Tampa Bay’s 513 yards of offense in a losing effort on Sunday against New Orleans marked the second-highest single-game yardage output in franchise history. Much of that was channeled through the right arm of QB Josh Freeman, who passed for a career-high 420 yards.
Freeman may have set his high-water mark on Sunday, but that 400-yard day didn’t come out of nowhere. In fact, it was the capper on the most productive passing stretch in franchise history, in terms of yards.
After falling just one yard shy of a 300-yard game against Washington in Week Four, Freeman returned from the bye in Week Six and hung 328 on the Chiefs in a 38-10 Bucs’ win. Those two outings, along with Sunday’s output, give Freeman 1,047 passing yards over his last three games. No Buc passer had every done that before.
Freeman joined Vinny Testaverde as the only Tampa Bay quarterbacks ever to top 1,000 yards in a three-game span. Testaverde did it from October 22 to November 5 in 1999 against Washington, Cincinnati and Cleveland, putting up a total of 1,107 yards. Here are the four quarterbacks in Buccaneers history who have thrown for at least 950 yards in a three-game span, and their respective best outputs:
During his recent run, Freeman has also tossed seven touchdowns versus just two interceptions, and that has helped his passer rating climb steadily. Freeman is now at 91.2, which ranks 11th in the NFL. Freeman’s primary targets, who have certainly enjoyed his downfield touch in recent weeks, are sold on their young passer.
“That was great man,” said Mike Williams, who had a potential fourth Freeman TD pass disallowed because he had briefly stepped out of bounds on the game’s last play. “It would have looked good with four touchdown passes and some more yards, but he had a great day. He performed how he did, and, like I tell people, he is the truth. He came back and showed that he is the truth.”