Model of Inconsistency: Is Jaguars QB David Garrard's Time in Jacksonville Done?
Currently in his ninth season, Jaguars quarterback David Garrard has been one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks in the league. However, one thing he has done consistently is not lead the Jaguars to an AFC South title.
Garrard was tabbed with the 108th overall selection by the Jaguars in the 2002 NFL Draft. The Jaguars drafted Byron Leftwich with the seventh overall pick in 2003, which led Garrard to believe that he would never be the starting quarterback for the Jaguars.
Due to poor performances by Leftwich, Garrard got the starting nod for five games in 2005, while leading the Jaguars to a 4-1 record in those games.
After Leftwich led the Jaguars to a 3-3 record in their first six games of the 2006 season, head coach Jack Del Rio benched the former first-round pick in favor of Garrard.
Garrard would start the next ten games, but fared just as well as Leftwich, leading the team to a 5-5 record and 8-8 overall. He would throw ten touchdowns and nine interceptions and finish the year with 1,735 passing yards and a healthy 60.2 completion percentage.
Garrard became the full-fledged starter in 2007, starting twelve games and missing the rest of the games due to a sprained ankle. As the starter, Garrard helped the Jaguars to a 9-3 record before suffering the injury, while backup Quinn Gray started the next four games.
In that very season, Garrard threw for 2,509 yards and tied an NFL record with a league-low three interceptions. He also threw 18 touchdowns, while completing 64 percent of his passes and compiling a 102.2 quarterback rating.
The Jaguars would finish the 2007 season with an 11-5 record and clinched a playoff spot in the process.
His 2007 season was highlighted in their AFC Wild Card matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Garrard led the Jaguars to a 31-29 upset in the game, successfully outplaying Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Perhaps the key drive of Garrard's career, the Jaguars were down 29-28 with 1:56 left in the game. Garrard led the team into field goal range, including a 32-yard scamper on fourth-and-two to set up the game-winning field goal.
The Jaguars would then proceed to lose to the undefeated Patriots in the following round, 31-20.
During the offseason, the Jaguars would announce that Garrard has signed a contract extension with the team, approximately worth $60 million over six years.
Garrard would start all sixteen games for the 2008 season, the first time in his NFL career that he would start every single regular season game.
The Jaguars started off the season with a 3-3 record, but lost eight of their next ten games, successfully beating the lowly Detroit Lions and the Favre-less Green Bay Packers.
Due to numerous injuries on the offensive line, the Jaguars limped to a last-place finish in the AFC South, while Garrard's play sunk as well. With injuries to the offensive line, Garrard was sacked 42 times, amongst the top in the entire league.
He did throw for a career-high 3,620 yards, but only managed to throw fifteen touchdowns, compared to thirteen interceptions. Garrard would also fumble a team-high seven times.
His quarterback rating managed to drop over twenty points from 102.2 the previous year to an average 81.7 rating.
The following season, the Jaguars were thought to challenge the Indianapolis Colts for the division title, along with becoming one of the league's most surprising teams.
Instead, the Jaguars limped again to a 7-9 record with Garrard starting all sixteen games for the second time in his career.
The Jaguars remained in playoff contention after twelve games, while posting a 7-5 record.
With their hopes on the line, the Jaguars would then go on to lose their next four games, all disappointing losses to the Dolphins, Colts, Patriots, and Browns, respectively. Three of the four losses were by six points or less, along with a 28-point loss (35-7) to the Patriots in Week 16.
However, the lone bright spot for Garrard was his selection to the Pro Bowl as the third-string quarterback, after Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer, and Ben Roethlisberger announced that they would not play in the annual game.
Garrard finished the 2009 campaign with 3,597 passing yards, along with fifteen touchdowns and ten interceptions.
Although the Jaguars have played decent during the 2010 season, Garrard has proved to be one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks in the league.
The Jaguars are 8-7 and still remain in playoff contention with one week left in the season. But one can vouch that it is not due to Garrard's playing abilities.
Garrard has played in fourteen games for the season and his inconsistencies have gotten the better of him.
He has had eight games with a quarterback rating above 90, but has had six games with a rating of 70 or below, including three games below 60. He has also failed to reach the 200-yard plateau nine times out of the fourteen games.
After suffering an injury to his right middle finger, Garrard has been ruled out for the season finale against the Houston Texans, along with any playoff games if they can somehow make it in. On December 30, Garrard had surgery to repair the torn ligament in his finger.
With his season over, Garrard has passed for 2,734 yards, along with twenty-three touchdowns and fifteen interceptions.
Personally, I view Garrard and Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer as the two most inconsistent quarterbacks in the league.
With Garrard's tendencies, it may be time for the Jaguars to move forward and part ways with the veteran.
Even though they are still in playoff contention, the Jaguars may need an overhaul if they want to contend year in and year out for the AFC South title. And the remodeling starts with the quarterback position.
Many thought that the Jaguars would take a risk on Tim Tebow in the 2010 Draft, but instead, he was tabbed by the Denver Broncos with the 25th overall selection.
Outside of running back Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jaguars' offense seems to be in shambles. Since receiver Jimmy Smith retired, the Jaguars have been looking for a true No. 1 receiver.
They thought that Mike Sims-Walker would supplant the retired Smith, but he has also played inconsistently, which could also be because of Garrard's play.
Sims-Walker has struggled this season, while seemingly becoming the third option in Jacksonville behind second-year pro Mike Thomas and veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis. This season, the receiver has caught 43 passes for 627 yards and seven touchdowns.
The offensive line has also been one of the main question marks for Jacksonville, so we may see the Jaguars use a high draft choice on a lineman, along with a receiver.
A quarterback selection could also be thrown in the mix as well.
Only time will tell, but in my opinion, the Jaguars need a change at quarterback, as it seems Garrard's time in Jacksonville is running thin.
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