Packers 2017 Recap: WR Jordy Nelson
Attempting an encore performance after his Comeback Player of the Year season in 2016, Jordy Nelson had some difficulties reaching his previous heights thanks in part to issues at quarterback.
- Appeared in 15 games with 15 starts (805 snaps on offense, 1 snap on special teams)
- 53 receptions, 482 yards, six touchdowns
Expectations going into the season: High
Expectations were: Not Met
Early on, it seemed that Nelson wouldn’t be the same player again. He lacked any sort of explosion, and though he was still getting catches, Nelson only averaged 12.51 yards per catch, more than two full yards under his career average.
But the week after Aaron Rodgers made his “run the table” comment, things started to click for Nelson. Over the last six weeks of the season, he averaged seven catches for 99 yards and a touchdown per game, upping his yards per catch to 13.5. The Packers moved Nelson all over their formations, turning him into something of a receiving Swiss army knife.
Analysis: Nelson falters in lost season
Analysis of Jordy Nelson (and really any other Packers receiver) needs to start with one obvious question: how did they do with Aaron Rodgers versus Brett Hundley?
Each of the Packers’ top three wide receivers endured some kind of drop off without Rodgers doing the passing in Green Bay, but Nelson cratered.
Without Rodgers extending plays, Nelson didn’t get open quickly enough to get on Hundley’s radar. When he did, it was often on short out routes and quick hitches, and Nelson was unable to get away from quicker defenders.
Even when he did get the ball in something resembling the open field, he seemed to be looking to get to the ground, though any reason why never came to light.
His symbiotic relationship with Rodgers aside, Nelson’s performance through the second half of the 2017 season made the Packers’ decision to move on a lot easier than some vocal segments of the fanbase would lead you to believe.
Nelson will always be one of the Packers’ greats, both on and off the field. What turned out to be his last season in Green Bay will never take anything away from the total picture of his career.