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Ace Sanders tops in meaningless yards

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Every yard gained on the ground and through the air in an NFL game is accounted for on the stat sheet.

But do they mean the same?

If a wide receiver catches six for 100 yards and one touchdown in a 17-10 victory, does that have more meaning than if he had the same stats in a 30-10 loss? Yes, according to FootballPerspective.com's Chase Stuart. He has come up with a formula that can quantify a player's meaningless receiving yards.

He admits it's not a perfect formula, but he defines meaningless receiving yards as:

On third or fourth down, a player gained fewer yards than necessary for the first down.

The receiving yard(s) came in a loss and when the player's team trailed by at least 28 points.

The receiving yard(s) came in a loss and when the player's team trailed by at least 21 points with fewer than 15 minutes remaining.

The receiving yard(s) came in a loss and when the player's team trailed by at least 14 points with fewer than 8 minutes remaining.

The receiving yard(s) came in a loss and when the player's team trailed by at least 9 points with fewer than 3 minutes remaining.

Using that formula, Stuart determined that Jacksonville Jaguars rookie receiver Ace Sanders led the NFL in percentage of meaningless receiving yards in 2013. More than half of his 484 receiving yards came in above situations -- 57.5 percent (260 yards).

Another Jaguars receiver, Cecil Shorts, had the sixth-highest percentage of meaningless receiving yards: 45.1 percent (331 of 777 yards).

As you would imagine, most of the league's worst teams had players who ranked pretty high in this category. The Washington Redskins, for example, had two players in the top four: Santana Moss (53.2 percent) and Aldrick Robinson (45.7 percent).