Garrard Sinking the Jaguars

Garrard Sinking the Jaguars

The timing couldn't be worse for the Jaguars. They face Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts Sunday with an offense that will have problems matching Manning touchdown for touchdown.



Last December, Manning threw four touchdown passes against the Jaguars, but the Jaguars made it a game and just lost a 35-31 decision.

But in the wake of a 28-3 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday, the Jaguars' offense is sputtering and ineffective and the team has lost by 25 points two weeks in a row. They lost 38-13 in San Diego and it was the first time in franchise history that they lost by 20 points or more two weeks in a row.

Quarterback David Garrard appears to have lost his confidence after throwing four interceptions against the San Diego Chargers two weeks ago.

The defense held the Eagles to seven points until the final four seconds of the first half, but Garrard could only produce 69 total yards and three points in the first half.

Garrard completed just five of 12 passes in the first half for only 38 yards, and he had three passes almost intercepted.

On the first three series of the second half, while the Jaguars were only trailing 14-3, they got just one first down and punted twice and then Garrard threw a poor pass that Asante Samuel intercepted.

On the next play, Michael Vick threw his third touchdown pass, a 45-yard strike to Jeremy Maclin, who beat David Jones. Jones, who also gave up a 42-yard pass, was playing in place of Derek Cox, who started 16 games as a rookie, but was benched.

The two lopsided losses also left coach Jack Del Rio on the hot seat. In his eighth season, he is now 58-57 in the regular season.

Wayne Weaver said in the offseason that he expected the team to be in the playoffs this year, but the team not only doesn't appear playoff bound, it hasn't been competitive.

If the team keeps losing lopsided games, the question isn't whether Del Rio will be fired at the end of the year or whether he will be fired before the season is over.

The team, which ended last season with four consecutive losses, appears to have made little improvement in the offseason and has now lost six of its last seven games dating back to last year.

They continue to be shredded by good quarterbacks. Michael Vick threw for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth to boost the number of touchdowns produced by Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Vick to 15 - 14 passing and one running - in four of the last seven games.

Manning and Brady threw for four each and Rivers and Vick for three each.

But the defense wasn't even the main culprit. The offense produced just 184 yards, made just one trip to the red zone and converted only five of 17 third-down plays.

Much of the blame will fall on the shoulders of Garrard. He appeared to be pressing and tentative and seemed to display a lack of confidence as he posted a 38.9 passer rating, and was sacked six times. While he was intercepted just once, he threw several more balls into the hands of Eagles' defenders, but they dropped them.

"If the quarterback is having a tough day, it seems that the whole team has a tough day," Garrard said.

Garrard said he wasn't pressing and said, "You can never put your finger on it. You never know what the day is going to bring. I've got to do better and everybody in this locker room, I'm sure, will feel the same way."

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