Josh Freeman's quiet improvement

Tampa Bay's QB has shown better accuracy and composure in the pocket

Originally Published: November 15, 2012
By Ron Jaworski | ESPN Insider

Doug Martin may have averaged over 150 rushing yards in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' last three victories, but he is far from the only reason for their recent success.

Very quietly over the last few weeks, Josh Freeman has been among the best quarterbacks in the National Football League. Start with the stats: Since Oct. 21, Freeman has thrown for 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions. His Total Quarterback Rating over those four games is 77.9, including a 94.4 gem last week against the San Diego Chargers in which he completed 70 percent of his passes for 210 yards and two TDs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been big-time beneficiaries of Freeman's play. Since Week 6, the Bucs have averaged an NFL-best 35.6 points per game, with 33.9 percent of their drives resulting in a touchdown, another league-best figure.

Compare that to Weeks 7-11 of Freeman's 2011 season and you will see some tremendous growth. In 2011 Freeman tossed just six TDs against nine INTs, while racking up a four-week QBR of 44.1 and four straight losses that turned into a 10-game skid to end Tampa's season. That's one heck of a turnaround in just 12 months. I believe we're witnessing Freeman's growth from a prime draft prospect into a mature and veteran quarterback. And I think he's only going to improve.

Ron Jaworski

NFL analyst / writer
Ron Jaworski is one of the most popular and knowledgeable analysts covering the NFL today. Since joining ESPN in 1990, the former standout NFL quarterback has covered the league from virtually every angle -- sideline reporter, game-site reporter, host and both studio and game analyst. From 2007-11, Jaworski occupied one of the most coveted positions in sports as a Monday Night Football analyst.