I can't think of any word that is more appropriate to describe this game. The Jaguars were an entirely different offense with Maurice Jones-Drew sidelined. Rashad Jennings failed to find his holes in the running game, which put all the pressure on Garrard. Garrard managed to throw for 299 yards, but took some bad sacks, missed high often, and threw two interceptions at key points in the game. We learned something about Garrard as well: he is not a top quarterback in the NFL. Garrard was the focal point of the offense, and the Jaguars only managed to score 17 points against the worst defense in the league even when the Redskins were also missing several key players in the secondary.
Really, the key to this game was just what it sounds like. The Jaguars were given a chance to win, but they just played badly.The Jaguars started the game with a bad special teams play, allowing a return to the 45 yard line. Tack on a facemask penalty and the Redskins needed only a single first down to get a 48 yard field goal. The Jaguars got the ball back and ran it three times to pick up a first down. Then Garrard threw his first pass of the day to Carlos Rogers. Don't know who he is? He's a cornerback for the Redskins. The Jaguars allowed a one yard, Rex Grossman touchdown pass to go down 10-0 only 5 minutes into the game. After failing on Offense, Defense, and special teams within the first five minutes, the Jaguars struggled all game to recover. They failed to find any consistency on offense, in spite of gaining almost 375 yards. The blame really should be spread pretty evenly this week. Garrard has his good moments but couldn't carry the team. The coaching decision made to run the ball with 2:35 left in the half and punt was questionable. The Jaguars got the ball back with 25 seconds left in the first half. The Jaguars chose to throw a screen pass, which got sniffed out easily by the Redskins. Garrard was sacked and the ball popped up into the air. The Redskins recovered the ball in the endzone. Garrard was correctly ruled down, so there was no fumble, but it still was a scary moment for Jaguars fans.
Expectations were high for Rashad Jennings. He had flashed this season, running for 300+ yards on a limited number of carries with most of the yards coming in the last month. It was thought that when he got his chance, he would be able to perform well enough to keep the Jaguars offense moving. Today, he wasn't even the Jaguars leading rusher. He had 32 yards. Garrard carried the offense, throwing for almost 300 yards and rushing for another 38. Garrard rushed for a 20 yard touchdown to tie the game at 17-17 with 2:45 in the game. The Jaguars held the Redskins to run the clock out and force overtime. Garrard threw his second interception at the beginning of OT, which was returned to the 14 yard line. The Redskins hit the field goal, and i could finally leave my seat in the cold of section 242. It was not the kind of day that makes you feel good to be a Jags fan.
There's certainly more to be said about this game. The defense played pretty well. We forced more than a few three and outs and Derek Cox made a beautiful interception to end a potential Redskins scoring drive. It didn't take much to make the Redskins Offense look inept, and the Jaguars did just enough. The Redskins were 5-9 coming into the game, and they looked like it all game. The Jaguars just looked worse. The Jaguars can still make the postseason. If the Colts lose to the Titans next week and the Jaguars win at the Texans, the Jaguars will have the tiebreaker for division games. This game did not seal the Jaguars' fate. That's really the biggest positive I can take away from this game. Otherwise, this was a pretty bad week to be a Jaguars fan.