1:00 PM ET, December 4, 2005
1:00 PM ET, December 4, 2005
Jacksonville (8-3) at Cleveland (4-7) Sunday 1:00 pm EST
Riding a four-game winning streak - their longest since an eight-game run in 1999 when they last made the playoffs - the Jaguars watched Leftwich go down early in last Sunday's 24-17 victory at Arizona with a broken bone in his ankle.
Leftwich is expected to miss four to six weeks, leaving the job to Garrard, who has made three career starts since being drafted by the Jaguars in the fourth round in 2002.
When Leftwich was injured last season, Garrard split his only starts, completing 32-of-53 passes for 327 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
Garrard takes over a Jaguars team that has the wild-card lead in the AFC and is trying to sweep a three-game road trip following wins over Tennessee and Arizona.
After taking over for Leftwich in last week's 34-27 victory over Arizona, Garrard completed 12-of-26 passes for 115 yards. He also rushed for 62 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
First-year Browns coach Romeo Crennel also has questions to answer at quarterback. He has to decide whether to stick with veteran Trent Dilfer or turn things over to rookie Charlie Frye, a third-round pick from Akron.
Dilfer completed 23-of-35 passes for 214 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions as the Browns lost at Minnesota, 24-12, last week. He also lost a pair of fumbles.
Series: The Jaguars lead, 7-2.
Next week: Cleveland visits Cincinnati, December 11 Jacksonville hosts Indianapolis, December 11
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Browns must stay committed to the run
QB Byron Leftwich is out with an ankle injury, so Jacksonville turns to backup David Garrard. The Jaguars will show a strong commitment to the run in an effort to take some pressure off Garrard. However, RB Fred Taylor is dealing with an ankle injury that could hinder him or keep him on the sidelines. Consequently, there is reason to believe Cleveland will be able to put Garrard in some situations with pass-heavy tendencies. The key for the Browns will be keeping Garrard in the pocket and off balance.
Cleveland doesn't match up well with Jacksonville's run defense, but it's crucial that the Browns consistently hand the ball off to RB Reuben Droughns for two reasons. The first is that QB Trent Dilfer will be working against a Jaguars' pass defense that is ranked second in the league in yards allowed per game. It's capable of shutting the Browns down if they become a one-dimensional passing attack. The second reason is Dilfer isn't doing a great job of protecting the football, and staying committed to the run will reduce the likelihood of him turning the ball over.
|Avg Points Allowed||16.8||17.8|
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||JAX|
|Rush Yds Allowed||JAX|
|Series tied 2-2|
|Dec 8, 2002||JAX 20, CLE 21|
|Dec 16, 2001||JAX 15, @CLE 10|
|Sep 30, 2001||JAX 14, CLE 23|