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Wednesday's notebook: Jaguars vs Bills


Offensive restart

The Jaguars are currently ranked 32nd in total offense after 11 games, but the club is among the best in the NFL the last two games.  The Jaguars are sixth in the NFL with a 389.5-yard average and 30.5 points per game over the last two weeks.  The Jaguars have registered 36.8 percent of their 20-plus plays this season in the last two games (14 of 38 plays) and have scored seven touchdowns. 

The wide receiver duo of Cecil Shorts (7-186, 2 TDs) and Justin Blackmon (12-298, 2 TDs) have combined for 19 catches for 484 yards (25.5 avg.) and four touchdowns the last two weeks.  Blackmon trails only Houston's Andre Johnson (461) for most receiving yards while Shorts (26.6 avg.) and Blackmon (24.8) lead the NFL in yards per receptions over the last two games. 

Breakout season for Shorts

After finishing with only two receptions as a rookie, Cecil Shorts is making up for lost time in his second season.  The former Mount Union standout leads the team in receiving yards (747), touchdowns (6), receptions of 20-plus yards (14), average per reception (20.8) and ranks second in receptions (36).  

Shorts has eclipsed 100 receiving yards in a team-high three games, his first career 100-yard receiving games.  He is only the third player since 2005 to have three 100-yard receiving games in a season (Jimmy Smith, 2005; Mike Sims-Walker, 2009).

Shorts' 747 receiving yards are 287 yards more than the club's 2011 leader in receiving yards (Marcedes Lewis, 460).  He has eclipsed 70 receiving yards in seven of 11 games.

Additional notes on Shorts:

  • Has a reception of at least 25 yards in nine of 11 games.  
  • Five of his six touchdown receptions are from 20-plus yards, which are the most in the NFL and tied for the most in team history.
  • Ranks second in the NFL with a 20.8-yard average per reception.  In his eight games with multiple receptions, he has averaged at least 17 yards per reception in seven of the games.
  • Was one of 27 receivers selected in the 2011 NFL Draft with 14 players selected ahead of him.  Currently ranks sixth among the receivers for career touchdowns (7) and ninth in receiving yards (777).
  • In five road games, he has scored four of his six touchdowns and has 21 receptions for 430 yards (20.5 avg.).
  • Leads all AFC South receivers in touchdowns and receiving average.

Nothing short about these touchdowns

Cecil Shorts ranks second in the NFL through 11 games with four receptions of 50-plus yards, the most in franchise history for a season, and is tied for first with three touchdown receptions of 50 yards.  Shorts has a reception of at least 50 yards in three straight games and three of his six touchdowns are over 50 yards. 

Here's the list:

  • (Sept. 23 at Indianapolis) - Took a short pass from Blaine Gabbert and raced 80 yards for the game-winning score with 45 seconds remaining.  It was the third-longest touchdown reception in team history.
  • (Nov. 8 vs. Indianapolis) - Hooked up with Blaine Gabbert for a 52-yard reception in the third quarter.
  • (Nov. 18 at Houston) - Caught a short pass from Chad Henne in the second quarter and went 67 yards for a touchdown. 
  • (Nov. 25 vs. Tennessee) - Connected with Chad Henne on an intermediate pass across the middle, split the defenders and outran the defense for a 59-yard touchdown.  Finished the game with a team-high three receptions of 20-plus yards.

Impressive stretch for Henne

Chad Henne has been under center for all but four offensive plays the last two games as he replaced injured Blaine Gabbert on the club's second series on Nov. 18 at Houston.  He threw for four touchdowns and 354 yards against the Texans in the overtime loss.

Henne made his first start for the Jaguars last Sunday against Tennessee and completed 17 of 26 passes for 261 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for a 108.0 rating.  He has registered back-to-back games with multiple touchdown passes for only the second time in his career.  His 108.0 rating was his fourth career game with a 100-plus rating and first as a starter since Nov. 28, 2010 at Oakland (1003.).

In the last two games, only Washington's Robert Griffin (146.1) and New England's Tom Brady (132.6) have a higher passer rating than Henne (119.0).  Henne's six touchdowns are the second-most in the NFL in the last two weeks while his 615 passing yards rank sixth.

Familiar faces return to Buffalo

Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey served in the same capacity at Buffalo from 2004-05, leading the club to a 14-18 overall record.  In his first season he directed the Bills to their first winning season in five years with a 9-7 record as the club tallied wins in nine of its final 12 games. 

Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny spent four seasons (2007-10) with the Bills after being selected in the second round of the 2007 draft.  He led the Bills in tackles his final two seasons including a then career-high 140 in 2010.  He registered 100-plus tackles in three of his four seasons in Buffalo. 

Jaguars tight ends coach Bobby Johnson served as the Bills assistant offensive line coach from 2010-11.

Series history

The Jaguars and Bills have met 10 times in the regular season with the series tied 5-5.  The two have played each other five of the last six seasons with the Jaguars winning 36-26 in Buffalo in 2010 in the last meeting. The Jaguars won the only postseason meeting between the teams, 30-27, in the 1996 AFC Wild Card game in Buffalo.

Did you know?

The Jaguars have six wide receivers on the roster including four first or second year players.   The club's two starters, Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts, have a combined 32 games of NFL experience.  No receiver on the roster has more than 60 career receptions or 800 yards. 

Eyeing the record

With five games remaining, Justin Blackmon already owns the club's rookie record for receiving yards with 548 as he set the mark last Sunday against the Titans.  Blackmon is 11 receptions shy of setting the franchise record for rookie receptions. He is one of only three rookies in franchise history to post a 100-yard receiving game, joining Pete Mitchell (1995) and Matt Jones (2005).

Blackmon leads all NFL rookies in receiving yards and ranks third in receptions and fifth in receiving touchdowns.     

Posluszny leads defense

There is little doubt who the leader of the Jaguars 2012 defense is through 11 games. Linebacker Paul Posluszny leads the team with 156 tackles and has double-digit tackles in nine of 11 games. He has registered 100-plus tackles in five straight seasons.

Posluszny accumulated a career-high 192 tackles in his first season with the Jaguars in 2011. He was signed as an unrestricted free agent after spending four years with Buffalo.

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