Jaguars confident in Garrard
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David Garrard had just three winning drives in his first 58 career starts. Now, he has two in the past two weeks.
Garrard threw a touchdown pass to Mike Sims-Walker with 56 seconds remaining and Jacksonville beat the visiting Buffalo Bills, 18-15, spoiling Perry Fewell's debut as interim coach and giving the Jaguars their first three-game winning streak in nearly two years.
"It's just something that continues to give this team, this offense, confidence," Garrard said. "You're not going to get it every time, but when you do, you've got to relish it, learn from it and understand what it's like to be in that moment."
The Bills (3-7) bottled up Maurice Jones-Drew, pressured Garrard and managed 300 yards of offense for the first time in two months. But Garrard directed a 68-yard scoring drive when it mattered for the Jaguars (6-4). He managed a similar come-from-behind effort last week against the Jets.
Garrard completed 21 of 30 passes for 215 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He was sacked twice, but nearly perfect on the final drive.
"Any given play, we can make it happen," Garrard said. "Guys know when we get in that situation it's not a loss. It's an opportunity for us to go make the plays to get the win. When I walk into that huddle, you can see it in everybody's eyes. Nobody has that glassy-eyed look. Everybody's focused and ready to roll."
Terrell Owens caught nine passes for 197 yards, including a team-record 98-yarder for a score. It was his best outing with the Bills, who have lost three in a row and six of eight.
Sims-Walker asked Owens for his jersey after the game. Owens obliged, pulling it off and graciously handing it over with a smile near midfield. "Might show I'm washed up," Owens joked. "I take it as a compliment that I can still play this game."
Buffalo looked as though it would pull off an upset after a tumultuous week that started with sideline bickering at Tennessee and continued with the firing of coach Dick Jauron two days later.
Ryan Fitzpatrick hooked up with Owens for the longest play in Bills history, putting Buffalo ahead 15-10 early in the fourth.
Owens emphatically dunked the ball over the goal post following his second touchdown catch of the season. "All for nothing when you don't get the win," Owens said. "I'm glad for the opportunity to make big plays, what I've always wanted to do. We came up short."
The final drive started with 6:12 remaining, and Garrard completed four consecutive passes and moved the Jaguars to the 12. Jones-Drew took over from there, running five times but coming up short on second-and-goal from the 1. Facing third down, Garrard dropped back and floated a pass to Sims-Walker in the corner of the end zone.
• Vikings 35, Seahawks 9: Brett Favre completed a career-high 88 percent of his passes for 213 yards and four touchdown passes as host Minnesota delivered its most complete performance of the season in a rout of Seattle. Favre completed 22 of his 25 throws for the Vikings (9-1). His previous career high was 85.2 percent against Detroit on Sept. 20.
• Cardinals 21, Rams 13: Kurt Warner spent the second half pacing the sideline after taking a blow to the head. Warner threw for 203 yards and two touchdowns while visiting Arizona was building a 21-3 cushion, and the NFC West leaders hung on late, remaining unbeaten on the road. Tim Hightower had 110 yards on 14 carries, the first 100-yard game of the season for a team ranked next to last in the NFL in rushing.
• Packers 30, 49ers 24: Aaron Rodgers threw touchdowns to Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, and Ryan Grant rushed for 129 yards and a score as host Green Bay (6-4) rebounded from a midseason skid before going into its Thanksgiving Day date at Detroit. Alex Smith recovered from a rough start to make things interesting with three second-half touchdowns, including rookie Michael Crabtree's first career score, but it wasn't enough for the 49ers (4-6).
First Published November 23, 2009 12:00 am