Shorts catches late TD to give Jaguars 32-28 win

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


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


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


For the Browns (4-8), their sixth loss in seven games stung


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


”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.

Henne went 24 of 40 for 195 yards and two TDs and Jacksonville

running back Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 77 yards and threw an

8-yard TD pass to Marcedes Lewis.

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.”

NOTES: 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


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