Josh Freeman outplayed Curtis Painter

To borrow a phrase from DeMaurice Smith, I’m really starting to "dig" the new Total QBR feature.

If you looked just at the NFL passer rating, you’d think Indianapolis’ Curtis Painter had a better game than Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman on Monday night. That would be wrong, even though Painter’s NFL passer rating was 99.4 and Freeman’s was 94.7. Total QBR tells the truth.

Freeman had a 48.4 Total QBR. Painter’s was 37.8. Freeman’s team won the game. Painter’s team did not, and it was about much more than simply passing the ball. Winning a game is the most important part of a quarterback’s job description and Freeman did what it took to make that happen.

Total QBR takes things other than pure passing statistics into account and that’s important.

Freeman made some big things happen with his legs. He rushed for 26 yards and four first downs. He rushed for a 1-yard touchdown (the second of his career) in the first half. He also had two critical scrambles on Tampa Bay’s final scoring drive and had two runs for first downs on that drive.

Freeman was sacked twice, while Painter was sacked four times. One of Painter’s sacks resulted in a fumble the Bucs recovered in the first quarter. Painter’s other three sacks came in the fourth quarter with the score tied.

Painter threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns, which sounds nice. But those numbers are a bit inflated when you consider that Painter’s two touchdown passes to Pierre Garcon covered 146 yards, but 129 of those came after the catch.

Painter only threw for 74 air yards, while Freeman threw for 108. The bottom line here is Painter played a nice game, but Freeman did more and he helped his team to a victory.