 40 / 0 rush)
Freeman posted yet another gutsy comeback win in what is becoming a habit for the young QB. He never really got in rhythm with his offense, but he kept a strong Rams pass rush slightly at bay with good scrambling and gains as a runner outside of the pocket and lots of shot downfield into single coverage to keep the secondary from getting too aggressive. He faced a lot of pressure and also had a couple of early passes that should have been picked with disastrous results, but he also gutted out a first down on a 3rd and 16 run to keep a moral victory drive going to cut the halftime deficit to 11 and kept plugging away despite a lot of early offensive penalties on the Bucs. The game-winning drive included a fourth down conversion to Kellen Winslow and a mix of aspirational throws downfield and short, safe throws to keep the team in manageable down and distances. On the game-winner, Freeman used every bit of the field on a long rollout and calmly found Cadillac WIlliams, who had been following him across the field. His competitiveness and willingness to take risks to make plays is rubbing off on his team and Freeman has them currently one-half game out of first place. He is still a marginal fantasy QB, but that should change as he and his offensive teammates get more experience.
2010 Week 8 vs ARI (18 / 25 / 278 / 1 / 0 pass, 2 / 22 / 0 rush)
Another week, another come from behind fourth quarter victory for Josh Freeman. His deep ball arm strength and accuracy, scrambling ability, throws on the move, mental toughness, calm, and leadership all showed in the win. His timing and trust with Mike Williams makes it look like they have been playing together for years, and Freeman also got rookie Arrelious Benn involved with a deep ball that set up the game winning TD. Freeman also had a bad interception that was called back by a questionable pass interference penalty and he took a sack that made a late lead-padding field goal harder, endangering the win, but Freeman's mistakes are still indicative of his confidence in himself instead of the game being too big for him. Freeman is at least a strong backup fantasy QB, and if his weapons continue to get better, he could be a borderline starter for the stretch run.
2010 Week 9 vs ATL (11 / 22 / 189 / 2 / 2 pass, 4 / 26 / 0 rush)
Josh Freeman completed 11 of 22 for 189 yards and two touchdowns through the air and added 26 yards rushing on four attempts on the ground. Freeman connected with rookie WR Arrelious Benn from 14 yards out on a roll out to cut the Falcons lead to 14-7 for his first score, and right before the half hit WR Mike Williams on a slant that Williams took to the house for a 58 yard score. He also added 26 yards rushing on four attempts, but did throw two interceptions. This was more of what we've seen from Freeman so far this year. He helped bring the Buccaneers back from an early 14 point deficit, kept them in the game, and gave the club a shot to win it late in the game. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, they came up just short.
2010 Week 10 vs CAR (18 / 24 / 241 / 2 / 0 pass, 5 / 19 / 0 rush)
Josh Freeman continued to develop as an up and coming quarterback for the Buccaneers with another solid game. Freeman took what the defense gave him at times, but also forced the issue and showed confidence in his pass catchers throughout the game. He hit WR Arrelious Benn on a short out that Benn took to the house on his first scoring pass, and threw a frozen rope into double coverage to TE Kellen Winslow for his second score. Freeman did lose a fumble in the game, but his awareness in the pocket is getting better every week and because of his production and the team's success, his confidence can only be improving as well.
2010 Week 11 vs SF (13 / 20 / 136 / 2 / 0 pass, 5 / 15 / 0 rush)
Josh Freeman was a little off at the start of the game, but warmed up and found his groove throughout the game. He finished with two passing scores, including one to OL Donald Penn on a tackle eligible play, and his play in the pocket continued to show signs of improvement. Freeman is making good decisions with the football, taking chances at opportune times and making plays when he has to. He still has some inconsistent moments in the passing game, but that should improve with experience of both he and his receivers.
2010 Week 12 vs BAL (17 / 37 / 162 / 1 / 0 pass, 6 / 27 / 0 rush)
Freeman struggled to find his rhythm against the Ravens aggressive defense, but kept his poise enough to keep Tampa Bay in the game. While he wasn't sacked in the game, Baltimore pressured him in passing situations and forced Freeman to rush some throws that resulted in incompletions. On a number of plays, he had receivers open deep downfield but couldn't complete any of the big plays the Buccaneers needed. It wasn't all negative for Freeman though. He continued to show the leadership that he's displayed this year, made some plays converting first downs with his legs on rushing plays, and looked great in the hurry up offense late in the game. During the hurry up, he threw his only touchdown of the game and he looked poised and confident under pressure.
