NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 06: Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers yells to his offense against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 6, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
This award is being given to the guy who contributed the most to winning a game on Sunday: Josh Freeman. Josh Freeman has had his two best games of the season against the New Orleans Saints this year, but unfortunately it wasn't good enough to win twice.
Freeman has not looked as sharp as he did last year. We talked about that last week - a lot. He's been off on too many throws, he's forced the ball too much, and he hasn't reacted well to pressure. But on Sunday, we saw very little of that. He didn't force the ball into spots where it didn't fit. He was generally accurate, completing 73% of his passes. And when under pressure, he still threw the ball off his back foot too much - but still got the ball where it had to go.
Look, Josh Freeman didn't have a perfect game. He missed two plays: to Erik Lorig and Kregg Lumpkin - and on that last play it was at least partially Lumpkin's fault. But those two plays don't define his day. Freeman completed 73% of his passes on Sunday. He threw for 281 yards, one touchdown and had no turnovers. He was efficient, he didn't turn over the ball, and if the defense had managed a stop on that final Saints drive he would still have had a chance to win the game.
It wasn't perfect, but it was good enough to earn the Game Ball.