who is underestimating David Garrard and the Jacksonville Jaguars against the
Indianapolis Colts Sunday may be sorely mistaken.
injured Byron Leftwich does not make Sunday's game an automatic win. Garrard
is a dangerous, double-threat quarterback with the talent, opportunity and
desire to make a statement in the NFL.
is no stage more set for him to do that.
it probably is," Garrard said, when asked if this was one of the biggest games
he's played in. "It definitely is one of the biggest I've played in."
in the shadows of Leftwich for the past three seasons, Garrard has waited for
this opportunity to prove his value in the NFL. He's led the Jaguars to two
straight victories over Arizona and Cleveland, respectively, showcasing his
ability as a multi-faceted quarterback.
those two games this season, Garrard averaged 115.5 yards passing and 49.5 yards
rushing per game. He is averaging 7.1 yards per carry this year. In his only
career start against the Colts, back in 2002, he ran for 44 yards on 11 carries
in a 20-13 loss.
quick, out-of-pocket, scrambling quarterback is just what could give the
Colts' defense fits. Indianapolis relies on the front line, applying pressure,
depriving wide receivers the time to get deep in their routes.
and point — Week 11 — the
Cincinnati game. The Colts defensive front only touches Carson Palmer once, and
he goes 25-38 for 328 yards passing. Although Garrard is not Carson Palmer, and
the Bengals don't have Chad Johnson, Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney might
have some trouble bothering such a quick quarterback.
they do, Indianapolis could be in trouble.
feel like I bring a quarterback that has the ability to pass as well as run,"
Garrard said in a recent press conference. "Confidence and determination, I
think guys can see the fire in my eyes and can see the way that I play, the
game, that every play matters."
is no doubt, Leftwich is a solid quarterback, who will be missed Sunday. Before
he was injured, Leftwich was having his best season, completing 57.9 percent of
his passes, connecting on 15 touchdown passes, while throwing only five
there is also no doubt, that the Colts gave him fits in week two, sacking him
six times for a loss of 23 yards, prompting the infamous "flipping of the
The Jaguars were much more successful running the ball against the Colts' defense, rushing for 128 yards on 24 carries, averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
more mobile quarterback, with his head on straight, may be the key to
definitely a must win," Garrard. Whenever we're playing, we're
playing to win."
is not unfamiliar with big games. In college, he led No. 27 East Carolina over
No. 9 Miami in a 1999, 27-23, thriller. He threw a 27-yard touchdown pass in the
final minutes of the game to seal an East Carolina upset over the Hurricanes.
wide receiver Reggie Wayne remembers this game, as he was lined up at wideout,
pulling in seven receptions for 80 yards, including the first touchdown of the
have been in big games before in my football career," Garrard said. "In
college we did face Miami when they were in the Top 10 and we beat them. I
feel like there has been times when I've been in tough games, so I don't
feel like this is the only game I've been in that's been a big game. But
this is probably on the biggest stage for myself."
Garrard was just a sophomore in college when he played in the Miami game. He went on to gain 10,238 yards in total offense in four years. He had 666 completions and 60 touchdowns in college, shattering school records in his illustrious, four-year career.
numbers show he has potential, and there is no doubt he is capable. He's just
quite simply never gotten a fair chance. This is definitely his biggest chance
to prove his value.