Freeman, the younger son, also rises

Josh Freeman was basically an afterthought when all the attention in the 2009 NFL Draft was heaped on Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez.

Don’t even mention that Freeman may have the best hairstyle of the three men, but you can’t neglect the fact that the Buccaneers’ second-year signal-caller is showing the moxie of a winning veteran in 2010.

5-2 Tampa Bay is attempting to do what every single team that has finished last in the NFC South has done — reach the playoffs the following year.

Big, strong, and physical, Freeman has completed 60.3 percent of his passes with eight TD passes and just three picks for an 87.1 rating. More importantly, he has led four fourth-quarter comebacks for a young team on the rise in the NFC’s most competitive division.

If Tampa Bay reaches the postseason, it will be quite a testament to not only Freeman, but head coach Raheem Morris. Like Freeman, Morris is relatively green in just his second year of coaching at the ripe age of 34. The Bucs went just 3-13 last year, but opened some eyes by upsetting the Saints in New Orleans late in the year. The carryover effect has been evident.

It would be difficult to argue Freeman is a better quarterback than Stafford or Sanchez, but he’s certainly making headway.

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