While the cat is away, the mice will play, and the big cat here at Big Cat Country is Mr. Alfie "Boo David Garrard" Crow. Well I, being a rabid Garrard supporter, have decided to take this opportunity to write a pro-Garrard piece that everyone will have to read. Bwahahahaha!!!!1!1!
Ok, that was a bit extreme, and obviously I really have enjoyed working with Alfie and everybody here at BCC, but there is something we need to talk about. With all of the chatter circulating on the site about the Jaguars drafting a first-round QB, I thought it would be a good idea to look at what we actually have at QB and decide how "dire" our QB situation is with Garrard. So I've compiled a bunch of DG's 2010 statistics, and I'll lay them out for you. This way we can have a handle on our QB situation and avoid potentially over-reacting and over-drafting a QB. Just to get this out of the way early... STATS LIE. DO NOT TRUST EVERY STAT YOU SEE, but at some point, stats can give you a pretty good idea of how a player performs. All right, on with it:
- David Garrard now holds the record for TD passes by a Jaguar with 23, set in 13 games. I'm gonna get this out of the way early, because I don't put too much stock in TD's as an indicator of talent. It's there, but I don't think it means much.
- Garrard had the 13th highest passer rating among qualifying NFL QBs at 90.8. This put him ahead of Mark Sanchez, Sam Bradford, Brett Favre and Jay Cutler among others. His passer rating is within two tenths of Matt Ryan (91.0) and Drew Brees (90.9) who are both considered borderline great NFL QBs.
- Garrard was fourth among QBs with 279 rushing yards (4.2 YPA), and scored 5 touchdowns on the ground.
- According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, Garrard led five game-winning drives in the 2010 against Denver week 1, Indy week 4, Houston week 9, Cleveland week 10, and Oakland week 13. The Cleveland game was also a 4th-Quarter comeback. In those games, he completed a combined 67.7 percent of his passes, with 12 TDs and 4 ints.
- PFR also has "advanced passing statistics" they keep, and Garrard rated slightly above average on yards and net yards per attempt, adjusted yards and adjusted net yards per attempt, completion percentage, and passer rating. He was slightly below average on int percentage and sack percentage.
- Garrard had a 103.7 passer rating, with 6 TDs and 2 ints and a 70.5 percent completion rate within the AFC South division. Bad defenses, but it's important to play well within the division.
- Garrard ended the season with a 108.3 passer rating in the fourth quarter and a 117.5 rating within the last 7 minutes of the fourth quarter. Crunch time is when it matters, and while no statistics should be taken at face value, this makes Garrard look pretty good at crunch time.
- Garrard was "hit" 111 times, the most for any NFL QB. I'm not sure if this includes rushing attempts or not, but either way, ouch.
- Of his 366 pass attempts, 72 came when the Jaguars were leading, 82 came when the team was tied, and 212 (58%) of his passes were thrown when trailing. He threw 11 TD and 13 ints when behind, 3 TDs and 1 int when ahead, and 9 TDs and 1 int when tied. This suggests that most of the season, Garrard was playing from behind, and that the team struggled somewhat when forced to be one-dimensional.
The take-away message from all of this? Garrard isn't great, but he certainly isn't bad. He is 33 years old, but he is still mobile and a capable runner. Garrard managed to keep his completion percentage in the mid-60's, 3% greater than his career average over the span of the whole year, and was under extreme pressure to perform because the team was playing from behind a lot. He managed to save at least one game for every game he blew last year. He is a solid starting QB, and has not showed signs of slowing down. In fact, he could still be improving as a QB, as he did from '09 to '10. So, again, how badly do we need a first round QB? Are the Jaguars really desperate for improvement from the QB position?