Freeman joins Brees with historic leap

February, 10, 2011
The two biggest jumps in passer rating since 1980 have been recorded by current NFC South starting quarterbacks.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees set the season-over-season record back when he was with San Diego, making a 37.3 point improvement from 2003 to 2004. But Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman almost matched him last season. Freeman improved his passer rating by 36.1 points.

Thanks to Scott Smith of, here’s a look at the biggest passer rating improvements since 1980, including only those quarterbacks who met the NFL’s minimum for qualifying for the statistical lead (14 pass attempts per game).
  • Brees, Chargers. Went from 67.5 in 2003 to 104.8 in 2004 to improve by 37.3 points.
  • Freeman, Buccaneers. Went from 59.8 in 2009 to 95.9 in 2010 for an improvement of 36.1 points.
  • Ken Anderson, Bengals. Went from 66.9 in 1980 to 98.4 to improve by 31.5 points.
  • Scott Mitchell, Lions. Went from 62.0 in 1994 to 92.3 in 1995 for an improvement of 30.3 points.
  • Tom Brady, Patriots. Jumped from 87.9 in 2006 to 117.2 in 2007 for an improvement of 29.3 points.
  • Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers. Went from 75.4 in 2006 to 104.1 in 2007 for an increase of 28.7 points.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter



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