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The World of Sports: Jaguars in Trouble

It is rather easy to harp on a coach or player when they’re down, but the continued poor play by Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard can no longer be ignored. During Week One, he was at a peak – three touchdowns and a 76.5 completion percentage.

The following week against San Diego was a valley – four interceptions and a 62.7 quarterback rating.

Well, Garrard is still in that valley. In Sunday’s 28-3 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Garrard was 13 for 30 with 105 passing yards and one interception. His first standout pass was a 23-yarder to receiver Mike Sims-Walker in the middle of the field. That occurred with 12:12 remaining in the third quarter. At halftime, he tallied 38 yards passing on five completions. For the majority of the game, Garrard lacked zip on his passes and looked hesitant, which made him hold onto the ball too long.

The clock begins to tick on how long Jags head coach Jack Del Rio will stick with the 32-year-old Garrard. In my opinion, if this production – or lack thereof – continues for a couple more weeks, Del Rio has to go in another direction. Or does Del Rio, who was rumored to be leaving for Southern Cal in the offseason, go down with the ship? The way I see it is Del Rio needs a change at signal-caller if this Jaguars squad wants a shot at the playoffs – especially the way the rest of the AFC South is playing.

That 23-yard Sims-Walker catch was the Jaguars’ longest of the game. Philadelphia completed plays longer than 23 yards four separate times. They were all passes from Michael Vick – 25, 42, 45 and 61.

Holding the ball for 32:53, compared to the Eagles’ 27:07, would make you believe Jacksonville could have put up more than three points. Yes, however, a 29 percent conversion rate on third down – 5 of 17 – along with eight punts hinders a team’s scoring opportunities.

 Oh, and 69 offensive plays created a mere 184 yards.  That is offensive.

If you were taking notes on Sunday, I’m sure you jotted down the names, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Albeit, going up against a spotty Jaguar secondary, any receiving corps can look jaw-dropping. But, Jackson and Maclin combined for nine receptions, 236 yards and three touchdowns. In comparison, the Jaguars’ No. 1 and 2 receivers – Sims-Walker and Mike Thomas – only were able to catch four balls for 41 yards. Also, Sims-Walker dropped a catchable, fourth-quarter pass in the right corner of the end zone. Even with the memories of Matt Jones and Reggie Williams lingering, the Jags are still not shining in the wide receiver department.

Jacksonville’s secondary might be the death of this year’s team. For the second week in a row, second-year cornerback Derek Cox was benched in favor of David Jones, and Courtney Greene started for the injured Anthony Smith. The secondary will continue to get eaten alive until it acquires a player who can be discussed in the same breath as Champ Bailey, Antoine Cason or Asante Samuel – cornerbacks the Jaguars have faced in the first three weeks.

Considering he lost his starting job to Vick and suffered a concussion in the last two weeks, Kevin Kolb was, mostly, all smiles in the locker room. Donning a nicely-pressed beige suit and Ryan Seacreast-like stubble, Kolb gave off the appearance of being a starter. Of course, when you’re making over $11 million this season, anyone would smile.

After the Jaguars went down 14-3, I was thinking maybe Jacksonville needed the third consecutive home game to be delayed by lightning. Then, I was awakened from my dream as a chorus of boos rained down upon the Jaguars on their trot to the locker room at halftime.

Jacksonville owner Wayne Weaver was not smiling after Sunday’s loss like he was two weeks ago after a 24-17 victory over the Denver Broncos. There was no joy, from what I witnessed.

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Richard Miller is the host of “Miller On Sports” weekdays on ABC 1530 WBOB from 1 until 2 p.m. You can listen live at www.1530wbob.com.

On Sundays, Richard covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for Sporting News Radio. Currently, Richard is writing David Lamm’s biography entitled Lamm at Large: The David Lamm Story, which will be available in 2011.

Follow Richard’s daily blog on MillerOnSports.com and his Twitter @MillerOnSports.

You can e-mail Richard at MillerOnSports@gmail.com

1 Responses »

  1. As I viewed the game it was apparent to me that the QB position is NOT the most glaring problem for the Jaguars.

    Head coach JDR is the first problem, followed in order by the OL, the DE that's a former Florida Gator, Resheen Mathis in the secondary... and finally we get to David Garrard.

    But let me say this, if Peyton Manning played behind our Jaguar OL he wouldn't be the media darling he has become.