SAN DIEGO -- The Jaguars will need every ounce of the commitment they made to the 2010 season, in the face of a 38-13 loss on Sunday that would threaten the faith of most teams.
At 1-1, the Jaguars will face an early crossroads in their season over the next two weeks, as they play host to the Eagles and Colts at EverBank Field. Which team are the Jaguars, the hard-nosed team that scored a thrilling win over the Broncos in the season-opener, or the one that was steamrolled for 477 yards by Philip Rivers and the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium?
"Did not execute very well today. Good Chargers team. I know our local guys want to talk about the West Coast. It's another lopsided score. I thought we traveled well, we prepared well. We just didn't get it done," coach Jack Del Rio said in his opening remarks to the media.
"I told our team I am as committed and energized as ever," Del Rio added.
Commitment and dedication have been the watch words for the Jaguars since their offseason program began. Now, that resolve will be put to the test.
Will the lopsided defeat shake their belief? Can they rebound against an Eagles team that possesses explosive offensive threats in wide receiver DeSean Jackson and running back LeSean McCoy?
The player to whom the Jaguars will look hardest for those answers is quarterback David Garrard, who suffered through a nightmarish performance in San Diego that saw him benched in the fourth quarter. Garrard threw four interceptions just seven days after having thrown none. Criticism of Garrard that he's like the "little girl with the curl" will undoubtedly increase this week.
"Your quarterback is your trigger man. If he has a rough day, that's usually going to lead to a rough day for your football team," Del Rio said.
Make no mistake, Garrard had a rough day.
Rivers, on the other hand, had a highlight day. He threw for 334 yards and three touchdowns. His two interceptions were erased almost immediately by the Jaguars' penchant for giving the ball back.
The Chargers came charging out of the gate on their opening possession of the game. They went 74 yards in six easy plays and the shell-shocked Jaguars never really recovered.
"They feed off that kind of thing. They start to feel good about themselves," Del Rio said. "We had a chance to get back into the game and didn't respond. There were enough turnovers going both ways. The team that took advantage was going to come out on top."
Garrard's biggest miss of the day occurred on the Jaguars' opening possession. Wide receiver Tiquan Underwood had beaten his defender deep but Garrard underthrew Underwood and Antoine Cason made the interception.
"It was a terrible day at the office. If I could erase my memory I would," Garrard said. "We wanted to play well and show we can play well on the West Coast."
The good news is that the Jaguars are not scheduled to play another game on the West Coast this season.