Assessing the Damage: Breaking Down All 17 of Josh Freeman’s 2012 Interceptions

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Here is a chart breaking down every one of Josh’s interceptions, with some pertinent information.

Week Opponent Quarter Score Down/Distance Facing Pressure?
2 New York Giants 3 Up 11 2nd and 10 Yes
2 New York Giants 4 Down 7 12 seconds left in game Yes
3 Dallas Cowboys 1 Up 7 3rd and 14 Yes
4 Washington Redskins 1 Down 4 2nd and 5 Yes
6 Kansas City Chiefs 1 0 2nd and 7 No
11 Carolina Panthers 1 Up 10 3rd and 8 Yes
11 Carolina Panthers 3 Down 4 1st and 10 Yes
13 Denver Broncos 3 Down 10 2nd and 8 Yes
15 New Orleans Saints 1 Down 7 2nd and 10 No
15 New Orleans Saints 2 Down 10 3rd and 14 Yes
15 New Orleans Saints 3 Down 24 1st and 10 No
15 New Orleans Saints 4 Down 31 1st and 10 No
16 Saint Louis Rams 2 Up 3 3rd and 15 No
16 Saint Louis Rams 2 Down 1 1st and 10 No
16 Saint Louis Rams 2 Down 15 3rd and 4 No
16 Saint Louis Rams 4 Down 15 Partially
17 Atlanta Falcons 3 Up 13 3rd and 7 No

So looking at the chart, I want to point out three key trends I notice:

  • Josh Freeman started the season facing lots of pressure and turning that into interceptions and mistakes. He then lost confidence in himself and his offense by the end of the season, and that led to the frustration and interceptions we saw prominently in the final weeks of the season.
  • Josh Freeman tends to make mistakes on long-yardage situations. Having seven or more yards to go is a danger zone for Freeman, as this is a situation where he seems more likely to force a throw, and to face a pass rush or  blitz.
  • Josh proved that his mistakes would come more frequently when the team was down. He had so many successful comebacks early in his career that he almost certainly takes it upon himself to get the team back into games, and this leads to poor decisions as he tries to play beyond his abilities and force plays that aren’t there.

This upcoming season almost completely hinges on Josh Freeman overcoming his mistakes and guiding the offense to success to help support an improved defense. Freeman has proven to be a capable NFL quarterback with big play ability. In his contract year in 2013, we will need to see the consistency that has been lacking for the past couple of frustrating seasons. If Freeman can handle pressure better and play within himself, he’ll be in line for a nice payday, and the Buccaneers will be in line for a playoff run.