Packers Receivers Near the Sidelines Are Hard to Stop

When wide receiver Jordy Nelson exited the Wild Card game against the Giants with broken ribs, the fear was that the momentum Green Bay had been building on offense over the past two months would disappear. 

It was no coincidence that Nelson’s stats were drastically different before (about 60 yards per game) and after (about 100 yards per game) the Packers massive winning streak began. The favorite for the Comeback Player of the Year award missed Sunday’s game against Dallas and looks to be a longshot for the NFC Championship Game.

Nelson's loss has been significant, but it hasn't slowed the Packers down much. Aaron Rodgers leads the NFL with 718 postseason passing yards, 269 more than the next closest quarterback. Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Jared Cook all rank in the top five in postseason receiving yards, and the Packers have averaged 36 points a game in this tremendous playoff run.

The sideline toe drag, Jordy Nelson's best asset

Nelson has made a name for himself with toe-dragging catches on the sidelines, like this grab against the New York Giants. Notice the tremendous balance required for Nelson to secure the catch while keeping both feet firmly on the ground:

This grab from 2013 against the 49ers came late in the fourth quarter when the Packers were trailing, 24-21. It's one of the best grabs of his career – Rodgers pass was well off the mark but Nelson still managed to haul it in and help put the Packers in the red zone. 

Nelson was on the sidelines in street clothes, but Randall Cobb and Jared Cook both did their best impression of the wide receiver’s famous toe drag. 

Randall Cobb and Jared Cook do their best Jordy Nelson impressions

The Packers nursed a 21-13 lead at the half, and Green Bay received the ball to start the third quarter. When Aaron Rodgers left the pocket on the first play of the half, it looked like he had simply thrown the ball away. However, a darting Randall Cobb snagged the ball for a wonderful 25-yard reception. 

Cook’s catch along the sidelines will be long remembered as one of the best plays in Packers postseason history. Even Fox announcer Joe Buck thought the pass was incomplete, but Cook somehow was able to maintain his balance and keep both feet in bounds to secure the catch and put the Packers in position for a game-winning field goal.

If Nelson is unable to play against the Falcons, the Packers wide receivers proved on Sunday that they’re able to catch anything Aaron Rodgers throws near the sidelines.