Posted in General News

Freeman’s Third Down Success Continues

by Roland Johnson on September 21, 2011

Freeman Mr. Third Down, needs to become Mr. First Down

In 2010 Josh Freeman was 84-of-139 for 1,015 yards, 5 touchdowns, 1 interception and a completion percentage of 60.4 for an average of 7.30 yards per pass and a QB rating of 91.9.

Through two games this season Freeman thus far has improved on those numbers completing 17-of-18 for 210 yards, a completion percentage of 94.4, averaging 11.67 yards per pass with a quarterback rating of 115.3, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions.

His improvement however, has come at a price. That price is his play on first down. Through just two games he’s 17-of-33 for 186-yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, 2 sacks, a completion percentage of 51.5 for an average of 5.64 yards per pass and a QB rating of 53.3.

Just like the team struggles to produce in the first half of games, Freeman has been struggling on first down. It’s not as if the ground game is not working on first down either. The duo of LeGarrette Blount and Earnest Graham have combined to gain 90-yards on 15 carries and average of 6-yards per carry and scored 2 touchdowns on first down.

While the ebb and flow of a football game dictates the play calling there needs to be a better balance of run to pass. Currently the Bucs run the football 31% on first down compared to passing 69% of the time on first down. If the Bucs want to jump out of the gate in the first half. A better balance between the two should help Freeman become more consistent on first down enabling the team to get in a better rhythm and produce more early.

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