As I watched the Jaguars at home on TV for the first time in over a year, I saw a game that came to encapsulate the Jaguars season. There were moments of brilliance, such as David Garrard's touchdown strikes to Mike Sims-Walker and Mike Thomas, and moments that made me face palm.
The Jaguars offense in the fourth quarter was the source of much of that frustration. After being carved up all night by Peyton Manning, the defense held on two straight series. Twice, the Jaguars offense was tasked with giving the team breathing room and a 38-28 lead. They responded with a grand total of 8 plays, 19 yards, and one first down.
After the second possession, the Colts got the ball back on their own 35 and Reggie Nelson proceeded to do what he does best, blow an assignment and cost the Jaguars a win.
Reggie Nelson's demise has been cataloged enough, so instead I'll deal with the Jaguars $60 million man. When David Garrard signed his massive contract following the 2007 season, it was expected that Mr.Inconsistent was finally gone. David had the starting job wrapped up in 2006 before forgetting Pac-Man Jones wasn't a member of the Jaguars. David had other opportunities as well thanks to Leftwich's constant injuries, but never managed to break through to show the coaching staff what they wanted.
Enter 2009. Garrard has been the Dr.Jekyl and Mr.Hyde for the Jaguars this season. Part of that has rightfully been put on the offensive line. The young tackles and aging interior allowed him to be the most hit quarterback in the NFL this year. However, he was still able to overcome that on several occassions, most notably in the Jags final drive at the Jets.
Last Thursday night's game against Indianapolis seemingly was David Garrard's season in a nut shell.
Through the first three quarters, it seems that David Garrard could do no wrong. He stood toe to toe with Peyton Manning and the offense scored at will. Garrard threw for almost 200 yards and three touchdowns in the first three quarters of Sunday night's game. His touchdown strikes to Mike-Sims Walker and Mike Thomas were things of beauty.
However, his fourth quarter was nothing of the sort. Garrard routinely missed open receivers or overthrew them with the game on the line. Is that what I've come to expect of him? Yes. Is that what we should expect from a $60 million "franchise" quarterback? No.
David Garrard was given a chance to grab another signature win, to silence the nay sayers, and he proceeded to need 12 ft tall receivers in the closing minutes. David, you've given us plenty of moments to cheer, and plenty of moments to shake our heads. I believe it's time the Jaguars look for another man under center.