Photo: Flickr Creative Commons
The Buccaneers, who Las Vegas predicted to win less than six games, finished their season yesterday with a 10th win.While the Bucs missed the playoffs, there is a lot of promise for the youngest team in the NFL. And most of that promise rests on the right arm of Josh Freeman who just completed a historical sophomore campaign.
Freeman, who was only 22 this season, finished with a QB rating of 95.9. In the Super Bowl era, only two other quarterbacks had a QB rating of at least 90.0 under the age of 23 (minimum eight starts). You might have heard of them: Dan Marino and Ben Roethlisberger.
Freeman also threw 25 touchdowns, one short of the team record. Only three quarterbacks under the age of 23 in the Super Bowl era have even thrown 20 touchdowns in a season. Again, a who’s who of successful QBs, that includes Peyton Manning, Drew Bledsoe, and Marino.
In fact, if we look a little closer, none of those quarterbacks had a season that compared to what Freeman did this year…
Roethlisberger and Marino had slightly better passer ratings (although neither played a full season), but Freeman bettered both in touchdowns and yards. Bledsoe and Manning threw as many (or more) touchdowns, but they also combined for 55 interceptions and each threw over 20 more interceptions than Freeman.
And oh yeah, those four quarterbacks have combined for six Super Bowl appearances and three wins (so far).
When the Bucs invested their first-round pick (#17 overall) in Freeman, they took a lot of criticism. But at the age of 22, Freeman has already found himself in some very select company.
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