Buccaneers-Packers: Josh Freeman Gives Tampa Bay Hope

Legal HawkContributor INovember 8, 2009

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 08:  Quarterback Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hands the ball off against the Green Bay Packers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on November 8, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Rookie Josh Freeman is the youngest starting QB in Buccaneers history to start and win a game at the tender age of 21. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I said WIN.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got their first win of the season, and it was against the Green Bay Packers (38-28). Freeman had a great debut as a NFL starter: 205 passing yards, 20 rushing yards, three TDs, and one INT.

The Bucs did give up a few big plays early in the game, like the 74-yard TD from Aaron Rodgers to James Jones. Jones burned Elbert Mack on that play, but on the next Packers drive, Mack redeemed himself by intercepting a pass and returning it to the Packers' eight-yard line, setting up a six-yard TD pass to Derrick Ward.

This win was mostly due to the special teams and the defense. Clifton Smith had a big kick return late in the game: 83 yards, which led to a TD pass to Kellen Winslow. Geno Hayes blocked a punt, and Ronde Barber grabbed a hold of the ball and ran it in for a TD.

Tanard Jackson intercepted a pass on fourth down and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown that pretty much clinched the win with 35 seconds left in the game.

Before the season started, head coach Raheem Morris said that Freeman is the franchise QB of the Bucs. If he continues to produce games like this, Coach Morris just might be right.

I won't be claiming that we'll make the playoffs or even finish third in the division, although we have a slight chance at the latter. I will, however, be basking in the joy of our first win of the season against a pretty good team.