Originally written on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 12/18/12

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 27: Quarterback Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks down the field during the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on December 27, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman has received a lot of criticism for his quarterback play as of late. Fans have taken to social media and radio to voice their feelings on Freeman. But does he deserve it?  No. Freeman and the Bucs are coming off their worst performance this year against the Saints. There was also the game against Cowboys, the third quarter against the Broncos, the first half against the Eagles, and perhaps even the game against the Falcons. But for the rest of the season, Freeman was a top 10 quarterback and no one said a word. His 25 touchdowns on the season ranks him seventh in the league among quarterbacks and matches his best from 2010. At 24 years old and just his third full season as a starter, Freeman is two touchdowns away from being the Buccaneers’ all-time leader in touchdown. But people are griping about his completion percentage. Currently at 54.8%, Freeman is in danger of finishing with his worse percentage since becoming the full-time starter in 2010. It also pins him near the bottom for quarterbacks. However, other quarterbacks with a high percentage have fewer touchdowns and more interceptions than Freeman, like Eli Manning and Jay Cutler for example. What sets them apart from Freeman is the team as a whole. The Giants will always be contenders because of their defense and  Manning’s experience (fans tried running him out in his third season and look at him now). Same for the Bears. Cutler also has the big play factor but Chicago’s defense will always keep them in games. Josh Freeman did more than enough against the Giants and the Saints at home. If the defense played at all, they would be sitting at 8-6 as opposed to 6-8. Of course you can say the same for a game or two more but the fact is, Freeman is more than capable of running the team. It’s common to think that there shouldn’t be any miscommunication 14 games into the season. This offense though relies on both the quarterback and receivers to be on the same page instinctively in the middle of a route and if they are not, we see Freeman with overthrows and interceptions. We have seen him get frustrated with his teammates (some call it putting the blame on others) but in turn have also seen him upset with himself when he misses a throw. We all agree to be successful and be considered “elite” in this league you have to win games late in the season. Bottom line, who will you, as a fan, replace Freeman with? You replace him with a rookie and you set the team back two to three years. This is the first season with the new offense. The playbook wasn’t 100% completed until the start of training camp. Let’s give them this offseason to get their miscommunications out of their systems. It’s not all on number five. (Photo credit: AP) The post Putting the blame solely on Josh Freeman is unwarrated appeared first on The Bay Cave.

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