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Jags need Garrard to regain form


David Garrard kept waiting for receivers to come open. The result was seven sacks and twice as many knock-downs.

"There were instances when I could've gotten rid of the ball," Garrard said of the Jaguars' week one loss in Tennessee. "There's something in you when you know you have a route developing downfield. I should've gotten rid of the ball faster."

Garrard threw two interceptions against the Titans; he threw three in all of the 2007 regular season. Counting last season's two playoff games, Garrard has now thrown seven interceptions in his last five games and the Jaguars would like to see him get back to the more efficient style of performance that saw him rise to the top of the passer rankings last season.

He'll have a chance to regain his form against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, in the Jaguars' home opener. The Jaguars lost their starting guards for the season in their week one loss and Garrard will be playing behind a makeshift offensive line that will be without all three of the interior starters, as center Brad Meester continues to recover from a torn biceps.

Garrard will be looking across the line on Sunday at a familiar face. Former Jaguars defensive tackle Marcus Stroud is now a member of the Bills and a rejuvenated Stroud led a strong Bills effort in blowing out the Seahawks last Sunday. Stroud was traded to the Bills last spring and he will no doubt be highly motivated on Sunday to prove to the Jaguars they made a bad decision.

"I know he's going to do some talking. We invite it and we're ready for it. I don't hear any of it. I'm too busy getting checks out of the way," Garrard said.

"Be efficient, eliminate the turnovers, score when we're in the red zone," Garrard said of his intent this week. "Turn things around and get that bad taste out of our mouths; I know we're going to put together a great scheme to pass and run the ball."

Coach Jack Del Rio said the team's expectations remain the same; that the losses on the offensive line have not caused lowered expectations. At Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on Sunday, the Jaguars' hopes should get an assist from temperatures forecast to soar into the 90's, which could make for a very long day for a team that also calls Canada home.

"That's great. I've been looking for some good weather like that," defensive end Paul Spicer said. "The heat affects everybody differently. I'd rather have the heat on our side, but what I'm looking for is the Jags playing better ball.

"We know we need to play better defense. If we do that, we feel good about our chances," Spicer added.

The Bills have a lot of weapons. Marshawn Lynch is a big-play running back, Lee Evans is a deep receiver and touchdown-maker, and return men Roscoe Parrish and Terrence McGee are two of the best in the game. Parrish returned a punt for a touchdown against the Seahawks and the Bills also used a lonesome end kind of trick play to score a touchdown on a fake field goal attempt.

"They're more balanced than Tennessee so we have to respect that," cornerback Rashean Mathis said.

With a trip to Indianapolis on the schedule for week three, some are calling Sunday's game a must win for the Jaguars.

"It's a must win every week. Last week put a little more emphasis on it, but you have to buy into it every week," Mathis said.

A win would even the Jaguars' record at 1-1 and set up the showdown game against the Colts that everyone saw when the schedule was released. A loss would leave the Jaguars at 0-2 and send them to Indianapolis for what could become a knockout blow.

A must win? It's certainly as close as you can get to one in week two.

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