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Cecil Shorts has third-worst performance of any wide receiver

The Jaguars receiving corps is depleted, but according to Pro Football Focus, the team's most veteran wide receiver performed worse than 99 other receivers in Week 14.

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Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars couldn't get much going on the ground in Sunday's 27-13 loss to the Houston Texans. As a result, pressure was put on Blake Bortles and the passing game to get it done.

In some ways, Bortles got it done. Aside from a horribly thrown interception where he was baited by Texans safety D.J. Swearinger on an out route, and a checkdown throw to Toby Gerhart on 4th-and-20, I thought Bortles looked good. Marqise Lee showed continued improvement for the second week in a row. Allen Hurns had a couple of great catches on third down, and showed great awareness to get inbounds on the game's opening touchdown.

But Cecil Shorts III didn't produce, despite being targeted four times on the Jaguars opening drive and a team-high 10 times.

After the game, Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union brought up a stat line that looked stranger than fiction.

It got me thinking: How bad was Shorts' performance compared to the rest of the wide receivers in Week 14?

I wish I hadn't even looked.

According to Pro Football Focus, Shorts graded with a -2.9 overall grade, good for 100th place out of 102 eligible receivers. Only Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (two receptions for eight yards on three targets) and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (one catch for five yards on eight targets) graded out worse.

Lee, however, has only been ascending in recent weeks. In the past two games, he's caught 11 of 16 targets for 142 yards and a touchdown, with catches of 30 or more yards in both games against the New York Giants and Houston Texans.

Looking over the stats from this week, it's not hyperbole on the part of Pro Football Focus. No other receiver had as many missed opportunities on as many targets. And while there were a few receivers with zero receptions that Shorts should maybe leap frog, none of them had 10 targets to work with.