Not many people are familiar with the little known quarterback from South Central Louisiana State University. He lead his team, the Mud Dogs, to a bowl game and was the MVP of the Bourbon Bowl against their hated rivals, the University of Louisiana Cougars. The Jacksonville Jaguars picked up Luke McGowen last season before the regular season started.
McGowen ended the night making his Mud Dogs proud by finishing 11/15 with 244 yards passing with 3 touchdowns, all of which were greater than 30 yards, two greater than 50.
In the first drive, the Jaguars first unit ended in a quick three and out after three consecutive passes capped off by a short pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis well short of the first down marker. The next drive by the Jaguars starters ended just as fast on a 3rd down pass to Mike Sims-Walker that was punched away by cornerback Asante Samuel, who made a very nice defensive play. By the time the Jacksonville Jaguars first team offense got the ball back again, the Philadelphia Eagles had already began filling in with their second unit. The Jaguars picked up their first first down on a nice 16 yard pass in the middle of the field to Mike Thomas, but the Jaguars once again went nowhere on the drive, ending on a failed fourth down pass attempt. This failed fourth down though, came with consequence. Mike Sims-Walker leapt and stretched out for a David Garrard pass he seemed to pull in, but was crushed between two Eagle defenders when back up safety Kurt Coleman hit Sims-Walker and the ball came loose. That wasn't the bad news however, as Mike Sims-Walker sustained a shoulder injury and was seen with his arm in a sling on the sideline and after the game.
All indications so far thankfully, is that the injury is not serious.
I'm not going to pile on David Garrard too much after the first pre-season game, but it was not pretty. It was not pretty especially considering how Luke
McGowen McCowen McCown was able to come in and effortlessly move the offense up and down the football field against some of the same back ups that David Garrard couldn't. As I mentioned, Garrard was without his two starting offensive tackles, but that didn't really seem to effect anything. He wasn't under that much duress, but seemed quick to dump the ball off to his running backs and tight ends while McCown came in the game guns blazing and hitting on a 73-yard touchdown bomb to Troy Williamson on his first pass attempt.
I've already seen some people compliment McCown on his performance, but note that David Garrard isn't in danger of losing his job. While I realize it is only the first pre-season game and we can't make too much out of it... but my question is this: Why shouldn't David Garrard be in danger of his job, especially if this continues?
As our own Adam Stites pointed out on twitter though,
1st game of the preseason in 2009: D. Garrard 4-7, 22 yards, 0 TD. 1st game of preseason 2010: D. Garrard 5-10, 35 yards, 0 TD #perspective
Apart from the surprising disparity in quarterback performance, my MVP of the game had to be defensive tackle Terrance Knighton. For all of the hooplah that was made about his weight during training camp, it didn't seem to effect him one bit. He was a constant force in disrupting the pocket. While the Jaguars were literally without half of their starting defensive line, I think at times they were able to get good pressure and move Kevin Kolb around in the pocket.
I'll have a full recap of who looked good and who looked bad tomorrow after I watch the game a second time, but these were just my immediate thoughts following the game.