Being one of David Garrard's harshest critics, I also consider myself fair. Garrard has played excellent in his last three of four ball games. He struggled on Monday Night Football against a very good Tennessee Titans defense and wound up leaving early with a concussion, but since coming back he's been playing at another level. Some will point to his 2007 season for comparison, but I don't think he's playing at the 2007 season level.
He's playing better.
David Garrard has thrown 15 touchdowns through 8 games so far this season, matching his 2008 and 2009 total and only 3 shy of his 2007 season mark. In his last four games, he's thrown 8 touchdowns and only a single interception. His decision making, one of the most criticized areas, has been excellent for the most part. It's also been rather quick, too, which is another spot often criticized. He's still got his brain farts (i.e. the first drive against the Houston Texans) but as long as the Jaguars are winning and he's producing, those can be overlooked.
I wrote last week how typically Garrard has faltered down the stretch in past seasons and that still remains to be seen this year, but for now he's playing very, very well. Most will point to his quarterback rating and note it's second in the NFL. I'm one of those people however, that think quarterback rating is one of the most overrated statistics in football. One stat Garrard ranks highly in that I am a big believer in however, is yards per attempt (YPA). Garrard currently sits behind only Phillip Rivers, Michael Vick, and Ben Roethlisberger in YPA with an 8.0 average. This doesn't necessarily indicate Garrard is throwing down the field like those three are, instead he's getting chunks of yardage in the intermediate routes of 15-20 yards on a consistent basis. He's also completing 69.4% of his passes, which is behind only Drew Brees and Tony Romo.
Last season Garrard made the Pro Bowl as the 9th alternate, which lead to some jokes and spats between fans. The pro-Garrard crowd would tout he was a Pro Bowl QB, which the "anti-Garrard" (for lack of a better term) folks pointed out he went because many others before him chose not to. If Garrard continues his play this season, he might just make a legitimate Pro-Bowl. It's tough sledding in the AFC with the play of Peyton Manning, Rivers, Kyle Orton, Joe Flacco, and Tom Brady, but even as an alternate this season will be much more deserving than the last.
Currently Garrard projects to throw 28 touchdowns, 2700 yards, and 13 interceptions. Does this mean David Garrard will remain on the roster past this season and allow the Jaguars to wait on a quarterback again? I doubt the latter, but the former remains to be seen and will be determined by his play down the stretch.