Jaguars place ‘too big of a load’ on Garrard, fallBy MARK LONG, AP Sports Writer Monday, Dec 27, 2010
They were disappointed with the results.
Kevin Barnes(notes) intercepted Garrard’s second pass in overtime, setting up Graham Gano’s(notes) 31-yard field goal that gave the Washington Redskins a 20-17 victory and snapped a four-game losing streak Sunday.
“We put too big of a load on David. He wasn’t able to carry that load,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “It’s just too big a load.”
Now, with the playoffs probably out of reach, the biggest question facing the Jaguars (8-7) will once again be about Garrard’s future with the franchise. His up-and-down performance Sunday was a microcosm of his career.
Garrard completed 22 of 38 passes for 299 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions. He ran for a score, but also took four sacks and fumbled twice.
His last error was the most troublesome. Under heavy pressure on third down, Garrard floated a pass to the sideline. Barnes stepped in front of Marcedes Lewis(notes) and put the Redskins in position for Gano’s winning kick.
“I told the defense somebody has to be the hero, and when the chance came I made the play,” Barnes said.
Gano drilled the kick through a swirling wind, finding a little atonement after missing two short field goals in a one-point loss to Tampa Bay two weeks ago.
“I had some adversity two weeks ago, so to come through and get a team win like this feels good,” Gano said.
The Redskins (6-9) won for the just the second time in eight games. They made just enough plays to pull this one out.
Rex Grossman(notes) had a touchdown pass early, and Ryan Torain(notes) added a 1-yard plunge on fourth down late. But the defense did most of the work. The unit played without several starters, including linebacker Brian Orakpo(notes) and safeties Reed Doughty(notes) and Kareem Moore(notes), and lost cornerback Carlos Rogers(notes) during the game.
Washington hardly missed them. The defense stuffed Jacksonville’s running game, pressured Garrard and came up big when it mattered most.
“When you play a game like this, where one team is playing for the playoffs and the other team for pride, you see what type of character you have,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said.
The Jaguars have lost two in a row and need help to make the playoffs. They need to win at Houston next week and have Tennessee upset Indianapolis to win the AFC South.
The Jaguars had a chance to clinch the division last week against the Colts, but faltered in every phase of the game.
They came out flat against the Redskins and looked mostly uncomfortable in the coldest home game (38 degrees) in team history. Among the problems were seven penalties and a missed field goal.
The Redskins were much more efficient, using a long kickoff return and a turnover to jump out to a 10-0 lead.
The Jaguars tied it at 17 on Garrard’s 20-yard run with 2:44 remaining. They sacked Grossman on the ensuing drive and settled for overtime.
Jacksonville won the toss, took the ball and then watched things implode. Rashad Jennings(notes) gained a couple of yards, Garrard hit Jennings in the flat for a few more, then on third-and-4, the Redskins blitzed Garrard and got the pick.
“In hindsight, you wish you could hold onto it and not throw that pick,” Garrard said. “But we’re just trying to make plays. I was trying to make a play and that’s how the game is.”