In part one of our Seahawks-Jaguars pregame analysis, Charlie Bernstein from JagNation.com answers…
Which Way Will Garrard Go?
Starting with Sunday's game at Seattle (1-3), he leads the team as they enter a four-game stretch against teams with a combined 1-15 mark. The next three games after Seattle are against three winless teams: St. Louis, Tennessee and Kansas City.
If Garrard is going to return to his 2007 form, when the team went 11-5, he needs to keep playing the same way he did against the Titans when he got an offensive game ball for throwing for 323 yards and three touchdowns and posting a 126.3 quarterback rating.
With a solidified offensive line and a receiving corps bolstered by Mike Sims-Walker, veteran Torry Holt and rookie Mike Thomas, Garrard has the weapons to keep posting good numbers.
The good showing against the Titans boosted the team to 10th in offensive yardage, including eighth in rushing and 14 in passing.
The improved passing game combined with their rushing game makes the Jaguars a more evenly balanced offensive team than they've been in the past.
"That's good to be able to be a two-headed monster and pass and run the ball. Whenever you can have that balance, it's tough to defend. We're going to give them a good dose of both so well see which one steps out and takes the lead," Garrard said.
Still, it all revolves around the quarterback and Garrard, whose quarterback rating of 89.1 still puts him in the middle of the pack in the league at No. 14, needs to play well if the Jaguars are to win their third consecutive game.
Although the Seahawks are 1-3, they play in a noisy stadium that gives them a home field advantage.
"It's really hard for me to believe that this place is going to be louder than Indianapolis' old stadium," Garrard said. "If we get there and it is extremely loud and my ears are bleeding, then we'll have to go to a silent cadence."
Of the Seattle defense, he said, "I see a defense that doesn't want to give anything big, but they're playing a lot of single high coverages and we need to try to take advantage of that. They're going to try to stop the run, which most teams try to do to us and challenge us to pass the ball. We're going to have to try to step up to the challenge. Even if we're doing it on the west coast, we've got to be ready to do it."
It's all likely to start with how Garrard is playing. His reputation is like his quarterback rating -- sort of middle of the road.
Now he's got to try to elevate his game and his reputation.
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