Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard is coming off arguably the best game of his career against the Dallas Cowboys. Garrard completed 81% of his passes, had 12.1 yards per attempt, and threw four touchdown passes. We've seen performances like this from Garrard this season and in past seasons.
The question always surfaces before gameday however, which David Garrard are we going to get...?
In the first half of the season the Jaguars hit the bye week with a 4-4 record. In the four wins against the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills, and Dallas Cowboys David Garrard was very good. Aside from Dallas, he didn't really light up the stat sheet. He threw a lot of redzone touchdowns, mostly to tight end Marcedes Lewis, but the real key was he didn't make many, if any, mistakes. He played like he did in the 2007 season, extremely efficient.
In the three losses however? Not so good.
In the loss against San Diego, Garrard couldn't get out of his own way. He threw four interceptions, of which offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter told the media only 1 wasn't his fault. The offense in general that game was completely inept. The only touchdown game late in the fourth quarter when then back up quarterback Luke McCown drove the team down the field and then tore up his knee. Garrard game on close to the goal line and threw a meaningless touchdown pass to Mike Sims-Walker. That touchdown pass however, is Garrard's only touchdown pass in a Jaguars loss this season*.
|David Garrard||Comp %||Yards||TD||INT|
I realize there are other circumstances impacting the quarterbacks performance, but as you can see... As he goes, the Jaguars go. Obviously the offensive line needs to protect, the defense needs some stops, and the running game has to gain yards, but ultimately it's been David Garrard's play that's determined a win or loss. For the second half of the season, the good David Garrard is going to need to make more than a half-time appearance. The every other game stuff needs to become virtually every game. It's unrealistic to expect Garrard to throw 3 touchdown passes a game, but the consistency is still the key. Essentially in all three losses Garrard hasn't thrown a touchdown. Technically he did against San Diego, but you catch my drift.
A win Sunday will certainly help the Jaguars playoff chances given they're only a game behind in the division, but the play of David Garrard down the stretch will tell the tale. It's told the tale the last few seasons. In 2007 the Jaguars hammered home the wins late in the year. In 2008 and 2009 however, the Jaguars were hammered to end the year.
|2005||60.3||874||4||1||3-1 (1-0 in Jan)|
|2009||57.1||785||5||3||1-4 (0-1 in Jan)|
I started in 2005, because that's when Garrard really began to get playing time. It's also when Jaguars fans really began to make the call for Garrard, as his consistent play was vital to the team making the playoffs. As you can see, since 2005 Garrard is 10-13 in the month of December (11-14 including January). In order for the Jaguars to have success this season, Garrard's play in the latter part of the year needs to improve. He can start that on Sunday against the Houston Texans, even though it's not December yet.