2010 Week 13 vs ATL (19 / 38 / 181 / 1 / 1 pass, 4 / 28 / 0 rush)
Freeman struggled to find his groove against the Falcons and completed just 19 of 38 attempts. He did throw for a score, as he connected with WR Mike Williams on a slant that resulted in six, and added 28 yards rushing. However, Freeman threw a late interception that ended any hopes Tampa Bay had in coming back against the Falcons, and had a few other passes that could have resulted in picks. While it wasn't his best game, outings like this can be expected from time to time given the youth of both Freeman and the Buccaneers team itself.
2010 Week 14 vs WAS (15 / 25 / 266 / 1 / 0 pass, 6 / 10 / 0 rush)
Gutsy and continues to show great leadership for such a young QB. Early on he was able to hang in there and keep his team in the game. The Bucs are having trouble on short yardage and they called for Freeman to hit Mike Williams on the slant on a 3rd and 1 about midway through the 1st quarter. Unfortunately the Redskins were waiting for that play and it ended incomplete. But it shows the faith the Bucs have in Freeman and he threw a good tight ball on the play just unable to convert. Several of the drives in the 1st half were 3 and out but Freeman had a great connection with Arrelious Benn where he took a quick drop, stepped up, pumped it once and launched a nice deep ball down the sideline and Ben did the rest getting it deep into Washington territory and setting up a FG before the half. In the 2nd half the duo hooked up again and almost scored but Freeman fumbled an exchange. He redeemed himself late in the game by finding Kellen Winslow Jr who worked his way behind the coverage and Freeman hit him in stride taking it into the end zone for what would be the winning score. Freeman might not be a fantasy impact QB yet but his WRs are both rookies and the development in his 2nd year is there. Go get this guy in dynasty before it is too late.
2010 Week 15 vs DET (21 / 32 / 251 / 1 / 0 pass, 5 / 29 / 0 rush)
Freeman had a productive and efficient game for the Bucs, as he completed 21 of 32 passes for 251 yards and a score and had zero turnovers. Freeman threw a strike to WR Mike Williams for his only touchdown of the game, but also had a touchdown pass to TE Kellen Winslow called back for penalty, so his day could have been more productive. Unfortunately for Freeman and Tampa Bay, he did not get a chance to win the game in overtime, as the Lions won the toss and took the ball right down the field for the winning field goal.
2010 Week 16 vs SEA (21 / 26 / 237 / 5 / 0 pass, 4 / 23 / 0 rush)
Freeman had a little trouble on the first two drives, as the Seahawks got to him a couple of times on his long dropbacks. Freeman learned from his mistakes though, and on the third drive got rid of the ball more quickly, and seemed to be throwing harder in general. The drive ended in a passing TD to an open Kellen Winslow in the end zone, foreshadowing Freeman's career day. When he had time in the pocket, Freeman displayed an impressive combination of accuracy and velocity on his throws. And he was willing to take a hit to make a play, as he did on the first TD to Mike Williams, who had a big cushion as he caught the ball inside the 5 and walked in easily. In the 2-minute drill of the first half, Freeman added a couple of big scrambles to his game, and has the good sense to get out of bounds to stop the clock, too. The most impressive part of his 5 TD game is that Freeman didn't rely on the same tricks; he kept finding new ways to beat the Seahawks - when they blitzed him, he took the hit and beat them, when his receivers were covered, he beat them on the ground, when they committed too hard to the run, he beat them with the play action. But in the end, much of the credit must go to the offensive line, as they gave him the time to be patient in the pocket and allow longer routes to develop. When he had the time, he usually found an open receiver. And while he did hit Winslow and Williams for two touchdowns each, at the same time Freeman managed to be very generous in spreading out the ball.
2010 Week 17 vs NO (21 / 26 / 255 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 11 / 0 rush)
Freeman continues to impress in games both big and little and has developed into a franchise quarterback for Tampa Bay. He has built a solid chemistry with his young wide receiver corps and the Bucs have become a very potent offense with some great potential. Freeman combined with one of his young group, Mike Williams, for a huge touchdown on fourth down late in the third quarter. On the play, the Bucs only needed a yard but Freeman dropped back to pass after faking a QB dive. He threw a lob pass high in the air, trusting that Williams' big size and leaping ability would allow him to go up over the smaller defensive player and make the catch, which he did. In a game both sides very much wanted to win, Freeman showed good poise and leadership and the will to get his team a big win.
