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michael89156

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: May 22, 2011, 12:37:32 AM

Josh Freeman By The Numbers: The Third Best 22-Year-Old Ever?

Source:  http://t.co/tEUni89
 May 21, 2011 4:00 PM EDT

   
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Josh Freeman is one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL today, but he's also the youngest NFL starter in the game today. He's younger than Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy and Mark Sanchez and he's just as old as most of the rookie quarterbacks selected in the first two rounds of this year's draft. This makes his stellar sophomore year even more remarkable. While he's compared to Mark Sanchez, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco, Josh Freeman likely has a much longer career ahead of him. Matt Ryan was in his third season last year at age 25. Josh Freeman will be in his fifth season when he's 25. That's remarkable.

With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to look at any historical precedents. How did other 22-year-old quarterbacks do in the NFL? Historically there have been very few 22-year-old starters, and it's very hard to compare quarterbacks across different era. The statistics of the best quarterback in 1970 would look absolutely horrible compared to the statistics quarterbacks are putting up today. Which is why Pro Football Reference came up with index statistics - statistics for a player's season, compared to every other player in the same year. With this, we can compare  players across different eras.



As it turns out, Josh Freeman had the third-best year for a 22-year-old quarterback since at least the AFL/NFL merger. There are only two players other than Josh Freeman who had a better year in terms of Adjusted Net Yard per Pass Attempt (adjusted for era): Dan Marino in 1983 and Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. As if that wasn't impressive enough, Ben Roethlisberger was in some ways worse than Freeman: he threw many more interceptions and took many more sacks. In fact, Josh Freeman was an above average quarterback in every facet of his game last season, at least according to the statistics - and Dan Marino is the only other 22-year-old to ever be that good across the board.

To name just a few of the quarterbacks who were worse than Josh Freeman as 22-year-olds: Steve McNair, Michael Vick, Steve Grogan, Matt Stafford, Bernie Kosar, Drew Bledsoe, Peyton Manning, Shaun King, Ken Anderson and the list goes on.

What's even rarer than 22-year-old starters is 22-year-old sophomore quarterbacks. There have only been twelve of those in NFL/AFL history, and only six since the NFL/AFL merger. Of those quarterbacks, Freeman was easily the best, beating out Michael Vick, Matthew Stafford and Drew Bledsoe. Another interesting name on the list is Alex Smith, who has turned into one of the biggest quarterback busts in NFL history. It's comforting to know that Josh Freeman's 2010 season looked nothing like Alex Smith's 2006 season, who was well below average in every category. Josh Freeman, on the other hand, is the only 22-year-old sophomore starter to be an above average player in every facet of the game. The best young quarterback in the game? He is, at the very least, the youngest good quarterback in the NFL.

Captain Hindsight

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#1 : May 22, 2011, 01:10:05 AM

Matt Stafford is younger than Freeman.


The Anti-Java

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#2 : May 22, 2011, 02:25:01 AM

Matt Stafford is younger than Freeman.


By 3 weeks only, just sayin.


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Hate

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#3 : May 22, 2011, 02:49:48 AM

dude is made of crystal

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 I thought Lovie said he wanted quickness & speed, even at the QB position?

bashear

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#4 : May 22, 2011, 04:19:01 AM

Matt Stafford is younger than Freeman.
Don't let messy things like facts ruin a good story.

Tampa-Two

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#5 : May 22, 2011, 09:35:33 AM

And Matt Stafford didnt finish the season as Lions' starter. Come to think of it. He never has.


John Galt?

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#6 : May 22, 2011, 12:40:10 PM

Trick question, because no one is starting "today".

Now when they finally do start playing, I expect that Cam Newton will be the youngest-and it will show.


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#7 : May 22, 2011, 12:58:15 PM

Trick question, because no one is starting "today".

Now when they finally do start playing, I expect that Cam Newton will be the youngest-and it will show.



Good point.   Cam is 22, Freeman 23.  I think we forget  [at least I do]  how young this guy is.  And to have already racked up a pretty successful NFL season at that age is remarkable IMO. As far as the article goes, they may not be considering Stafford a starter, maybe just in name only, seeing he has been dinged up so much.  In any event, is there anyone you would rather hitch your wagon too right now than Freeman?  I think not.


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#8 : May 22, 2011, 06:19:02 PM

And which was the youngest QB to lead his team to the playoffs the last 2 seasons?    Mark Sanchez


PWNASAURUS

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#9 : May 22, 2011, 08:27:02 PM

And which was the youngest QB to lead his team to the playoffs the last 2 seasons?    Mark Sanchez
He didn't lead **CENSORED**. Bart Scott and Darrell Revis led them to the playoffs shmuck.


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#10 : May 23, 2011, 01:53:12 AM

I don't care who is the youngest, oldest, middle age, starter, part time starter.....I will take this #5 every time.


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#11 : May 23, 2011, 01:56:42 AM

#5?   There are only 4 teams in the division.   The worst they can finish is #4.   The best they have ever finished under Raheem is #3 in their own division.  Sad.     No way would Mark Sanchez stand for his team doing that poorly.


bashear

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#12 : May 23, 2011, 03:53:28 AM

You mean the Sanchez that has at his disposal one of the top defenses in the league?
Or the Sanchez that has completed only 101 of 212 passes in the fourth quarter since coming into the NFL?
Or the Sanchez that has a 46.4 QB rating in the fourth quarter?


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#13 : May 23, 2011, 05:07:14 AM

I would not want any other qb in the nfl then freeman .....his age ....leadership......talent .....franchise qb......you better believe it.

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#14 : March 15, 2012, 10:34:17 PM

Lolz, gotta love what you can dig up on Google.

Lions fan here, trolling like a bawse. You guys pay attention this year? I feel like you were very wrong in your Stafford v. Freeman debate. Your "future" guy all but disappeared, and my guy threw for 5000 yards. No big deal. I wouldn't be here if you guys weren't disrespectful in the first place, but hey, I'm all about good fun. Happy replying!
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