Freeman back to pass in today's game against New Orleans. (nfl.com)
Tampa Bay finished their year 10-6 with a victory over the New Orleans Saints today. The Bucs made big progress, doubling their win total from last year. However, they struggled against good teams--with the exception of today's game, the Bucs were without victories against better than 500 teams and Josh's QB rating was an average 75 against such teams as opposed to over 100 against sub .500 teams. Like the Chiefs, the Bucs may be a little ahead of schedule, the results this year concealing deficits in the team. There is no doubt, though, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have found their quarterback.
For the Saints game, which TB won, Josh was 21/26 for 255 yards and two TDs. No INTs--he did lose a fumble in today's game. The season's totals are 291/474 for 3,451 yards. He threw 25 TD passes and 6 INTs. He also ran for 364 yards. He was sacked 28 times and lost 3 fumbles. His QB rating for the whole season was 95.9.
Josh's biggest improvement was in his interception numbers. In 16 games he had 12 fewer INTs then in last years campaign. He raised his QB rating from 59.8 to 95.9. It's clear that he worked at improving over the off season and, even without a lot of game work in the preseason, he was ready to play better this year.
The next step for Freeman and the Bucs is to be able to hang some defeats on some of the better teams. They can start with their own division that includes the Saints and Falcons, both playoff teams this year.