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Deep game not working for Freeman, Bucs

Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman has been under a lot of scrutiny this year. It’s time for some more.

Although he has one of the league’s strongest arms, Freeman hasn’t produced much when throwing the ball downfield this season. His completion percentage on throws of 11 or more yards is up slightly from last season. Freeman has completed 42.4 percent of those throws this season as compared to 41.7 last year.

But, according to ESPN Stats & Information, the rest of Freeman’s numbers on throws of 11 or more yards are dramatically off from last season. On those throws, Freeman has four touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. Last season, he had 11 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Freeman and his receivers have turned only seven of those throws into gains of 30 yards or more. Last season, Freeman had 14 plays on similar throws that went for 30 or more yards.

Last season, Freeman’s Total QBR on throws of 11 or more yards was 93.9. This year, it has fallen to 52.8 and only Jacksonville rookie Blaine Gabbert ranks lower than Freeman in this category.

There's no doubt some of the blame for this falls on Freeman. He simply hasn't looked as sharp as he did last season. But I also think some blame should go to his receivers. They have not done a great job of getting separation from defensive backs.