The storm surrounding the release of former Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman has settled down, and his replacement, Mike Glennon, is showing signs of respectability.
While the Bucs have nearly worn the tread off their running game and are down to their third- and fourth-string running backs, Glennon, who will be the X-Factor for Sunday’s game, appears to be developing into more than a game manager.
“They started off the second half backed up, and the Dolphins were coming at him a little bit,” Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said. “He made some big throws to get them out of that position and to get that win. He’s growing up.”
In the Falcons’ 31-23 victory over the Bucs on Oct. 20, Glennon completed 26 of 44 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns. In that game, he relied heavily on wide receiver Vincent Jackson as his primary target. Jackson caught 10 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
But since, he has moved the ball around to his other receivers. In the Bucs’ 22-19 victory over Miami, he threw the ball to seven different receivers, including tackle Donald Penn, who caught a touchdown pass.
“He’s spreading it around, but definitely he’s targeting Vincent Jackson,” Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant said. “He’s one of the main playmakers. He’s definitely spreading it around, and he’s more comfortable than he was earlier in the season.”
The Bucs hope the win over Miami was a breakthrough for Glennon, who led them on a game-winning 80-yard touchdown drive after they blew another lead.
The Bucs held fourth-quarter leads in four of their eight losses, losing each time in the final two minutes of regulation or overtime.
Glennon, a third-round draft pick, threw his first interception in four games — a span of 159 attempts – against the Dolphins.
He’s completed 134 of 225 passes (59.6 percent) for 1,304 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions and has a quarterback rating of 81.8.