The Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the New Orleans Saints this weekend.
This game has a high probability of being a shootout. Drew Brees plus a beleaguered Tampa Bay defense equals lots of fireworks. We all know what Drew Brees can do, but what about this Josh Freeman kid? He has improved this team by leaps and bounds in his first few starts. He is the real deal.
Here are a few stats to back up my claim. Since Freeman was named the starting quarterback two games ago, he has led the offense into the red zone four times. All four trips resulted in touchdowns. Tampa Bay has scored 61 points on offense since he took the reins at QB. In their first seven games, the offense scored a total of 96 points. The Buc's got their first win of the season with Josh at quarterback and would have got another last week if it weren't for a last second field goal.
Freeman has rekindled the excitement about this team in the Tampa Bay area. That's was a franchise quarterback can do for a team. That's right; I am already dubbing him the Franchise. If you have watched any footage of his first two starts, he looks like a third year pro out on the field. He handles the blitz fairly well and knows when to get rid of the ball. Of course he is going to have some ill-advised throws and turnovers, but that is what happens with all young quarterbacks trying to learn the toughest position in football. If tight end Kellen Winslow can add another 100 yard receiving game this week and the Buc's get continued stellar play from the special teams unit, I think Freeman could get his second win as a starter. Bold prediction? Yes. Will New Orleans go undefeated this year? Of course not, so why not lose to Tampa this week!
On the injury front, the Buc's are almost back to full strength. Injured wide receiver Antonio Bryant, cornerback Aqib Talib, running back Cadillac Williams, and tight end Kellen Winslow all practiced in full pads on Thursday. With these guys on the mend, this should be a tightly contested game this Sunday. I'm predicting the Buc's second big upset in 3 weeks. Final score: Buc's 31, Saints 28.
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Written by Dan Nowak