2009 Week 7 vs NE (2 / 4 / 16 / 0 / 0 pass, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)
Freeman made his rookie debut in the fourth quarter, and had a big time pass rush to contend with. He made one nice completion, but also was sacked and hurried on the other two. He was called for delay of game penalty on a 4th down and 2. He also fumbled while scrambling. Overall, it wasn't much of an audition, and he reminded us he is a rookie. He did leave smiling though - happy to get the first one over with.
2009 Week 9 vs GB (14 / 31 / 205 / 3 / 1 pass, 4 / 20 / 0 rush)
Things didn't get off to a rousing start for Freeman. His first attempt was a poorly thrown swing pass that fell incomplete, and then when he eluded pressure on third down, he slid too early in the open field and didn't get the first down. Freeman threw his first NFL TD to Derrick Ward following an INT and started to settle down as the game went on. He didn't do much on throws from the pocket, but Freeman used tremendous escapability instincts in the pocket to extend plays. He kept his eyes downfield on the move and usually put great touch on his accurate passes on the move. Freeman also showed off his deep arm, effortlessly throwing the ball to the outer reaches of the defense, although he overthrew Michael Clayton on multiple deep targets, including one when he was wide open. Freeman's INT was a just a poor decision, throwing the ball into good coverage, but he continued to settle as the game went on, throwing a real nice TD on Kellen Winslow on an another extended play in the red zone, and then capping the Bucs comeback with a fourth-down TD to Sammie Stroughter in the corner of the end zone. Freeman showed a lot of fight, but also a calm demeanor and leadership. The Bucs have to be excited about their QB's auspicious debut.
2009 Week 10 vs MIA (16 / 28 / 196 / 1 / 1 pass, 7 / 36 / 0 rush)
Freeman was calm and collected under-center for the Buccaneers on Sunday. He completed passes out of both the shotgun and on 3 and 5 step drops. His best pass was a 33 yard touchdown pass to Maurice Stovall on a perfectly thrown high-arcing pass to the front left-pylon of the endzone. Freeman also showed plenty of velocity on passes outside of the hashmarks to Kellen Winslow and Michael Clayton. Freeman also made great gains on the ground, including a 14 yard run for a first down when the defense flushed him out of the pocket. Freeman also had 4 fumbles (2 caused by the defense).
2009 Week 11 vs NO (17 / 33 / 126 / 1 / 3 pass, 2 / 30 / 0 rush)
Freeman came out of the gate on fire, leading the Bucs on a 95-yard drive, and capping it with a veteran play where Freeman felt the pressure and escaped it, kept his eyes downfield, and perfectly dropped in a pass to Michael Clayton, who was camping out in the corner of the end zone. Freeman performed much better out of the shotgun than when he dropped back, and he also struggled with short touch passes, putting too much mustard on them, which caused his accuracy to become erratic. He led his receivers a little too much on multiple passes, leading to one of his three interceptions. The other two happened when Antonio Bryant slipped in a route, and on a deep ball in garbage time. Freeman lost another fumble, but it was mostly on Cadillac Williams for a missed blitz pickup. Freeman did show very good speed once again on two long first-down conversion runs, and he also once again did not go into a shell when he was running into trouble and facing more pressure in the second half. This was a learning experience game for Freeman, but one that will be another brick in the foundation of a good NFL QB in the making.
2009 Week 12 vs ATL (20 / 29 / 250 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / 14 / 0 rush)
It's hard to watch Freeman and not come away very impressed, in fact, it's hard to remember that he is a rookie. Freeman is harnessing the talent of the passcatchers on the Bucs roster, and keeping plays alive with outstanding pocket presence, escapability, and surprising speed for a big man. He does have an occasional errant toss, but it is almost always followed by a good one. Freeman is throwing the ball with good accuracy and touch, and he threw a long TD to Antonio Bryant by giving him a chance on a 50/50 ball. Surprisingly, the Bucs did not give Freeman a chance to drive for a game-clinching TD, instead running and settling for a missed FG attempt that would have opened up the lead to seven. Freeman deserves more trust from his NFL coaches and fantasy owners going forward.
