Friday, October 21, 2011

Josh Freeman: Superstar?

     For all the hype surrounding former #1 Overall pick Matthew Stafford and perennial Superbowl contender Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman has quietly led the Buccaneers to a 2-0 division record, 4-2 overall, and the top of the NFC South.
     Ever since he entered the league, Freeman has shown a knack for being at his best during crunch time. In 31 career starts, Freeman has 9 fourth quarter comebacks. Last year, he ranked (NUMBER) in the league with 95.9 passer rating, and led the Buccaneers to a 10-6 record, more than triple their '09 total.
     This year, however, things didn't start as smooth. Through 5 games, Freeman   had 3 passing touchdowns, 6 ints, a 74.6 rating, and 45 a point loss to the 49ers.This past sunday, however, the Freeman that we all remember from last year stepped back into the light. 303 yards, 2 touchdowns,  a win over the Saints, and a passer rating identical to the one he posted last year. The amazing part is that Freeman can do this while at the helm of the yougest team in the NFL.
     Mark Sanchez has continued to struggle with a career passer rating of 72.4, but the Jets are continuing to contend despite him, because he has an amazing supporting cast. Stafford's career has been the opposite: playing well while healthy, but in a losing effort for the past two seasons. He has led his team to a 5-1 start, with 15 TDs and only 4 ints, but don't forget he has the 6'5 240 pound Calvin "Megatron" Johnson. This year, however, is the make or break year for all three of them. Done with the rookie jitters. Through with the sophomore slump. The third season is the year an NFL QB is expected to start playing the way he will for the rest of his career.
     Josh Freeman goes over all these guys as the potential superstar, because he is the unquestioned leader of the offense. He doesn't have any superstars on his team that take the lead when things go wrong, all the blame is put on him. What happens when the Bucs need a win? Freeman does his thing. No current pro bowlers on defense. The lone pro bowler on the team comes from the offensive line. This guy is the real deal, and we will continue to hear more and more about him as this season goes on. The Buccaneers next three games: vs Bears at Wembley Stadium, at New Orleans, and home vs Houston. All this leads up to a monumental showdown at Lambeau Field on November 20th.
In the famous words of Terrell Owens, "Getcha Popcorn Ready." Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are about to put on a show that the rest of the NFL might not be ready for just yet.

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