JACKSONVILLE FL - NOVEMBER 14: David Garrard #9 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs the ball during a game against the Houston Texans at EverBank Field on November 14 2010 in Jacksonville Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Or go ahead and call it a comeback, I just wanted to use the line.
In all seriousness, David Garrard looks really good. How good? The 9th year veteran has started in 62 career games and played in 80. The 5 victories from this season rank #1, #2, #4, #6 and #8 on his all time best games according to passer ratings. His performance Sunday against the Texans racked up the most passing yardage in a single game that he has ever had in his career. The game prior, against the Cowboys, saw him throw the most touchdowns that he has ever thrown in a single game. Granted they were against two of the league's poorest pass defenses, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better pair of consecutive performances by any QB, regardless of competition.
"Any time you have a game like we just played in it gives you more confidence, gives your team more confidence, and gives your team more confidence in you. Its definitely something we need to build on, I need to build on, and continue to expect that every time we step on the field." - David Garrard (November 3rd)
Perhaps more impressive than his 342 yards and 2 touchdowns is that he did so under pressure all game. The Jaguars offensive line, namely replacement right tackle Jordan Black, struggled to hold off the pass rush and allowed 2 sacks along with 10 pressures. The mantra has always been that David is good if, and only if, there is good play around him and he is well protected. For him to produce at an elite level under heavy pressure is impressive.
What remains to be seen before Jaguar fans can finally be excited about Garrard for the first time since 2007 is whether or not he'll be able to continue to string together elite, or at least above average, performances. In the 3 losses that he started in, his passer rating is 34.6. A stark contrast to the 143.0 passer rating that he has had in the 5 victories. The last time he had one of his poor performances was the Monday Night Football game on October 18th.
What a lot of critics continue to say is that he has a tough slate of opponents down the stretch and he'll have his biggest test in the remaining weeks. Looking at the stats, I'd disagree. While the Jaguars wont have the luxury of facing the Cowboys or the Bills defenses again, they will play against subpar pass defenses with the exception of the Titans and the Giants. What is concerning is David's poor performances all consistently came against the league's top 10 pass defenses.
|NFL Rank||Team||Opposing Passer Rating||David Garrard's Passer Rating|
|4||San Diego Chargers||74.5||62.7|
The remaining schedule:
|NFL Rank||Team||Opposing Passer Rating|
|9||New York Giants||78.1|
Make what you will out of that. I'll just keep my fingers crossed that week 8 and week 10 David Garrard is the same Garrard we'll be seeing weeks 11-17.