2009 Week 13 vs CAR (23 / 44 / 321 / 0 / 5 pass, 3 / 30 / 0 rush)
Let's call this one a "learning experience". Freeman threw three end zone picks, and five picks overall in Panthers territory to short-circuit any chances the Bucs had of winning this one. He forced the ball into double coverage to Antonio Bryant twice in the end zone, and threw into perfect coverage when he got impatient on fourth and goal. His other two interceptions came on an overthrew and a well-covered route during the Bucs desperation drive. On the plus side, Freeman hit Antonio Bryant on three different sideline throws that just let Bryant's natural athleticism and ball skills take over. Freeman also played with his usuall bravado, keeping plays alive with good pocket presence, never sliding when he ran, and always looking to make big plays with his arm strength and field vision. His accuracy was spotty throughout the game, and he did overthrow an open Bryant in the end zone. This game showed that there is a lot to work with in Freeman's game, and his problems are mostly those of an impatient rookie QB. You should still be excited about his future in Tampa.
2009 Week 14 vs NYJ (14 / 33 / 93 / 0 / 3 pass, 4 / 21 / 0 rush)
Freeman had smoke coming out of his ears early on this one, throwing a pick, fumbling a snap, and taking a delay of game penalty that drew boos from the home crowd. He was overwhelmed by the Rex Ryan blitz scheme and seemed to be thinking more than playing, turning the aggressive QB we saw a few weeks ago into a tentative inept passer. He missed open receivers, threw to blanketed targets, got antsy under pressure, and just generally had a disaster of a day. Freeman showed us that he has a long way to come when he can't just improvise to beat a defense.
2009 Week 15 vs SEA (16 / 26 / 205 / 2 / 1 pass, 3 / 1 / 0 rush)
Freeman dealt with a lot of pass rush pressure all day. Early on, as a result, he tossed up a terrible pass that resulted in an interception. He did not have much luck throwing downfield for most of the day, and his two touchdown passes were both short passes to the flat that the running backs then took into the end zone. Freeman did a great job of shrugging off past mistakes and failed drives, and led the team well in that respect. He is still too unpredictable for fantasy purposes, but definitely showing signs of improved decision making and consistency.
2009 Week 16 vs NO (21 / 31 / 271 / 0 / 2 pass, 2 / 7 / 0 rush)
Freeman was calm and composed throughout and helped provide a good rudder for this never-say-die performance by the Bucs. His interceptions were both throws to Antonio Bryant. One was on Bryant, who stutter-stepped in his route, throwing off the timing. The other was a throw that Freeman short-armed under pressure, allowing an easy INT in the end zone that could have been an easy TD with more air under it. Otherwise, Freeman surveyed the field well and found open receivers with regularity. He showed off some different arm angles and escapability in the pocket, and he also gave talents like Bryant and Kellen Winslow chances to make plays with throws into small windows. Freeman did have a miscue when his 4th and short throw in the fourth quarter was batted down, but he was at his best on the Bucs one offensive TD drive with a bullet to Winslow to get into NO territory, and a nice throw on the run to Maurice Stovall to get inside the 25. Freeman's biggest play came in OT when he evaded the rush to get a key third-down around midfield. Freeman's evolution this year is an argument for QBs coming out early and playing early.
2009 Week 17 vs ATL (16 / 32 / 174 / 1 / 2 pass, 3 / -2 / 0 rush)
Freeman had yet another uneven game in a contest that typified his rookie season. Early on, Freeman had trouble getting the ball out of his hands on play action calls, taking too long to survey the defense, and he generally looked shaky in the pocket. The running game was doing him no favors, leaving the offense in 3rd-and-longs, but Freeman looked incapable of testing the defense downfield. In the second half, Freeman answered the bell with a nice drive in the late 3rd/early 4th quarter, spreading the ball around and moving the offense with ease. He was at it again in the fourth quarter, but threw an INT into triple coverage, and then another one when he threw inside on a deep ball into good man coverage by Brent Grimes on Antonio Bryant, who had outside position. Freeman showed off his escapability in the pocket due his athleticism, size, and strength during the game, even using an official as a de facto blocker on the run. His TD pass came on a fade to well-covered Bryant, but he rightfully trusted him to outfight the defender for the ball.