David Garrard, Jaguars Prepare for More Criticism After Home Loss to Eagles
They didn't get it. Worse, they didn't come close.
With beleagured quarterback David Garrard struggling for a second consecutive game and with the defense unable to contain Michael Vick, the Jaguars fell behind early and never seriously contended after halftime, losing to the Philadelphia Eagles 28-3 at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville Sunday afternoon.
"This is definitely a tough pill to swallow," Garrard said. "It was really embarrassing out there. Our fans deserve more than that; this team, this organization deserves more than that. We definitely have to right the ship and right it fast."
That was the money quote from the post-game locker room, and it came from the player likely to absorb the most blame and criticism for what players said afterward was in every way a team loss.
Garrard, already under criticism after a four-interception game in San Diego a week before, struggled from the beginning Sunday, completing 13 of 30 passes for 105 yards and no touchdowns with an interception.
A week before, Garrard was pulled in the fourth quarter of a loss at San Diego. There was no such benching Sunday, but there also was no experience backup quarterback, with Luke McCown having sustained a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear while playing in the fourth quarter in place of Garrard a week before.
"I don't want to speak for David, I'll let him speak for himself, but he was ineffective today," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "A lot of things go into it, attempts at passing and not much productivity in passing. We weren't very good at throwing the ball today."
Said Garrard, "If the quarterback is having a tough day, it seems that the whole team has a tough day."
More days have been difficult than not for the Jaguars lately, and that has been increasingly true for Garrard as well. They haven't made the postseason since 2007, and Garrard heard criticism and questions about his future throughout the offseason. After playing well with a three-touchdown effort in a season-opening victory over Denver, he has thrown five interceptions and one touchdown in the last two games.
Not everything the last two weeks has been his fault. The running game struggled Sunday, and a defense that felt good about itself after Week 1 has allowed 66 points the last two weeks. On Sunday, Vick not only threw three touchdown passes, he put the game out of reach with a 17-yard run for a touchdown on the next-to-last play of the third quarter.
Whatever the reasons for two consecutive one-sided losses, Garrard likely is to receive a lot of the blame.
And with the Indianapolis Colts coming to Jacksonville, the Jaguars need a far better performance Sunday for the quarterback criticism not to continue.