There may be no bigger game for our playoff lives this weekend(other than our own with Baltimore), than the contest between the New England Patriots and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The two teams will meet having had polar opposite results this past Sunday. New England got back on track with a 40-7 pounding of Houston, while Jacksonville squandered an impressive offensive and defensive day with 4 David Garrad turnovers (3 of which were returned for TDs).
Jacksonville's loss to the Titans was the type of defeat that has the potential to send a team into a tailspin. It was JUST as bad as our loss to the Raiders. The Jags, like the Steelers that day, held their opponent under 100 total yards, yet found a way to lose. That's demoralizing stuff, any way you cut it up.
The Pats on the other hand, were good enough on offense, and opportunistic on defense, picking off David Carr 4 times. Although Brady was usual solid self in the redzone, the offense will have to play better against a Jaguars team that consistently plays well on the defensive side of the ball. This Sunday though, was all about the defense for New England. And good thing, beacuse it had struggled for several weeks prior to Sunday. Funny what a matchup with the Texans will do for your team.
David Garrard is going to have to find a way to rebound from this past Sunday. Let's be clear: he single-handedly cost his team the game. It's not like he's the franchise player either. There's no immunity for players like Garrard. He was the man selected to lead this team to the playoffs. This past weekend, he showed signs he may not have what it takes. Garrard has avoided lots of criticism beacuse he's got a solid winning percentage as a starter. Now, he's going to be facing scrutiny for the first time in his professional career.
How will he handle it?
Piss-poorly I hope.