1:00 PM ET, December 1, 2013
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH
Jags rally by Browns despite Josh Gordon's 2nd straight 200-yard game
CLEVELAND -- This was the way Cecil Shorts always imagined it would happen: game on the line, ball in the air, his chance to the hero.
The Jacksonville receiver replayed it in his mind countless times.
More Jaguars-Browns coverage
With Sunday's game on the line, the Jaguars delivered, something that seemed impossible two months ago, writes Mike DiRocco. Blog
There are losses. There are bad losses. There are really bad losses. And there are fiascos. The Browns hit the jackpot on Sunday, writes Pat McManamon. Blog
On Sunday, all of it came true. And, it happened in the best place possible -- his hometown.
A Cleveland kid who grew up cheering for the Browns, Shorts caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Chad Henne with 40 seconds left, rallying the rejuvenated Jaguars to a 32-28 win on Sunday.
On third-and-9, Henne lofted a perfect pass to the left corner for Shorts, who had beaten Browns star cornerback Joe Haden. Shorts got both feet down in the end zone before tumbling out of bounds and celebrating with his teammates.
It was an unforgettable moment for Shorts, who earlier this week said "I'm all Cleveland" and talked about the excitement of returning to play in front of family and friends.
"For that play to happen in this game, in that situation, and the hometown," he said. "It's a dream come true."
After the Jaguars (3-9) gave up Brandon Weeden's 95-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon and fell behind 28-25, Henne drove them 80 yards in nine plays for the winning TD as Jacksonville continued its stunning turnaround after losing its first eight games, all by at least 10 points.
The Jaguars are 3-1 since their bye with all three victories on the road.
"We're building confidence and we're getting better each and every day," Henne said. "And these wins and on the road, playing in a hostile environment, the guys are starting to feel it a little bit."
For the Browns (4-8), their sixth loss in seven games stung deeply.
Three weeks ago, there was actually playoff talk in Cleveland. There's none now.
"I can't stand losing," said Haden, who fought back tears during a sometimes vulgar postgame tirade. "It hurts. I go out there and put my heart out there every time. And we end up coming up short. It was my fault on the touchdown. You're going to come with the same questions every week and we're going to give you the same answers -- `We're going to get better next week.'
"Until we do it then there's nothing else to talk about. Straight up."
Before Shorts' catch, it appeared as if Weeden would shake off a mixed performance during which he threw three touchdown passes, two interceptions just before halftime, fumbled, and had to kick a high snap out of the end zone for a safety.
Weeden connected with Gordon on the stunning 95-yarder with 3:55 left only to have Cleveland's defense allow Henne to drive the length of the field for the go-ahead TD. Jacksonville stopped Cleveland's final chance by batting down a desperation pass by Weeden into the end zone.
Josh Scobee kicked three field goals for the Jaguars.
Gordon returned from a head injury and finished with 10 catches for a team record 261 yards. He's the first player in NFL history to have consecutive 200-yard games. He had 237 in a loss last week against Pittsburgh, and Gordon has 1,249 yards this season despite missing two games with a drug suspension.
Down 21-20 and their offense doing nothing, the Jaguars took the lead when Browns center Alex Mack snapped the ball over Weeden's head into the end zone and the QB alertly booted it out of bounds.
"100 percent my fault," Mack said.
Weeden was only back in the starting lineup because Jason Campbell has a concussion. But after finishing 24 of 40 for 370 yards, he was diagnosed with a concussion. Because of the head injury, Weeden was kept from speaking with reporters and if he and Campbell can't play next week, Alex Tanney, signed off Dallas' practice squad, will start at New England.
Before catching his game-winner, Shorts, who had six catches for 64 yards, dropped a few throws. However, Henne told him to be ready and the former Division III star from Mount Union came through.
"Chad came to me, `Hey, I'm coming back to you," Shorts said. "When the game's on the line, you want the ball. And that's just the bottom line."
Gordon needs 41 yards to set the Browns record (1,289 by Braylon Edwards, 2007) for yards receiving in a season. ... Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien recorded his first career interception in the second quarter. ... Despite the Jaguars having the league's lowest-ranked run defense, the Browns gained only 97 yards rushing. ... Jaguars DT Sen'Derrick Marks had three tackles, a sack, defended a pass, forced a fumble and recovered another. ... The Browns lost LBs Eric Martin (head) and Brandon Magee (chest) to injuries.
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 1: A Cleveland Browns fan watches warm ups prior to the game between the Cleveland Browns...(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||4.4||6.0|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-4||2-2|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|
|TD||10:57||Willis Mcgahee 1 Yard Run (Billy Cundiff Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 47 yds, 1:07
|TD||7:10||Clay Harbor 18 Yard Pass From Chad Henne (Josh Scobee Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yds, 3:47
|TD||12:09||Josh Gordon 21 Yard Pass From Brandon Weeden (Billy Cundiff Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 92 yds, 5:17
|TD||1:24||Marcedes Lewis 8 Yard Pass From Maurice Jones-Drew (Josh Scobee Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 17 yds, 1:16
|FG||0:52||Josh Scobee 44 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 4 plays, 2 yds, 0:26
|FG||0:05||Josh Scobee 36 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 1 plays, 0 yds, 0:05
|TD||9:49||Greg Little 4 Yard Pass From Brandon Weeden (Billy Cundiff Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yds, 5:16
|SF||7:47||Penalty on Brandon Weeden, Illegal Kick In Own End Zone|
Drive info: 1 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
|FG||4:17||Josh Scobee 25 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 7 plays, 36 yds, 3:28
|TD||4:09||Josh Gordon 95 Yard Pass From Brandon Weeden (Billy Cundiff Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 95 yds, 0:19
|TD||0:45||Cecil Shorts Iii 20 Yard Pass From Chad Henne (Josh Scobee Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yds, 3:15
Josh Gordon posted at least 200 receiving yards in his second straight game Sunday, catching 10-of-15 targets for a franchise-record 261 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Weeden had a higher completion percentage targeting Gordon (66.7%) than when targeting anyone else, despite his average throw to Gordon traveling more than three times as far.[+]
Brandon Weeden by Target, Sunday
From Elias: Josh Gordon is the first player in NFL history with 200 Rec yds in back-to-back games. His 498 Rec yds in the last 2 games is an NFL record.[+]
Jaguars score 20 in 1st half in Cleveland. 1st time Jacksonville has scored 20+ points in the 1st half since Week 14 of 2011 season (had 28 in 1st half of a 41-14 win over Buccaneers).
Prior to last week, the Cleveland Browns had never had a player record 200 receiving yards in a game. Josh Gordon has now done it twice in two weeks. FROM ELIAS: He is the first player in NFL history with 200 Rec yds in back-to-back games.[+]
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