Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jacksonville Jaguars: Prime Sleeper for 2012

MJD shouldn't have to carry the offense in 2012
Jacksonville Jaguars (2011 record: 5-11)

What went wrong?: Jacksonville lost the final three games of the 2010 season, breaking even at 8-8, and missing the postseason. Lamentably, had the Jags beaten Indianapolis in Week 15, Jacksonville would have won the AFC South outright. Instead, the Jaguars lost 34-24, and the team from North Florida would lose out, while Indy won out.

At age 32, quarterback David Garrard had strung together one of his finest seasons. In fourteen games, Garrard posted a 64.5% completion percentage, with 23 touchdowns and a slightly unhealthy 15 interceptions. In fact, in the loss to the Colts, as well as the overtime loss a week later to Washington, Garrard put up quality numbers. It was the running game that failed Jacksonville, capped off by Maurice Jones-Drew injuring his knee against Indianapolis. He would miss his first game since 2007 the following week, an unfortunate occurrence that helped doom their playoff hopes.

Jacksonville would draft Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the first round the following April. Despite the pick, coach Jack Del Rio insisted that Garrard was his starter going into 2011.

Yeah, that’s not how it worked out.

Mere days before the season began, Garrard was cut by the Jaguars, just hours after being introduced as the team’s starter at a luncheon. Del Rio had apparently grown tired of Garrard’s inconsistency, and his play in preseason didn’t do anything to dissuade him.

To read the rest of this article at Football Nation, click here

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