Brees, Freeman thrive on third downs

When it comes to third-down passing, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees is the best in the league and Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman isn’t far behind.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Brees has thrown for 394 yards, six touchdowns and has compiled a Total QBR of 98.9 on third downs. Those numbers are all league highs. Brees has completed 26 of 33 (78.8 percent) of his third-down passes and has not been intercepted.

Freeman has the league’s best third-down completion percentage (89.3). He’s completed 25 of 28 passes for 256 yards and has an 84.5 Total QBR, which is fifth in the league.

Atlanta’s Matt Ryan has completed 17 of 27 third-down passes (63 percent) for 166 yards and has a 49.1 Total QBR, which ranks No. 14. Carolina’s Cam Newton is 14 of 28 (50 percent) for 226 yards and has a 17.4 Total QBR, which ranks No. 23.