If the game had been just the first quarter, David Garrard was playing well.
So what changed?
Well first, Garrard had two rookie tackles guarding him. He had Dwight Freeny constantly beating Monroe on the outside. He had receivers slipping.
Second, ever think it takes a little adjustment to transtition from preseason to the regular season?
Think about it this way: even though Garrard did not throw a touchdown or lead the team on the game-winning drive, he did not throw an interception. He had a so-so game, not a terrible or even bad game. He was not Jake Delhomme out there.
Yet then agian, some people ask if the excuses will ever stop for Garrard. So here is my verdict: Let's see him play against the Cardinals, when he has pressure to perform.
Del Rio has even put pressure on the quarterback to perform.
It's time for Garrard to make or break. Thats the main storyline of the game.
Here are my ratings for last week's game:
David Garrard: Not bad, but could be alot better. GRADE: B
MJD: Great running, but if he hadn't had dropped that pass... GRADE: A-
O-Line: Britton looked liked the first rounded not Monroe. But the interior line did a great job: GRADE: B-/C+ (79 percent-ish)
WR: Torry Holt looks like he was worth the money...but who else was there? GRADE: C
Secondary: Derek Cox had a great game, I don't care what anyone says. A rookie picking off Peyton and sure he may have gotten beat for the winning touchdown, but Peyton to Reggie is Peyton to Reggie. Cox will be good. Next year the Jaguars will be deadly at Corner. Grade: B
Defense: Odd that when the Jags switched to a 4-3 they started stopping the Colts. All I'm going to say. Mel Tucker, please watch the film and realize that our 4-3 is much better then our 3-4. Grade B
Overall: A loss, but a semi-good loss in the end. The Jaguars will not be 5-11.
David Garrard vs. Cardinals Defense: Against the Cardinals, David Garrard has the opportunity to play under pressure now with the staff breathing down his neck. I think he capitalizes. Let's take a trip back to his first year when he was under heavy pressure to perform. He performed brilliantly. So maybe the renewed pressure will jump-start this team. Just a hunch that Garrard will do well.
MJD vs. Cards defense: This matchup is the most concerning. The Jaguars need to establish the running game against a team that allowed only 21 yards rushing last game. This could be concerning for the Jaguars. Look for the Jaguars to run a good number of swing passes to MJD to keep him going in the game.
WR vs Cardinals secondary: The Cardinals secondary did not play exceptionally well in there week one loss to the 49ers but then again neither did the Jaguars. However, we should see more action from Mike Sims-Walker and Mike Thomas.
Kurt Warner vs. Jags Secondary: This matchup scares many Jags fans, but it doesn't scare me as much. Both Steve Breston and Anquan Boldin are hurt and listed as questionable, and are central to the Cards performance. Larry Fitzgerald is a monster, so he will be open no matter who covers him. However, without Boldin and Breston, I see the Jags with the advantage. With one or both, it's a Cardinals advantage.
Cardinals running backs vs Jags Defense: Jaguars are reestablishing themselves as a good run defense, and it should be expected to continue against Arizonia. Plus, Arizonia is much more of a throwing team, so I would expect at max 80 yards from the Arizonia backs.
Cardinals WR vs Jags Secondary: Larry Fitzgerald is uncoverable. Even when you do cover him he can get the ball over everyone. However, the Jaguars could at least slow him down with Mathis, but if Boldins back the Jags could be in some trouble:
Intagibles: Well, it's in Jacksonville. If the Cardinals east coast trip slump continues then the Jaguars could pull off a big win in front of the fans.
Cardinals 23, Jaguars 24