Chiefs Seek 3rd Win
Thursday, October 4th 2007, 4:18 pm
By: News On 6
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) It'll be the same stadium but a whole new world for David Garrard when he steps onto the unfriendly turf of Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.
The last time he and the Jacksonville Jaguars visited Kansas City, he was a struggling quarterback with an uncertain future as long as Byron Leftwich was around. Needing to win the season finale on New Year's Eve for the Jags to back into the playoffs, David
Garrard played so poorly he got benched for the first time in his life.
Ty Law intercepted his pass in the fourth quarter, setting up Larry Johnson's touchdown, Garrard took a seat and the Jaguars went on to lose their third straight and finish 8-8.
Now Byron Leftwich is a backup in Atlanta, and Garrard, in three games, has completed 64 percent of his passes. His 103.8 passer rating is among the best in the NFL. The Jaguars are 2-1 and like the Chiefs (2-2) will be looking for their third straight win.
Perhaps most pleasing to the 29-year-old quarterback and his coaches, he hasn't thrown an interception in a regular-season game since the one Ty Law picked off almost 10 months ago.
It's been an interesting journey between trips to Kansas City for the former fourth-round draft pick, and very heartening.
``It's really a hard thing to describe. You go from low of lows to basically high of highs,'' Garrard said. ``It's a great feeling. It lets you know that no matter how tough things get, you can always overcome them, you can always fight back from them and move on past them. You don't have to keep dwelling on the past.''
Garrard's scrambling ability also gives Jacksonville a run-pass threat it hasn't had since Mark Brunell was in his heyday.
``He's playing really well,'' said Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson. ``The main thing is he isn't forcing anything. He's a two-dimensional quarterback because he can pass and run. He's not going to throw that many (interceptions) because he can just pull the ball down and run. That's a great thing for their offense.
``At the same time, we need to get their quarterback on the ground. I see them running the ball first. I don't see this team giving us a whole bunch of passes.''
The Chiefs' rapidly improving defense hasn't allowed a second-half point in the last two games, come-from-behind victories over Minnesota and San Diego that have salvaged their season and given everyone a fresh outlook.
``You could say we're feeling a lot more confident, sure,'' said guard Brian Waters. ``When you start having a little success, naturally you start feeling better about yourself.''
Nobody in a Chiefs uniform is feeling better than Dwayne Bowe, last April's first-round draft pick who set a team rookie record against the Chargers last week with 164 yards receiving.
Bowe leads AFC rookies with 18 catches and tops NFL rookies with 299 yards receiving. He's also scored three TDs, including the winner against Minnesota and the tiebreaker against the Chargers.