Garcia's streak keeps growing

Jeff Garcia hasn't thrown an interception all season, but to put that in perspective it's only the fifth-longest streak in the NFL since 2000. But, Garcia did set one record last week — the team record for most attempts without an interception.

Sunday's game should have been a matchup between the only two starting quarterbacks in the NFL that haven't thrown an interception.

But Jacksonville starter David Garrard's ankle injury threw a wrench in that storyline. Garrard will not play on Sunday — and may miss at least two games after that — with a sprained ankle.

Garrard's streak of 148 attempts without an interception is on hold, but Tampa Bay starter Jeff Garcia's streak is still intact, despite throwing 45 times last week against Detroit.

Garcia set the team record last week for consecutive attempts without an interception with 189. Brad Johnson (2001-02) held the record at 187 straight attempts. Additionally, Garcia has not thrown an interception in 209 straight attempts, dating back to last season in Philadelphia.

That is the longest current streak in the NFL, and the fifth-longest since 2000. Another Jon Gruden quarterback, Rich Gannon, tossed 277 straight passes without an interception in 2001.

Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden said the circumstances of this season make Garcia's streak pretty impressive.

"He's in a new offense — it's not like he's been in this offense his whole life," Gruden said. "He's playing with a lot of young guys, different receivers, backs coming and going. Not only has he not thrown an interception, he's thrown for 70 percent completions. So he's doing a lot of great things."

Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio, obviously, has coached Garrard all season. And he's spent the past 24 hours breaking down plenty of film on Garcia. He's impressed by both streaks.

"You'd like to protect the ball and be smart with it, but at the same time you want to make plays," Del Rio said. "It's rare that a guy goes that long and doesn't turn the ball over. There's so many opportunities and defenses give you different looks. It's a great streak he (Garcia) has going and obviously we'd like to see that streak come to an end on Sunday."

Garcia did commit two turnovers last Sunday against Detroit, but both were fumbles.

Also against Detroit, Garcia set the fifth-best completion percentage in franchise history at 82.2 percent (37-of-45) in the 23-16 loss.

The streak

Most consecutive pass attempts without an interception (since 2000):

Rich Gannon, 2001 — 277

Aaron Brooks, 200-304 — 256

Marc Bulger, 2005-06 — 248

Jake Plummer, 2005 — 229

Jeff Garcia, 2006-07 — 209 Source: NFL

Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association and has won national awards for his Buccaneers coverage from the PFWA, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press Sports Editors. He is also a contributor to the Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.

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