Inside Slant: David Garrard and Fred Taylor

As the Jaguars start their drive for a wild-card spot after their division title hopes were dashed Sunday, they know they should have a strong 1-2 punch in quarterback David Garrard and running back Fred Taylor.

Garrard virtually dueled the Colts' Peyton Manning to a draw, but lost, 28-25, because his team made more mistakes than Manning's team did.

After Garrard passed for 257 yards and two touchdowns in the Jaguars' 28-25 loss to the Colts Sunday, running back Fred Taylor compared him to Manning and Tom Brady.

"David is still growing. The sky is still the limit for Dave. He's playing at a Pro Bowl caliber. Once he starts taking advantage of other things such as the checkdowns, he'll be at the same level, and I'm not getting too far by saying this, a Tom Brady and Peyton. They're patient and you have to be patient. He's showing signs of that," Taylor said.

Garrard did have his string of 230 passes without an interception broken by a pass that went off the hands of Gary Brackett and was grabbed by Antoine Bethea. He said the Jaguars had completed that pass about five times, but Brackett gave him a different look and jumped the route.

Taylor ran for 104 yards to boost his career total to 10,325 yards and surpass Ottis Anderson (10,273 yards) for 20th place on the all-time list. He also has five 100-yard games against the Colts.

Garrard said, "Fred's hungry. That's all I can say. He looks younger and fresher. I think he's wiser and smarter. And giving him spells (alternating with Maurice Jones-Drew) has rejuvenated him a little bit."

Taylor has surpassed the 100-yard mark two games in a row and may be on track for a strong finish.

The Jaguars play the Panthers, Steelers, Raiders and Texans in their final four games. If they win three of four, they'll be virtually guaranteed a wild-card spot at 11-5.

Even if they split, they'll probably get a spot with a 10-6 mark. They have an 8-4 mark and lead the Browns and Titans, who are both 7-5, by a game.

But their division title hopes ended with the loss to the Colts, who now lead them by two and have the tiebreaker. The Jaguars would have to sweep their final four and the Colts would have to lose three of four for the Jaguars to catch them.


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